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Our brand new vegetarian Café

Manchester Jewish Museum welcome desk and café, Joel Chester Fildes, 13 June 2021

With two weeks to go until our reopening on Friday 2 July, we are delighted to reveal an exclusive  “first look” at our brand new museum café  and launch menu. Located front and centre of the Museum’s new entrance,  overlooking Cheetham Hill, Manchester’s most diverse neighbourhood, the museum café  will open daily from 10am seven days a week  to serve a contemporary vegetarian kosher-style menu.

With food being at the heart of the Jewish home and Jewish culture, our café will offer a welcoming home-from-home atmosphere serving a nourishing, comforting menu. Visitors will experience first-hand the tasty delights of a Jewish diet whilst learning about the history and traditions of Jewish food. The majority of our food will be prepared on site using kosher, vegetarian and largely locally sourced whole-food ingredients, though will not be prepared under Beth Din supervision. All the food served is suitable for vegetarians and there will also be a range of kosher pre-packaged snacks available. The café will offer a seasonal menu including seasonal ‘specials’ surrounding Jewish Festivals such as Chanukah and Shavuot. Future seasonal menus will be updated to showcase a variety of dishes originating from other Jewish communities across the world.

From Friday 2 July, our café  will offer the following menu, inspired by Ashkenazi and Sephardi style recipes (the latter giving a nod to the Spanish and Portuguese roots of the our Grade II* listed synagogue).

  • Lentil soup with spinach & drizzle of zesty lemon oil served with pitta.
    Lentil soups are found in both Ashkenazi and Sephardi food culture. This version is inspired by a Sephardi recipe and will be served with pitta which is also associated with Sephardi food.  
  • Vegetarian cholent served with challah bread.
    Cholent is traditionally a meat stew cooked slowly over a long period of time and served for a midday Sabbath Meal on Saturdays. It is Ashkenazi, and will be accompanied with Challah bread – traditional bread to eat over the Sabbath.
  • Bagel with shmear & carrot lox.
    This is our playful take inspired by the Ashkenazi classic combo of smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels. Soft bagel, topped with vegan cream cheese and carrot lox, fresh red onion, beef tomato with capers and fresh dill.
  • Falafel, served with homemade hummus.
    Accompanied by tahini sauce, zhug, chopped salad, seasonal salad leaves and a pickled chilli pepper served in a pitta or as a mezze with an additional salad option replacing the pitta. Inspired by street food eaten in Israel and enjoyed by people from many cultures. 

Championing local independent producers, Manchester Jewish Museum’s café  will serve Abe & Co. Coffee, a Jewish-owned micro roastery based in Whitefield, and Brew Tea, a Manchester based Tea Company. Manchester based drinks manufacturers, Steep Soda, will provide handmade fizzy pop. Bagels and challah bread will be provided by the North Manchester Jewish-owned State Fayre Bakery

In addition to the above menu, we will also serve a variety of cakes, bakes and fresh fruit throughout the day and launch a programme of food events and workshops to be held in our new Learning Kitchen. In the new Learning Kitchen, schools and community groups can cook, bake and explore Jewish food culture together. Our programme will also include events and activities that celebrate food and its role in Jewish culture starting with the Eat the Archives programme of events this summer.

Eat the Archives in the Learning Kitchen, image by Chris Payne

Developed over two years by ‘theatre-chef’ in residence Leo Burtin, ‘Eat the Archives’ explores how food can help bring the museum’s collection to life through taste and sharing stories. On Wednesday 23rd June Eat the Archives: Live will take place in the museum’s Learning Kitchen. Participants will enjoy a three-course meal served with a side of stories from the museum’s collection. Throughout July Greater Manchester residents will be able to book Eat the Archives: at Home where Leo and museum’s Creative Producer, Dr Laura Seddon, will help you host the event in your own home, serving guests a three-course meal as they explore Manchester’s rich Jewish history.

Manchester Jewish Museum reopens on Friday 2 July following a £6m capital development redesign and extension, funded in part by a £3m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. In addition to our stunning brand new café, designed by Keith Winton Design Limited, and learning kitchen, our new museum features a gallery, collection store and shop as well as the stunning restoration of our 1874 Spanish and Portuguese synagogue. The brand new museum has been designed by Citizens Design Bureau, led by founder and Director Katy Marks.

Tickets are now on sale to visit the new Manchester Jewish Museum which is also opening with a world premiere of Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost’s new installation The long waited, weighted gathering as part of this year’s Manchester International Festival.

Manchester Jewish Museum will open seven days a week from Friday 2 July. The café is open from 10am – 4pm daily, and will be open later when the museum hosts late events including its Thursday Lates programme later this year.

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