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J2 Food: Feeding New York One Tasty, Homemade Morsel at a Time

By Marina I. Jokic

A specialty caterer in the New York area, J2 Food's expertise lies in preparing delicious, homemade fare for any event. Executive chefs and co-owners Jonathan Hartig and Jonathan Schechter has worked extensively as a private chef at dinner parties as well as very large affairs. At events, J2 Food takes care of every last detail, from shopping, prepping, and cooking, to setup, serving, and clean-up. Hartig is especially attuned to people's dietary restrictions, namely Kosher, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Since everyone wants a delicious meal at the end of the day despite any dietary limitations, J2 Food works hard to deliver on that promise.

Hartig is co-owner of J2 Food along with his friend Jonathan Schechter. The two met in 2015 in Philadelphia, immersed in the culinary heritage of the Jewish community of Philadelphia. As it happened at the time, the two were auditioning for Season 7 of Master Chef, and after being turned down, decided to pursue a mutual dream of cooking professionally. A year later, after cooking together for a handful of foodie events in Philly, the two launched J2 Food to feed the masses. Founding this joint venture was the beginning of a fruitful partnership.

"The mission is to create unique, authentic and, most of all, delicious foodie-centric meals where young professionals can mix, mingle and enjoy a Shabbat dinner experience," Hartig said. "The menu, venue, and size of the event change each time with it popping up on a building's rooftop, or a gallery space downtown, or even someone's living room."

One of their most in-demand services, the Pop-up Foodie Shabbat is geared toward young professionals. These events take place all over the New York Metropolitan area as well as in Philadelphia and beyond. If you consider yourself a foodie who loves hosting dinner parties, but is short on time, J2 Food will ensure your event is a success even on a tight budget. Hartig quips that J2 provides gourmet food on a potluck budget. A unique Shabbat meal experience, the foodie package supplies all the ingredients, decorations, activities, and tableware necessary for a memorable dinner.

"Every menu that we create is unique," Hartig said. "You're not just paying for food, but for a custom-designed menu curated specifically for you."

There is no set menu at J2 Food. Hartig and Schechter talk to clients directly and gather their ideas for recipes. With main entrees such as stuffed cabbage, Moroccan chicken tagine, braised lamb shanks, and grilled swordfish at J2 will impress even the most discriminating of palates. Desserts include the flan, apple crisp, and decadent Alfajores cookie sandwiches among others.

The weekly and monthly gourmet meal packages can be tailored exactly to your tastes using fresh, local ingredients that are healthy, homemade and provide better value than eating at restaurants. The company can also deliver frozen and fully prepared meals that require very little effort to serve. All you have to do is heat up the fully prepared but uncooked meals and finish them in the comfort of your own kitchen. J2 Food goes above and beyond its duties to serve customers, and that's why it's become a success story in the last few years.

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