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David Gale and Chef Ami Hassan. Photo by Rhonda Spivak.

David Gale and Chef Tony Deluca. All photos by Rhonda Spivak.


By Rhonda Spivak

“Why is your Italian parsley limp?,” comedian David Gale, emcee of “Fress with the Best” asked Chef Tony DeLuca with a straight face on the stage of the Berney Theatre on April 7, 2010 as the audience of 200 women burst out laughing.

This is a family show,” Deluca quickly shot back to Gale.

“The only reason this is a family show is because my niece is in the audience,” Gale, a former Winnipegger and television star of Loving Spoonfuls, proclaimed to more laughter. Deluca was on stage trying to concentrate on showing the audience how to cook an Italian pasta dish while Gale engaged in his playful chatter.

“When you chop up that parsley you can’t tell how limp it is,” Gale continued to more laughter.

Deluca of Deluca’s Specialty Foods Cooking School and Restaurant actually forgot to cook the mushrooms in his Italian pasta dish because, as he told Gale, “You are very distracting.”

When Gale asked Deluca whether he or his wife was a better cook, Deluca answered that with women, the best a man can ever do is to say “it’s a tie.”

“You mean you tie them up,” said Gale, again with a straight face, to more laughter.

Deluca continued cooling and explained that you don’t rinse pasta or add oil but rather you put in a little salt.
“The salt draws the juice out of there (the pasta),” he said.

“No the JEWS are out there,” Gale said pointing out to the crowd. “And some of them are dehydrated looking Jews!!”

Gale, who resides in Toronto, continued by asking Deluca why the olive oil he was using was kosher, and whether he knew how to make olive oil kosher. 

“You’re going to put a whole chili pepper in there?,” Gale asked, peering into Deluca’s pasta dish.

“Yes, and I have heart pills too, “Deluca responded.

“Oh good, people can line up for pasta and heart pills,” Gale shot back.

When Deluca finished cooking the pasta, he gave some to Gale to taste.  Gale licked his lips as he ate the spaghetti.

“Don’t turn my pasta into PORN,” Deluca, the straight man (no pun intended) implored.


Gale’s chatter with Shmoozer’s Chef Maxine Shuster who showed him how to make rugalach and chocolate mousse was also comical.

“Do you get anxiety when you separate the eggs?,” Gale  asked Shuster, to much laughter.

Gale asked Shuster if she knew how to call a chocolate mousse in Yiddish?  “Kumnin home Moose!!” he yodeled out to the crowd, as Shuster tried not to be veered off course by his remarks.

As Shuster made the mousse into a log form, and he helped her lift it, Gale said, “This is what they do in triage.”  The doctors in the crowd had a hearty laugh.

Gale also performed a chocolate song he wrote with words that ended “Some people crave sex. Some like their phone. But I need Toblerone.”

Glae and Chef HassanGALE AND CHEF HASSAN

Israeli Chef Ami Hassan, from the Falafel Place was a “natural” on the stage with Gale as Hassan prepared hummus, eggplant salad and taboule salad.

Gale introduced Hassan, who originates from Bat-Yam south of Tel-Aviv, as having first opened his Falafel Place in 1986, and “he hasn’t stopped yelling since.”

Gale asked Hassan, “Why do you yell at your customers all the time?”

Hassan quickly answered, “I don’t yell, I raise my voice.”

Gale told Hassan that “I once had my cholesterol tested after eating at your restaurant, and [according to the results] I should be dead….I had to have my blood drained.”

Gale received more laughter when he next told Hassan that “I notice your parsley is a little firmer than Tony’s.”

Gale began comparing vegetables with each other, saying “This one’s bigger than the other.”

Hassan quipped, “You’re going to eat it, not sleep with it.”

Gale asked Hassan if his restaurant was kosher? Hassan answered, “It’s Jewish style kosher.”

When Hassan finished preparing his first dish, Gale winced, began sneezing, blowing his nose, left the stage and came back with a pained look on his face, saying “Oh. It’s soo good, Ami.”

Gale later asked Hassan while he was preparing egg plant salad, “Are you putting in the cumin?  Sometimes I don’t know if I’m cumin or going.”

As Hassan chopped vegetables for the eggplant salad Gale began teasing him that he was not a very “delicate” chef.

“Most people when they eat green pepper, Ami, take out the seeds,” Gale exclaimed.

“Now you’re going to hack up a tomato aren’t you?  You could have been a surgeon Ami,” he added, to more laughter.

When Hassan gave Gale a taste of his egg plant salad, Gale said, “That’s fantastic. But shouldn’t you have peeled the egg plant first?”

When Gale asked Hassan whether Hassan cooked the dishes he prepared that night at the Berney Theatre at home, Hassan garnered much laughter when he responded, “No-we eat healthy at home.”

