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CALTECH KITCHEN - IT'S KOSHER.



Byline: Martin S. Gonzalez Staff Writer

The California Institute of Technology California Institute of Technology, at Pasadena, Calif.; originally for men, became coeducational in 1970; founded 1891 as Throop Polytechnic Institute; called Throop College of Technology, 1913–20.  in Pasadena prides itself in attracting the best scientific minds in the country. In fact, it is said that the university built a $70,000 kitchen just to make sure one of those minds would attend Caltech. Determined to win over a promising graduate student who kept a kosher kosher [Heb.,=proper, i.e., fit for use], in Judaism, term used in rabbinic literature to mean what is ritually correct, but most widely applied to food that is in accordance with dietary laws based on Old Testament passages (primarily Lev. 11 and Deut. 14).  diet, the university built a kosher kitchen within its dining facilities to accommodate his dietary needs.

With such specialized service, of course the promising graduate student decided on Caltech. The school is now one of the only universities on the West Coast that provides students with a fully operational kosher kitchen and dining facility, certified by the Rabbinical rab·bin·i·cal   also rab·bin·ic
adj.
Of, relating to, or characteristic of rabbis.



[From obsolete rabbin, rabbi, from French, from Old French rabain, probably from Aramaic
 Council of California.

``The university was very accommodating in terms of setting up the kitchen,'' said certified kosher chef Joel Weinberger, who is the one-man team that supervises the kosher facilities. Although the space is small, only 70 square feet, Caltech pulled out all the stops, stocking the kitchen with all new appliances, utensils, pots and pans.

New equipment made the job of creating a kosher cooking environment much easier, said Weinberger, because there was no need to kosherize used pots and appliances. Used equipment would have to be kosherized through a process depending on the item's use.

``With a pot, for example, that is normally used to boil water, I would boil water in it and let the water boil over,'' Weinberger said. ``After sitting idle for 24 hours Adv. 1. for 24 hours - without stopping; "she worked around the clock"
around the clock, round the clock
, the pot would be rendered kosher.

``It's really a matter of exposing the item to its most extreme use and then letting it sit idle for at least 24 hours,'' explained Weinberger.

Weinberger, who is also a certified kosher inspector, prepares between nine and a dozen lunches and dinners for students daily throughout the school term. It's a small operation, but Weinberger also takes special orders from campus faculty and prepares meals for Orthodox Jews on staff at the nearby Jet Propulsion jet propulsion, propulsion of a body by a force developed in reaction to the ejection of a high-speed jet of gas. Jet Propulsion Engines


The four basic parts of a jet engine are the compressor, turbine, combustion chamber, and propelling nozzles.
 Lab.

The kitchen, now in its third year of operation, is also accepted as hallal, meaning it meets Muslim dietary requirements as well. Three Muslim students on campus this year are taking advantage of the kosher meal plan.

More than simply maintaining a kosher environment, preparing kosher meals involves following a complex code of what foods are permissible and how they are prepared, said Weinberger. Familiar tenets of the kosher diet include never mixing dairy and meat products in meals, as well as the exclusion of pork and shellfish shellfish, popular name for certain edible mollusks (see Mollusca), e.g., oysters, clams, and scallops, and for certain edible crustaceans, e.g., crabs, lobsters, and shrimps. All are aquatic invertebrates with shells; they are not fish. , but the list of rules is long. Most critical to the kosher diet are the rules that govern how permissible meats are butchered and prepared for consumption, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 dietary laws dietary law
n. Judaism
The body of regulations prescribing the kinds and combinations of food that may be eaten.
 laid out in the Torah.

Each meal prepared by Weinberger is also specially packaged with a seal from the Rabbinical Council ensuring its kosher content.

Because meat and dairy products dairy products dairy nplproduits laitier

dairy products dairy nplMilchprodukte pl, Molkereiprodukte pl 
 must be prepared in separate facilities and he is limited by space, Weinberger maintains a nondairy non·dair·y  
adj.
Containing no milk or dairy products: nondairy coffee creamer. 
 kitchen, opting to prepare lots of beef, chicken and fish dishes.

The kitchen is kept under lock and key, to ensure its kosher integrity, and Weinberger is always present during meal preparations, as mandated by the Rabbinical Council. The kitchen is also inspected on a regular basis by the council.

``The university staff is extremely devoted to its students,'' said Rabbi Nissim Davidi, Kashrut kash·rut also kash·ruth  
n.
1. The state of being kosher.

2. The body of Jewish dietary law.



[Mishnaic Hebrew ka
 Administrator at the Rabbinical Council. ``We are proud to work with this premier institution to provide first-class kosher supervision.''

CAPTION(S):

3 photos

Photo:

(1) Chef Joel Weinberger: ``The university was very accommodating in terms of setting up the kitchen.''

(2 -- 3) The 70-square-foot kosher kitchen at Caltech, one of only a few of its kind on the West Coast, is strictly supervised and prepares only nondairy meals.

James Ku/Staff Photographer
COPYRIGHT 2001 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:L.A. Life
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 25, 2001
Words:632
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