Josie Shapiro of San Francisco Takes Top Honors at 7th Annual Manischewitz Kosher Cook-Off! Recipe Garners $25,000 Grand Prize

Contestants Competed Live at The Manischewitz® Headquarters in Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker Proclaims the Day “Manischewitz Cook-Off Day in Newark”

NEWARK, NJ (April 2013) — The Manischewitz® Company has just announced the winner of the Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off! The Cook-Off, which is the only national kosher cooking competition in America, took place today, on March 21st, at the Manischewitz Headquarters and Manufacturing Facilities in Newark, NJ. This marked the first year that the contest was held at their facilities. Josie Shapiro, of San Francisco, California was awarded the Grand Prize for her outstanding recipe, Faux Pho. The Grand Prize, valued at $25,000, includes new Maytag kitchen appliances, cash, and a trophy. Jamie Geller, founder of Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine and website, served as the head judge and guest of honor this year. The Honorable Mayor Cory A. Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ, was on hand to proclaim the day and present the grand prize trophy to the winner along with the Manischewitz CEO’s, Chef Jamie Geller, and last year’s grand prize winner Eric Silberman of Chicago.

Josie Shapiro works as a fundraiser for Jewish Learning Works and resides with her husband and 2 children in San Francisco, CA. Her recipe, Faux Pho, reflects a play on words as "Pho,"” the Vietnamese dish, traditionally uses Asian noodles and her recipe uses Manischewitz egg noodles.

"I am beyond thrilled to have been chosen as the 2013 Manischewitz Cook-Off winner; words cannot even express how exciting this journey has been. Each finalist did a great job and I enjoyed getting to know all of them and learning about their unique recipes as well," says Shapiro. "I love incorporating Manischewitz products into my cooking, because as a working mother with two kids under the age of 5, I am always looking for ways to save time in the kitchen without compromising quality."

The other four finalists competing were:

Contestants were asked to submit a family-friendly recipe that could be created in less than one hour, using one of the Manischewitz All-Natural Broths, which come in a variety of flavors; Turkey, Vegetable, Chicken, Reduced-Sodium Chicken, and Beef. The competition encourages home chefs to experiment with Kosher and Manischewitz products and inspires the use of these items in all types of cuisine regardless of someone's ethnic background.

"We would like to offer our most heartfelt congratulations to our Cook-Off winner, Josie Shapiro! We are so proud of her and all the contestants that exhibited their culinary creativity here at the Manischewitz plant today," says Paul Bensabat, Co-CEO of The Manischewitz Company. "We were amazed at the level of excitement and dedication shown by all of the finalists throughout each stage of the competition. We were also incredibly honored to have Mayor Cory Booker with us to read the mayoral Proclamation and present the Grand Prize trophy to Josie," adds Alain Bankier, Co-CEO of The Manischewitz Company.

This year, the Cook-Off was led by chef and cook book author Jamie Geller. Geller is Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine and website founder. She is also the founder of The Kosher Media Network, TV personality featured weekly on JLTV, and author of 2 bestselling cookbooks with a 3rd set for a September 2013 debut. An additional special appearance was made by honorary guest, Eric Silberman, who was the 2012 Cook-Off winner.

In addition to Jamie Geller, the prestigious panel of judges included:

The finalists' recipes were selected and tested by the judges and were based on the following criteria: taste, 50%; ease of preparation, 25%; creativity and originality, 25%.

For all media inquiries, and finalist recipes, photos, and full bios, please contact Courtney Manders at 973.744.0707 or Courtney.Manders@bhgpr.com