2015-02-18 / Movie Review

Deli Man Preserves Heritage Of Kosher Delights


Erik Greenberg Anjou’s film, Deli Man, explores Jewish culture as it reflects the heart of a vital ethnic history. It will be in theaters starting February 27. 
Poster http://cohenmedia.net Erik Greenberg Anjou’s film, Deli Man, explores Jewish culture as it reflects the heart of a vital ethnic history. It will be in theaters starting February 27. Poster http://cohenmedia.net In the late 1930s there were approximately 1,700 kosher delicatessens in the United States. Today, there are less than 150. For lovers of hot matzo ball soup, hot pastrami on rye and a nice hot open brisket platter this is bad news. One documentary filmmaker has captured the essence of the fading culinary tradition and the deli owners who have sacrificed and worked hard to keep this beloved food alive and hopefully popular enough to pass on to the next generation.

Erik Greenberg Anjou’s film, Deli Man, explores Jewish culture as it reflects the heart of a vital ethnic history. In Houston, Texas, third-generation deli man Ziggy Gruber has built arguably one of the finest delicatessen restaurants in the US, Kenny & Ziggy’s. His story – augmented by the stories of iconic delis such as Katz’s, 2nd Avenue Deli, Nate ‘n’ Al (in Beverly Hills), Carnegie Deli, Stage, and Ben’s Best in Forest Hills—embodies a tradition indelibly linked to its savory, nostalgic foods.

In an interview with the Gazette, Ben’s Best owner Jay Parker spoke about the fragile existence of the kosher deli and preserving the traditional way it’s made and yielding to changing times.

“We have no plans in changing things,” said Parker. “It is the way that it is. This food has such a long and rich history and changing it in any way will truly mark the end of the kosher deli.”

Ben’s Best has been serving the Forest Hills and Rego Park community for 70 years. As to the future of great deli food and the establishments that make them possible, Parker feels confident.

“There will always be a place for us,” he said.

Deli Man allows the viewers to indulge in the iconic deli foods and learn about the traditions that make deli one of America’s great cuisines.

Interviewed in the documentary are Larry King, Jerry Stiller, Ziggy Gruber, Freddie Roman, and Fyvush Finkel.

See Deli Man in movie theaters starting February 27. For more information, visit CohenMedia.net.

—Jason D. Antos

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.