Major Chicago Catering Company Adds Vegan Options to Its Jewish Holiday Menu

Major Chicago Catering Company Adds Vegan Options to Its Jewish Holiday Menu

Chicago-based caterer Entertaining Company is expanding its Jewish holiday menu with more options for vegans and vegetarians than ever before.

The award-winning caterer currently offers a wide range of specialty Kosher dishes that celebrate various holidays and rites within the Jewish faith. “We’re not so much changing our approach to Jewish cuisine as we are evolving it,” said Wendy Pashman, founder and President of Entertaining Company. “Our approach tends toward the Sephardic end of the spectrum, which is centered around whole foods and vegetables.”

The company notes that it often fuses different Jewish cuisines together to create modern dishes, so clients can also expect to find familiar, vegan Ashkenazi foods like latkes, noodle kugel, kasha, and cholent.

“Our global perspective is representative of the Jewish diaspora,” Pashman continued. “We’re elevating and modernizing it when we incorporate modern health trends, creating a new Jewish fusion food.”

According to Entertaining Company, the menu update was created in a bid to appeal to the multigenerational families that book its events. “Each generation thinks of protein differently. Our grandmothers celebrated with a traditional brisket, smothered in onion. A younger group might tend toward a meatless seitan brisket, covered in the same sauce,” Pashman said.

Can You Be Vegan and Kosher?

While Jewish holidays tend to be centered around traditional foods, veganism is becoming more popular within the community. Last October, 70 rabbis from around the world signed a declaration encouraging all Jewish people to go vegan, stating that “this approach to sustenance is an expression of our shared Jewish values of compassion for animals, protection of the environment, and concern for our physical and spiritual well-being.”

The declaration was issued by the UK-based Jewish Vegetarian Society and the American organization Jewish Veg, two separate groups that hope to encourage veganism within the faith.

In June, The Shamayim V’Aretz Institute, a Jewish animal welfare organization that campaigns for the ethical treatment of all living creatures, partnered with VegFund to launch The Synagogue Vegan Challenge. For one year, five synagogues throughout the U.S. will receive support to serve plant-based meals and provide vegan educational materials.