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Ask A Los Angeles Chef: Best Latke Recipes For Hanukkah

This year, Hanukkah not only comes early in the holiday season, but it falls on Thanksgiving. Jewish kitchens throughout Los Angeles are looking for ways to mash-up the two holidays, hence why people are already referring to November 28th as Thanksgivingakkah. Here are two fantastic recipes for latkes, a traditional Hanukkah food of potato pancakes, from local chefs. One uses a taste of elegance, while the other works with seasonal ingredients. No matter what, both latke recipes are easy to recreate at home and are going to treat dinner guests.
Potato Fritters
(credit: istockphoto)

Giselle Wellman
321 N. Robertson Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 271-6300

Known for its fine quality caviar, blini and crème fraiche, world renowned caviar house Petrossian puts a gourmet and elegant spin on potato latkes this year. Created by Executive Chef Giselle Wellman, the caviar potato latke recipe is an “easy to execute” approach for home chefs during the early holiday season.

Caviar Potato Latkes by Executive Chef Giselle Wellman


• 5 pounds russet potatoes, or 8-9 medium size potatoes
• 5 cups diced onion<
• 3-4 eggs (lightly beaten)
• 1 cup matzo meal or all-purpose flour (more or less as needed)
• 2 tablespoons kosher salt, to taste
• Canola or peanut oil, for frying
• 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
• 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley


• Use a box grater or the grating disk for the food processor to shred the potatoes.
• After you are done shredding the potatoes, you will want to squeeze all of the water out. If you have cheese cloth at your house, you can put all of the potatoes in the cheese cloth and squeeze out the water. (Be sure to keep the potato water.) If not, just do your best with your hands.
• Let the potato water sit undisturbed until the starch has collected on the top. Once this pale layer has formed, you will carefully drain the water and add the starch back to the potatoes.
• At this point, add the flour and coat all of the potatoes.
• Add the rest of the ingredients and make sure everything is well incorporated. The potato mixture should allow you to form the patties without it being too sticky. If you find it to be too sticky, add a little more of the matzo meal or flour.

Ready to start frying:

• Heat about 1/2 an inch of oil in a skillet on medium to high heat. As you go, you can form the patties, they should be around 3-4 inches wide and 1 inch thick.
• Cook the patties until golden brown around the edges, then flip to get the same color on the other side. Have a sheet tray with a paper towel ready so you can put the potatoes on it when they are done.

To serve:

• Let cool for a minute and then add crème fraiche and caviar. It will be a latke you will never forget.

(credit: istockphoto)

Penny Davidi
Cassis in Studio City (will open in 2014)

Penny Davidi, a Persian/Jewish chef, shows off her culinary skills and Middle Eastern roots and recipes on the upcoming Food Network series "Cutthroat Kitchen." Davidi, "Food Network Star" (Season 7) and "Chopped All Star" (season 2), franchised her successful restaurant Pizza Rustica (Beverly Hills) just a few years ago. Today, this busy chef is prepping to open her next restaurant endeavor, Cassis in Studio City. Davidi shared her signature sweet potato latka recipe, which she makes for her own family.

Penny Davidi's Signature Sweet Potato Latkes


• 5 cooked sweet potatoes (using your leftovers from the holiday dinner)
• 1 medium onion (browned)
• 4 eggs, beaten
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
• 1/2 cup matzo meal
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/2 cup canola oil, for frying


• Put potatoes and onion into a bowl or pulse in food processor; add the eggs, matzo meal, nutmeg, curry powder, salt and pepper.
• Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon the mixture into hot oil, forming small pancakes.
• Cook until underside is golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.
• Flip pancakes and cook until other side is golden, about 2 minutes more.

To serve:

• Serve hot with sour cream or applesauce.
• Davidi also suggests a “top your own latka buffet brunch” where she offers guests everything from the classic sour cream or applesauce toppings to peanut butter, jelly, bananas and the very decadent caviar, chives and crème fraiche.

Related: Best Ways To Celebrate Hanukkah in Los Angeles

Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at

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