With an 11-foot trailer in tow, Chaim Goldfeder will arrive from Texas to his hometown in time to serve up authentic kosher barbecue at the second annual JCC Community Block Party.
Goldfeder, the pit master and proprietor of Texas Kosher BBQ based out of Dallas, plans on giving the attendees of Sunday’s festivities a taste of true Texas ’cue. That means lots of beef — the Lone Star State, of course, being famous for its cattle — treated with a dry rub and then smoked.
“If someone puts barbecue sauce on their brisket without trying it first, I’m taking their plate away,” joked Goldfeder.
He and his wife, Miriam, moved down South about 15 years ago, shortly after they married, and quickly adapted to the Texas lifestyle. Five or so years ago, Goldfeder estimated, he took up barbecuing as a hobby.
Everything is big in Texas, including the dreams of newcomers from up North.
“My son and I built our own pit. I was cooking; people were liking it so I started to do this professionally about a year and a half ago,” said Goldfeder. “I haven’t had a passion for food like this, for cooking, in a long, long time.”
Goldfeder has a long history in the food service industry dating back to his first job at age 15 at the Milk & Honey Bistro in Pikesville, then known as the Premier Bistro, when Goldfeder was a student at Talmudical Academy of Baltimore. He went on to work with Schleider-Hoffman caterers, NYC Roasted and Star-K among others.
The wood-burning pit — called a stick burner because of the logs that need to be fed into it every hour to an hour and a half — can handle tall orders. Goldfeder has done long cooks, sometimes pulling 18-hour shifts and the occasional three-day marathon.
Low and slow is his motto to achieve a flavor profile that’s decidedly “not your bubbie’s brisket.”
“I use a straight spice rub and it goes on the pit,and it will stay there for a long, long time,” he said. “It’s a long day, but once you pull it off and you slice and you taste it — it’s a whole body experience.”
With smoked brisket, beer butt chicken, turkey legs and barbecue chili as mainstays of Texas Kosher BBQ, Goldfeder frequently gets requests to cater Shabbat dinners, bar mitzvah parties and pop-up events at synagogues; he will even cater a sheva brachot upon returning to Dallas. The whole operation is supervised by Rabbi Sholey Klein of Dallas Kosher. When needed, Goldfeder uses the kitchen at his synagogue, Congregation Ohr HaTorah.
Goldfeder, who has taken his operation on the road to Houston and San Antonio, plans to dazzle guests at the block party with his signature dish, chopped beef on a roll with barbecue sauce, coleslaw, pickles and jalapenos.
“Most people need some time alone with it,” he said. “People need to try that; it’s a flavor that is just out of this world.”
The second annual JCC Community Block Party will take place Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC. It’s free and open to the public.