The 3-minute interview with Ryan Schwartz

The 22-year-old Mission district resident is a semifinalist in the Simply Manischewitz Live Cook-Off, which starts at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Hilton Hotel, 750 Kearny St., San Francisco. Two winners from the round will go to the finals in New York City, where they will compete for a $25,000 grand prize.

What recipe earned you a semifinalist spot in the cook-off? Easy Matzo Ball Dumplings.

How did you go about entering? I was on the Internet, looking for a cooking contest, and I found Manischewitz and thought it would be perfect. I thought it would be fun to do something with the products I grew up with.

What was the inspiration for the recipe? Jewish people really love Chinese food. It turns out it works really well to fill matzo balls with a chopped filling. I used portobello mushrooms and carrots. Also, I want to thank my friend Matthew.

What does the contest’s prize package include? Cash, kitchen equipment from GE and $3,000 to $4,000 in Manischewitz products.

That sounds like a lot. What will you do with it? I’m sure I’ll find it a good home.

What’s your cooking background, and what do youcook besides matzo balls?

I’ve been cooking since I was 14 or 15. I make a good pecan pie. I like to cook anything with fresh ingredients.

What’s your favorite food? My grandmother’s brisket, Thai coconut soup and anything with spinach or artichokes.

What do you do when you’re not creating recipes? I’m an outreach coordinator for the Respect for All Project. It’s a nonprofit that works in education to address issues of prejudice.

lkatz@examiner.com


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