Posted in .

AAPI and Jewish Communities Deepen Ties at Kenny and Ziggy’s

  • June 5, 2024

Vanarin Kuch and Sara Brook

Forty members of Houston’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community, and Houston’s Jewish community gathered at Kenny and Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen May 29 to break bread together, learn more about each other, and celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage month and Jewish American Heritage Month.

Participants enjoyed tasty deli food, discussed their heritages and how that has affected their lives, and listened to two venerated Houston chefs talk about their personal journeys, including how their backgrounds influenced the dishes they created.

Koffeteria owner and Chef Vanarin Kuch spoke about his mother’s struggle to survive the concentration camps of Cambodia, and how that and the recipes she brought with her to American influence his cooking today.  Dessert Gallery owner and Chef Sara Brook, a fifth-generation Houstonian, didn’t have an immigration story to tell, but she spoke of her lifelong love of sweets and baking.   Even as a child, she baked for friends and family, and she decided that would be a sweeter profession than the legal career she was studying for.

Both Kuch and Brook spoke of the importance of their families and the influence they had on their lives and professions.

Participants in the event loved hearing the chefs’ stories and learning more about each other.