On January 23, 2024, Panama dazzled with an unprecedented culinary celebration: the Panama Kosherfest event. Under Ezra Cohen’s visionary leadership, Kosher Fest came to life, an event I had the privilege to experience. “This remarkable festival, spearheaded by Cohen and executed by the dedicated team at Shevet Achim, embodied a joyous celebration of kosher cuisine and community unity.” Cohen’s strategic choice to align the event with the American Yeshiva Week holiday proved to be inspired, drawing thousands of observant travelers eager to partake in the festivities. This convergence of cultures and traditions added an extra dimension of excitement and camaraderie to the occasion.
This unique celebration brought together the best of kosher gastronomy in one place for a day filled with delectable delights, cultural immersion, and vibrant entertainment.
For attendees, the event was a culinary dream come true, offering a plethora of gastronomic delights all conveniently housed under one roof. From traditional Panamanian dishes to exotic international kosher delicacies, there was something to tantalize every palate. The “all you can eat and drink” feature guaranteed that no guest departed unsatisfied, allowing them to indulge in a diverse array of flavors and cuisines to their heart’s content.
Undoubtedly, one of the festival’s most memorable highlights was the tasting session featuring succulent chicken, crispy French fries, wrapped in banana leaves, and accompanied by a refreshing salad, along with a delectable array of desserts. These mouthwatering dishes left a lasting impression on all who had the pleasure of sampling them, exemplifying the culinary brilliance synonymous with kosher dining. Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to savor typical Panamanian cuisine, immersing themselves in the region’s rich culinary heritage. From savory empanadas to other gastronomic treasures, guests were treated to an authentic taste of Panama’s culinary delights.
I would like to highlight the outstanding videos and photos created by Elan Kornblum of Great Kosher Restaurants Foodies for Kosherfest 2024. Elan has a very popular Panama WhatsApp chat, and I was in town to cover the restaurant scene with over 40 kosher restaurants. https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2gT4PeLY-6/?igsh
The Panamanian Pavilion was a true celebration of the country’s culinary identity, offering a glimpse into the vibrant tapestry of flavors and traditions that define Panama’s food culture. Attendees had the chance to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Panama, from traditional dishes to local beverages and desserts.
Furthermore, themed pavilions were a highlight of the event, offering guests an immersive experience of the diverse cultural influences shaping Panama’s culinary landscape. The Indigenous Pavilion celebrated the rich flavors and ingredients of Panama’s indigenous communities, while the Afro-Antillean Pavilion showcased the fusion of African and Caribbean influences in Panamanian cuisine. These pavilions provided attendees with a culinary journey unlike any other, showcasing the vibrant tapestry of Panama’s gastronomic heritage.
But the Panama Kosherfest event was more than just a culinary experience; it was a celebration of culture, with live musical performances, folkloric dances, and children’s attractions adding to the festive atmosphere. Guests were not only treated to delicious food and drinks but also to a vibrant showcase of Panama’s rich cultural heritage.
For members of the Jewish community, the Panama Kosherfest event provided an exclusive opportunity to come together and celebrate their shared cultural and culinary traditions.
For tourists attending the event, it was essential to complete the necessary security form to expedite entry, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for all attendees. Additionally, complimentary transportation was provided, subject to security department regulations, making it convenient for guests to travel to and from the event venue.
The Panama Kosherfest event was a true culinary celebration, bringing together the best of kosher gastronomy, cultural immersion, and entertainment in one unforgettable day. From indulging in delicious food and drinks to experiencing the vibrant culture of Panama, attendees were treated to an experience like no other. Whether you’re a member of the Jewish community or a curious tourist, the Panama Kosherfest event offered something for everyone to enjoy and savor.
The immense success of Kosher Fest, evident in its large attendance and overwhelmingly positive reception, speaks volumes about Cohen’s innovation, passion, and unwavering commitment to advancing Jewish culture and fostering harmony. The entire Shevet Achim team deserves commendation for their tireless efforts in bringing this extraordinary event to fruition.
To Ezra Cohen and the entire Shevet Achim team, congratulations on orchestrating such a memorable and impactful event. Your dedication has not only enriched the lives of countless individuals but has also strengthened the bonds of community within the Jewish world. You should all take immense pride in the success of Kosher Fest, and I eagerly await future iterations of this exceptional celebration.
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Story by Meyer Harroch, New York Jewish Travel Guide.com, and New York Jewish Guide.com
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