Simchas and Shabbats all wrapped up in a box

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Simchas and Shabbats all wrapped up in a box

Brigit Grant speaks to Jonathan Robinson of Jasmine Catering about delivering sumptuous meals at affordable prices direct to the door…

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor

Even for a people who leave their front doors ajar for an angel, opening it to be greeted by  a Friday night dinner is unusual.

Not so for Jonathan Robinson of Jasmine Catering as he – or one of his crew – place Shabbat in a Box on your doorstep.

Similarly, Simcha in a Box is another of Jonathan’s quirky offerings and has just been joined by Kiddush in a Box, which will appeal to those who want a breakfast or brunch feast after the now permissible synagogue-based barmitzvah.

Inspired out of necessity when Covid-19 struck, the Glaswegian event caterer with a head for logistics, decided in March that the end of big-scale celebrations would not mean the end of his business. 

Getting delicious kosher food to the people became his mantra, so with Passover looming, Jonathan joined forces with the United Synagogue and served 800 meals to households. 

“And it was all delivered in two days,” he notes with legitimate pride.

 Now Jonathan is rarely out of a delivery van as further restrictions on events have forced people to realise simcha parties might seem permanently on hold, but they still want a meal to mark the occasion.

“Clients who postponed or rescheduled their simcha from May until December can’t party as planned, but they want good food on that special day and that’s where Jasmine Catering excels.”

Presentation is key for the company, and enormous care is taken to ensure that the food – be it rosemary and garlic marinated lamb ribs or wine braised brisket with butternut squash – doesn’t tumble or rearrange itself in the box on its journey.

“Under normal circumstances, it is the flare of the final finish to a plate of food that makes it look appetising, and that is what we have mastered in our delivered dishes.”

Comments certainly support his claim, with diners cooing about the displays of vegetables and salads around the meat. 

The set menus for Friday Night Dinner (such as soup with kneidels, chicken with all the trimmings and crumble) and Shabbat Lunch (including cholent, kugel and schnitzels with epic salads) feature every dish you want or didn’t know you did until you see it.

They are also available at the deliciously low price of £25 and £17 per head, as Jonathan isn’t a kosher caterer without empathy.

“It has to be affordable, because people are worried about money now and I’m sensitive to that,” says Jonathan, who is confident his company will come out on the other side of this global health crisis.

“Clients who were originally working with us have scaled back and accepted the circumstances.

“They have even taken to delivering their meal of choice to other family members so they can all eat the same food, just at different tables. It’s a different kind of celebration, but it will be remembered. And not just because of the great food.”

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