Sept. 13--The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will soon be serving up kosher foods for the first time, joining cities like New York and Chicago in catering to travelers who often have to pack their own meals.
The kosher meals will be rolled out Sept. 24 under the Chef Allen's 2 Go label in a refrigerated wall area in Concourse F in Terminal 3. They will include a selection of sandwiches, salads and baked goods, individually wrapped, sealed and bearing kosher labeling.
Hollywood-based Kosher Central Market will source, prepare and certify the meals that will be delivered fresh to Susser's airport concession. The packaged food will bear the Orthodox Rabbinic Board of Broward and Palm Beach counties seal, certifying it's kosher.
"Everything coming here is going to be made the morning of delivery," said Yossi "Joseph" Gopin of Kosher Central, which has its own deli, bakery and butcher shop.
"I know when I fly it's a challenge for me to find kosher meals in airports," said Gopin, who has strong ties to the local kosher community and is observant himself.
Menachem Lubinsky, founding publisher of Kosher Today, a trade publication on kosher for the food industry, said he's encouraged that the Fort Lauderdale airport is making the move to add kosher food.
"It's an airport that's heavily traveled by people who observe kosher," he noted.
JetBlue Airways, which operates frequent flights to the New York area, operates from the concourse where kosher food will be landing soon.
Lubinsky hopes others will follow Fort Lauderdale's move. "Airports have not yet caught on in the same way the sports stadiums have in accommodating people with kosher needs," he said.
While some items with kosher certification have popped up at airport concessions in recent years, such as Sabra Hummus products, a kosher sandwich is harder to find, said Menachem Lubinsky, founding publisher of Kosher Today, a trade publication on kosher for the food industry.
At Miami International Airport, for example a Subway restaurant in Concourse E before security offers a kosher sandwich and the ice cream is considered kosher, an airport spokesman said Thursday.
Since 2009, Susser has worked with the airport's terminal restaurant operator, Buffalo, N.Y.-based Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services to bring his signature food offerings there. Asides from his sandwich and salad kiosks throughout the terminals, travelers can also find a Chef Allen's Burger Bar in Terminal 4.
"There are a lot of kosher [observant] people who've never had an opportunity to eat here," said Chef Allen Susser, who has partnered with a local kosher grocery to provide the new food offerings. "There's a large population that's traveling that does want kosher, and there are others who it will appeal to such as those who observe Hallal or vegetarians."
Given its mission to provide quality fresh food to the airport's travelers, Susser seemed the perfect fit to explore bringing this kosher option to Fort Lauderdale, said Jean-Pierre Turgot, general manager for Delaware North's restaurant operations at the airport.
"We love our customers and understand the demographics," added Turgot, noting that customer surveys revealed there's demand for kosher meals.
Word of the new airport offering was favorably met Thursday by at least one observant kosher traveler Sholom Dovber who was flying home to Brooklyn, N.Y. from Fort Lauderdale.
'It's always good not to have to worry about packing something kosher to eat to travel with."
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Copyright 2013 - Sun Sentinel
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