A real bagel is a thing of beauty. Boiled then baked, resistant to the bite then addictively chewy, sourcing an authentic bagel on these shores has never been easy.
Chef Sam Lewis runs Sam's Bagels, which operates out of the Kosher Deli on Grey's Ave, Auckland, New Zealand's only kosher deli. As well as their Montreal-style bagels, you can also pick up rugelach, home-pickled cucumbers and challah (on Fridays only), plus a range of products such as sweet treats, crisps (try Israel's famous peanut butter-flavoured Bamba puffs), and take-home meals.
I would describe my kitchen at home as ... Ironically very basic for a chef. We have what we need…
To turn it into my own dream kitchen ... I'd want a kitchen hand. And probably a gas stove, electric is super annoying.
If you raided my fridge, you'd always find ... Homemade pickled chillies and lime pickle, always.
Some of my pantry staples are ... Good quality tinned tomatoes, EV olive oil and flour. With those three ingredients, you can make so many delicious meals (with a few additions of course).
My favourite ingredient to cook with is ...
Kūmara. I love the versatility of each variety. Recently I made jerk-style roasted kūmara with lime/mint/coriander yoghurt dressing. Delicious.
The kind of dish I love to make is ...
Anything with pasta. Having worked with 22 Italian chefs in London, I picked up a few good techniques. I miss those staff dinners.
My go-to meal in a hurry is ... Warm sesame bagel with cream cheese.
And if friends stop by unexpectedly ... They can have the same as above.
My drink of choice is ... Cold water, although I am partial to a Coke Zero.
Something unexpected that I make is ... Randomly we fried some raw bagel dough and made the ultimate doughnut, stuffed with Nutella. This may make an appearance on our menu soon.
I cook at home ... Every night.
The kitchen gadget should everyone own is ... A Ninja blender. Puree anything within seconds.
My food philosophy is ... Seasonal, fresh and simple.
How has the pandemic impacted the business? Of course, a lot fewer people want to head out. So we started home delivery of our fresh baked housemade bagels, rugelach and other baked goodness, which was a huge success.
The Kosher Deli is open Monday to Friday, 8am-3pm.
110 Grey's Ave, Auckland