Meet Harvey Pearlman, chef, restaurateur, gourmet food and equipment expert… Get recipe tips, culinary advice, cookware guidance…ask the kitchen questions you’ve wanted answered – but never dared to ask! In this new feature, you can submit any kitchen questions to our resident connoisseur, Harvey Pearlman (or better known as Harv), and your questions will be answered in this Shabbat Shalom feature column, in the coming weeks. To submit a question, contact Lisa Halberstam at email@example.com, subject title: The Kitchener Rebbe. To learn more about Harv, read below.
Harvey Pearlman, proud husband of Carol and father of four, started his career in the food line over forty years ago, when at age eleven, he began helping his Grandfather in the family bagel bakery. While attending Yeshiva Toras Chaim in East New York, his science project was how to make Marinara Sauce from scratch. Needless to say his booth at the science fair was the busiest. Both students and teachers lined up to try his Spaghetti and Sauce. Besides his love of food, Harv also had a talent for singing and at age eleven became a member of the famous Leon Berger choir. By the time he graduated from Yeshiva Ohel Moshe elementary school, he knew that he wanted to go into the food business. Upon graduation, he pleaded with his parents to allow him to go to chef school. After meetings between the rabbis and his parents, it was determined that “frum boys” don’t attend those kinds of schools. He compromised and was allowed to go to public high school where he also took a home economics class, the only boy in the class. While there, he also worked part time as a soda jerk, making the best sandwiches and Chocolate Egg Creams (remember those?) in Brooklyn. At age seventeen, he went into the appetizing business with his dad on Thirteenth Ave in Brooklyn. Seeing that the business could only support one family, he moved uptown, to the world famous Zabar’s on Broadway in Manhattan. He spent the next twenty years there, working his way up to becoming general manager. It was there that he obtained an in depth knowledge of foods and cookware. His talent and creativity helped him to become an icon in the food industry. During his time at Zabar’s, he was interviewed by famous magazines, newspapers, television stations, and even did a talk show on cable TV. While all of this was going on, he still managed to continue his choir career, singing and conducting for some of the worlds greatest Chazanim. He has often been called the singing chef. In 1991, he decided to make a change in his life. While doing some consulting work in the industry, he came up with the idea that Brooklyn needed a good kosher dairy Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor. In 1992, he opened the famous Garden of Eat In Restaurant on Ave J. It was there that he put his knowledge to the test. Working on interesting dishes and menus, he spent twenty-hour days in the kitchen like a mad scientist, committed to giving his customers the best food possible. The results were outstanding, as the Garden became one of Brooklyn’s most famous eateries. About five years later, together with his brother Arthur, he decided to expand his horizons and opened Gourmet On J, an upscale Fleishig (meat) catering & take home food store next to the Garden of Eat In. Together with his head chefs Shimmy & Yankel, they put together a menu that till this day has delighted customers from all over the five boroughs. If you’re in the neighborhood, pass by. You might even get a chance to hear him singing in the kitchen.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.