Chef Mark Strausman Of Freds On How To Celebrate Passover The Barneys Way

by Dena Silver

Forget about breakfast at Tiffany’s. This weekend, why not spend Passover at Barneys? The iconic department store is offering up their chic take on the holiday meal at Freds Madison Avenue. The menu, which was created by executive chef Mark Strausman, features lots of classics, like homemade matzoh, brisket, and macaroons, plus a few modern touches. Plus, Freds offers a catering option, so you can enjoy this meal under Barneys’ roof or your own. We quizzed the chef on how he celebrates the holiday in style…

What’s your favorite way to spice up a plain piece of matzoh?
Hands down, PB&J. Can’t go wrong with that!

What’s your least favorite Passover dish?
I don’t really have a least favorite, but I’d have to say matzoh ball soup is my least favorite if anything. I’ve had it every year of my life since I can remember. I’ve been eating and now cooking it for so long!

OK, but for us matzoh ball soup fans out there, what’s your secret to whipping up a tasty batch?
Time! The chicken soup must be rich and fortified, so letting it simmer slowly for about six to seven hours is key and will keep it from getting cloudy. Also, a little chicken fat in each matzoh ball is delicious.

Will you be perusing the Barney’s floor for a new seder outfit this year?
Seder is all about being casual and being comfortable enough to sit back and enjoy good company. I’ll probably be picking up a light Brunello Cucinelli cashmere sweater for the late arrival of Spring. Plus, I’ve had my eye on some Isaia low-top sneakers. 

What the most stylish seder you’ve ever encountered?
A while back, we catered a Passover dinner for our of our clients and they hosted a full reenactment of the Exodus! There were stuffed serpents, animals, and all of the guests came in full costume. It was fantastic!


Photos by Rick Barroso

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