Susan Beth (Susie) Fishbein (born 1968[1]) is an American Orthodox Jewish kosher cookbook author. Her Kosher By Design series of cookbooks is a runaway best-seller for ArtScroll, with over 450,000 copies sold from 2003 through 2012.[2] In 2008 she was included on the Forward 50 as one of the 50 most influential Jews.[1]

Biography

Susie Fishbein was born in Oceanside, New York[1] and raised in a strictly kosher home.[3] She earned an MA in science education and taught in a public school for four years.[4]

In 2000 she co-edited the The Kosher Palette: Easy and elegant modern kosher cooking, a 308-page hardcover, spiral-bound, community cookbook produced as a fundraising tool for the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy of Livingston, New Jersey, where her first child was a student.[5] The book went through four printings comprising 36,000 copies from April 2000 to December 2001.[6]

After this project, Fishbein sought to upgrade her cooking knowledge by taking lessons and collecting recipes from professional chefs.[3] Professing an interest in bringing to the kosher cookbook market "something like what Martha Stewart does – meals that are easy to prepare, and elegant and healthful, and that appeal to all the senses",[7] she assembled the team of Renee Errich, a Manhattan event planner, to choreograph table settings,[8] Larry Sexton, florist at the Plaza Hotel, to provide flower-arranging tips, and John Uher, a professional food and lifestyle magazine photographer, to direct the photo shoots for a new kosher cookbook titled Kosher By Design.[8] This team continued to work with her on subsequent books, along with other experts such as Bonnie Taub-Dix, spokeswoman for the American Diabetic Association (the nutrition consultant on Kosher By Design Lightens Up)[9] and kosher caterer Moshe David (who contributed many recipes for Passover By Design).[10]

Kosher By Design

Beginning with her first Kosher By Design cookbook in 2003, Fishbein has produced eight cookbooks in the series as of October 2012.[2] The Kosher By Design series combines elegant yet easy-to-prepare[7] kosher recipes approved by two rabbis[3] with stunning, full-color glossy photographs[11] to appeal to the growing segment of American Jewish women with disposable income who want to produce contemporary kosher fare.[3] Fishbein puts a new spin on kosher and Jewish holiday classics with her creative recipes, such as Tri-Colored Matzah Balls,[12]Challah Napkin Rings,[3][10] and Beer-Braised Brisket.[13] Though her recipes sport exotic names such as Broccoli and Almond Bisque, Pecan Crusted Grouper over Amaretto Whipped Potatoes, Kalamata and Mustard Crusted Roast Beef, Sweet Potato Wedges with Vanilla Rum Sauce, and Chocolate Mint Dalmatian Cookies,[8] Fishbein emphasizes the use of simple ingredients that can be found in any supermarket[1] and markets herself as an "everyday cook".[3][14]

In addition to recipes, Fishbein's books feature sample table settings and floral arrangements, party themes, wine lists, and explanations of Jewish traditions and kashrut laws[7] which are an educational aid for non-Orthodox readers.[15][16]

In media interviews, Fishbein explains that her recipes aren't necessarily "Jewish", but they are all kosher.[17] She claims that her popularity is even greater among Conservative and Reform Jewish women who do not have a kosher kitchen but are interested in cooking gourmet.[5] ArtScroll has realized the books' salability by extending beyond its traditional Orthodox Jewish market into the mainstream market, including sales on Amazon.com, at Barnes & Noble[8] and Christian evangelical booksellers,[7] in Williams-Sonoma stores, and in supermarkets.[8]

Media personality

Fishbein has also developed a public career as a celebrity chef with cooking demonstrations at Jewish benefits, bake sales, kosher cruises and food festivals,[3][16][18][19] appearing before a new or repeat audience almost every week between 2003 and 2012.[2][20] She has also appeared nationally on The Today Show, Living It Up! With Ali & Jack, Martha Stewart Living Radio,[21] and the Nachum Segal Show,[22] earning her the sobriquets of "the Jewish Martha Stewart" and the "kosher diva".[7][8] She has become the darling of the Jewish media, which quotes her and her recipes in pre-holiday features and lauds her easygoing and gracious personality.[23][24]

