The fast-paced world of Skill’It on Kosherdotcom has mesmerized us all. The dishes, the action, the judges, Elon Gold…the show is keeping us all on our toes while dazzling us with incredible cooking skills and impressive dishes.
But what you see on camera is only half the story.
We talked to the Skill’It contestants, Noah, Moshe, Daniel, and Ben, to find out what really went down on set of the most exhilarating kosher cooking competition in kosher history.
Kosherdotcom: What was the dish you were most nervous (and proud) about making?
Noah: Definitely the first thing I made. I was nervous that it would not turn out great, in particular that I would burn the meat…. especially as a vegetarian.
Moshe: In the first round, I was really proud how my salsa fresca turned out…it was really the perfect side and perfect salsa for the dish. In the second round, I thought the flavors of the mushroom ragu were really spot on.
Ben: My tortillas!!! Wow, that was the biggest challenge for me. And when I saw the judges’ faces when they took that first bite, I really thought I won them over.
KDC: This is for Noah. How was it for you being a vegetarian and a chef at the same time?
Noah: I’ve always been vegetarian. My mother is vegetarian, I grew up in a vegetarian house. I only started cooking meat when I went out to university, and it was a slow process. When I got married, we cooked Shabbat for more people more frequently and over the past few years, my wife has really been taste testing for me. I remember the first time I ate chicken soup was when she was not feeling well… It’s been a journey, and she has always been my taste tester and gives me lots of great feedback.
KDC: Do you hang out together between scenes? Do you share recipes and techniques?
Daniel: Yes and no. Between scenes was more of a serious reflection and breather for us, but during lunch and at the end of the day, we hung out and had some wine and cigars together. Great guys.
Moshe: We reviewed the day and talked about how each segment went. I personally connected with my dear friend Ben Laniado, and we spoke about cooking and different BBQ techniques we do at home.
Ben: Yes, after that first round we all hung out and understood what the judges liked about each other’s dishes. We also had some leftovers, so it was fun to taste what we presented.
Noah: We kind of shared strategies on how we were going to approach a challenge. Also, I was very impressed by some of Daniel’s techniques and how he had done things. Some of the things he made were very impressive, including the thought process behind them.
KDC: Does Elon Gold make you laugh in between scenes, too?
Ben: Way too much. Probably made me slip up a few times, for sure.
Moshe: Yes, Elon is funny all the time. We have a history that dates back to even before the first round of Skill’It. So, we definitely like going at it with each other.
Daniel: Yes! We spoke for a little while and shared some of our personal lives together. Very funny and down-to-earth guy.
Noah: He’s just a great guy to hang out with. He’s not just a funny guy, he’s a great guy overall.
KDC: How do you deal with the stress of the time constraints?
Moshe: I personally am not great at time management. That is one of my biggest weaknesses. So the time clicking up against me was definitely the hardest thing for me to deal with.
Daniel: Focus on the task. I executed each component the fastest I could and had everything organized and ready for plating.
Ben: Do one part of the dish at a time.
Noah: I think I went into each challenge with kind of a game plan of when I was supposed to have each of the bits done by. In the Denver steak challenge, I knew I needed 40 minutes for the whole thing, but I gave myself 45 minutes to an hour for a little wiggle room. But I do well with stress. I like the pressure. It was kind of fun.
KDC: How were the meats from Marble & Grain?
Moshe: It was the first time I actually tasted their meat and had a chance to work with it. You can definitely tell and see and taste the difference in their product. It is a much higher quality product.
Ben: The meat is incredible. I still tell people about the crescent steak I made between scenes. Everyone loved it. I wish that was a part of the challenges.
Daniel: I thought Marble and Grains products were very high quality with beautiful marbling and most importantly, amazing taste.
Noah: So obviously (as a vegetarian), I didn’t taste the product, but from how it looked- the quality level and the cuts were just really impressive. The quality of the meat would be second to none.
KDC: How was your experience using the Kosher Cook utensils?
Noah: I took a few things home. We use the parve knives, the dairy scrubber, and the meat brush for Shabbat use. A friend of mine swears by the parve peeler. It’s a really sharp and great product.
Moshe: The knives were spot on, very sharp, and they cut well. Everything that we used from their utensils were very spot on.
Ben: Being able to grab whatever I wanted with no worries was so nice. It was the first time ever that I didn’t need to think about, “can I use this…”, etc.
KDC: What part of the show excites you the most? The cooking? The judges? The products?
Ben: Number one, cooking. Then, the judges. We all had the same products to work with so that was an even playing field.
Daniel: I was there to cook. Nothing excites me more than cooking.
Moshe: Going into each challenge and figuring out the pieces. I think the way they did this season was really cool, where you had to showcase the judges’ dishes, but also put your own little spin on it. And I definitely feel like I did that.
Noah: I really enjoy cooking. I really enjoy games and competitions, and the whole format was just so fun. I had a great time throughout! I almost wish the cameras weren’t on, because that’s what made it complicated sometimes. But I really enjoyed the cooking, and I enjoyed showcasing my work, and I really enjoyed the game.
KDC: What would winning the competition mean to you?
Daniel: Winning for me would be like a cherry on top of a cake. I believe everyone has a purpose and talent. If you are hustling to reach your potential, then in my book you are true winner.
Ben: The wine and meat is cool but to show everyone I know that I can cook would be a game changer.
Noah: It would mean a lot to me. You know, cooking meat is not necessarily everything. At the same time, I can cook it, and I didn’t have to have the experience to do so. It’s a vindication as a home chef that you don’t need to leave the cooking at home to just the women. Men can help out, as well. A really important part of my family and me is how we share our responsibilities.
Moshe: Redemption for getting knocked out of the first season of Skill’It. But also, just as a lover of meat and wine, it would definitely make me very very happy! And save me a few bucks.
To watch this season of Skill’It click here.