Gale, who has won both Gemini and Galaxi awards for his humourous and heart-warming  work on Loving Spoonfuls, where he cooked with grandmothers in their homes has  always been a popular performer  in his hometown.

The “Fress with the Best” event was a CJA Women’s Philanthropy evening co-chaired by Cara Kroft and Carol Duboff.

The attendees of the event were provided with the recipes that the chefs cooked on stage.  The recipes are provided below for the readership of the Winnipeg Jewish Review to try at home and enjoy:


500 g Spaghetti
200 g Assorted wild mixed mushrooms
10 tbsp. Olive oil
6 cloves Garlic-whole-lightly crushed
3 tbsp. Italian parsley - finely chopped
4 tbsp. Parmesan cheese - grated
200 g  Red & orange peppers - julienned
100 g Zucchini – cut in ½ slices ¼ in thick
100 g Asparagus-thinly sliced in ½ in lengths
½ tsp. Crushed chili pepper
3-4 Whole dried chili peppers
To taste Salt


Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan, add the chopped garlic, sauté briefly. Add the asparagus and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the peppers, zucchini and mushrooms, sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Add salt, ½ the parsley and the chili peppers. Stir, lower the heat and keep warm. Cook the pasta “Al Dente “, drain well, top with ½ of the parmesan and half the sauce.  Mix well, top with remaining sauce and parmesan cheese.  Garnish with the remaining parsley.  Serve.


CAKE: 6 eggs (separated)
¾ cup granulated sugar (divided)
¼ cup cocoa
2 oz. (60g) bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (melted & cooled)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. icing sugar
MOUSSE: 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 eggs (separated)
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ cup icing sugar
2 cups whipped cream
TO COVER CAKE: ¾ litre whipped cream (prepared)
½ litre whipped cream (prepared)
Add ¼ cup cocoa
  1. Butter a 15 x 10 inch jelly-roll pan.  Line with parchment paper, butter again & dust lightly with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks & ½ cup sugar until light. Beat in cocoa, melted chocolate & vanilla.
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat egg whites until light.  Slowly beat in remaining ¼ cup sugar.  Continue beating until whites are firm.
  4. Spread batter evenly over prepared pan.  Bake in pre-heated oven at 350º for 12-14 minutes or until puffed & firm to touch.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Dust cake with icing sugar.  Loosen cake from pan & invert onto a tea towel.  Pull off parchment carefully & roll in tea towel immediately & cool.
  5. While cake is cooling, prepare mousse.  Melt chocolate chips in medium saucepan over hot water until smooth.  Do not over-heat.  Add egg yolks & vanilla.  Beat well.  Transfer to large bowl.
  6. Using clean beaters, beat egg whites in separate bowl until soft peaks form.  Add icing sugar gradually & continue to beat until stiff.
  7. Using same beaters, beat whipping cream in small bowl until stiff.
  8. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture.  Fold in whipped cream.
  9. Unroll cake carefully & spread mousse mixture. (you may have some mousse left-over)  Roll up mousse log & carefully put on long serving platter.  Cover in whipped cream & garnish with mocha whipped cream & chocolate curls.


DOUGH: 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
2 cups flour
FILLING: 1/3 cup white sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp. sugar for sprinkling
  1. Beat butter, cream cheese & flour until a dough forms.  Shape into a ball, divide into four & wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. To make filling - combine sugar, cinnamon, raisins & pecans in a bowl.  Set aside.
  3. On a lightly floured board, flatten each ball of dough, one at a time, and then roll it out to make a circle 1/16 inch thick & about 10 inches in diameter.  (I use the bottom of a spring form pan to cut out the circles.)
  4. Sprinkle approx. ½ cup of the filling on each circle & gently press into the dough.  Cut into 8 or 12 wedges.  Roll each wedge up from wide side toward the point. Place rolls on baking sheet 2 inches apart.  Brush with water & sprinkle with sugar.  Bake in pre-heated oven at 350º for 15 minutes until light brown.  Cool on wire rack.


Ingredients: serves 5 people

4 eggplants
1 onion (medium)
4 cloves of garlic
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
2 red peppers
3 medium tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 batch parsley
vegetable oil for frying
1/2 tsp. cumin


Slice the eggplant into 1 cm slices. Sprinkle some salt on each piece. Let stand for twenty minutes. In a frying pan, fry eggplant in vegetable oil for about 10 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from the pan. Slice all remaining vegetables and place them in a pan with vegetable oil. Cook until tender. Add eggplant back to frying pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin and remove to a plate. Sprinkle chopped parsley, serve with a slice of toasted pita and enjoy a delicious salad. 

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.