The kosher industry that Fishbein rode to stardom is now using her success to help promote its own products. At the 21st Annual Kosherfest 2009 in the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, Fishbein held a book-signing at the Kolatin Real Kosher Gelatin booth and produced a complete dessert recipe supplement based exclusively on the new gelatin product.[23]

Family

Fishbein lives with her husband Kalman, three daughters, and one son[25] in Livingston, New Jersey.[3][26]

Bibliography

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Forward 50, 2008". The Forward. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Marcus, Ariella. "Kosher by Design Cooking Coach: Susie Fishbein's eighth in the KBD series emphasizes cooking knowledge and skills". Binah Magazine, 29 October 2012, p. 43.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Moskin, Julia (16 April 2008). "One Cook, Thousands of Seders". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Back to College with Susie Fishbein!". Kosher Eye. 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Eller, Sandy (27 October 2010). "Susie Fishbein Does It Again". The Jewish Press. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  6. ^ The Kosher Palette: Easy and elegant modern kosher cooking. Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy. 2000. p. 2 (printing history). ISBN 0-9676638-0-6. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Stolow, Jeremy (28 April 2010). Orthodox By Design: Judaism, print politics, and the ArtScroll revolution. University of California Press. pp. 120–130. ISBN 0-520-26426-6. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Sanders, Gavriel Aryeh (14 March 2005). "Kosher Diva Outdoes Herself With Latest Offering". Jewish World Review. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Gilletz, Norene (5 March 2009). "Susie Fishbein Cooks Up a Storm in Toronto". Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Shimoni, Giora (2011). "Passover by Design: Picture-Perfect Kosher by Design Recipes for the Holiday". About.com. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Church & Synagogue Libraries, Volumes 38-39. Church and Synagogue Library Association. 2005. 
  12. ^ "Recipes by Susie Fishbein: Tri-Color Matzo Balls". manischewitz.com. 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "Recipes by Susie Fishbein: Beer-Braised Brisket". manischewitz.com. 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  14. ^ Chefitz, Michael (15 November 2010). "Kosher by Design's Susie Fishbein is Back!". TribLocal Skokie. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  15. ^ Gottfried, Susan Helene. "Passover By Design". Front Street Reviews. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Spiro, Amy (8 March 2011). "Fishbein on Fish". Jewish Week. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  17. ^ "Author Q&A: Susie Fishbein Author of Kosher By Design: Teens and 20-Somethings". Beth's Book Reviews. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "Cookbook Author and Teacher Susie Fishbein at WRT". Scarsdale20583.com. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  19. ^ "Susie Fishbein Cooking Demonstration At Meadow Park". Five Towns Jewish Times. 20 January 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  20. ^ Genger, Tamar (17 October 2010). "In the joyofkosher Kitchen with Susie Fishbein". joyofkosher.com. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  21. ^ "About Kosher By Design". Kosher By Design. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  22. ^ "Susie Fishbein Presents 'Kosher By Design, Short On Time'". nachumsegal.com. 20 September 2006. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  23. ^ a b Miller, Rochelle Maruch (8 November 2009). "Cookbook Author Susie Fishbein Creates Exclusive Recipes Featuring Kosher Gelatin". Five Towns Jewish Times. matzav.com. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  24. ^ "A Talk With Susie Fishbein". The Kosher Scene. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  25. ^ Lusk, Wendy (2007). "Susie Fishbein: Keeping kosher in Virginia is easier than you think". Virginia Jewish Life. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  26. ^ "Tradition Keeper: Susie Fishbein observes Hanukkah custom but finds way to refresh it". The Record (Bergen County). 14 December 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2011.