A freshly baked challah, covered with sesame seeds and flaky salt, was a few feet down the counter. Just a few feet away, a freshly-baked challah was covered with sesame and flaky sea salt. Mr. Cohen apologized but was firm. The bread and pastry were with him when he went to “Good Morning America” to discuss his new cookbook “I Could Nosh : Classic Jewish Recipes Revamped For Every Day,” which is the follow-up of his New York Times bestseller “Jewish: Reinvented recipes From a Modern Mensch,” published in 2021. “People come to
of the time.”
This is why he and Alex Shapiro – a financial advisor – keep a dining table for six. Cohen described it as “Little Girl Syndrome”. His mother and sister who live nearby are always popping in on a whim. His close friend, the comedian Alex Edelman, “will call and be like, ‘Ahhhhh,'” as a preface to his unplanned imminent arrival, said Mr. Cohen, who is more friendly than a golden retriever and who, you suspect, believes there is no situation so dire that it can’t be set right with a latke tartine or two.Jake Cohen, 29Occupation:
“If I’m going somewhere, I can just look out our window and decide if I want to take the bridge, the tunnel, my bike or the subway.”
Mr. Mr. Cohen was born in Bayside, Queens and grew up on Long Island. Elizabette Cohen, his mother, bought a Murray Hill studio for him as an investment after he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. In 2015, he was joined by Mr. Shapiro whom he had met through Hinge. After buying the apartment, they renovated it and eventually outgrew its 400 square feet. They sold the property in 2019. The plan was to buy in Brooklyn Heights.Right around the same time, Ms. Cohen, who is divorced, sold the family home on Long Island. She had been thinking of returning to Forest Hills where she grew up and lived with her daughter Jamie. Mr. Cohen, however, had another idea for Mom. He wanted her to move somewhere that was convenient to her freelance work as a veterinarian and also in the middle of her children’s houses. It’s a very up-and coming place. He said, “Look into it.” Ms. Her enthusiasm for this temporary perch was contagious: her daughter soon decided to rent in the same building. She was so excited about this temporary home that her daughter decided to rent the same building. “Then we had this moment of, ‘What the hell are we doing?'” Mr. Cohen recalled.
They pulled back, instead renting a one-bedroom apartment on the 22nd floor of the building that was home to Mr. Cohen’s mother (44th floor) and his sister (12th floor). It was like a pandemic, Mr. Cohen recalled. “We refer to it as the urban kibbutz.”Last year, his mother and sister moved into different buildings; they’re now both a block away from him. Mr. Cohen and Mr. Shapiro moved last year, as well — to a two-bedroom apartment down the hall from their one-bedroom apartment.
“It was during one of the Covid waves, so our movers canceled on us,” Mr. Cohen said. I literally grabbed a wheelbarrow from the doorman to move most of our furniture. It was the most masculine act I have ever done. “We’ll turn off the lights and sit on the couch and stare at Manhattan just staring at us.” We’ll sit on the couch at night and stare at Manhattan staring back at us. The apartment is a modern, clean backdrop to objects that are valuable because of their provenance and age. The kiddush from Mr. Cohen’s great-grandparents’ wedding is displayed on the top of the bureau in his primary bedroom. It sits next to a braided challah challah and pomegranates made from glass and ceramic from Israel. Shapiro gifted Mr. Cohen crystal candlesticks on his 25th Birthday. They are placed in the middle of the table. “None” of the candlesticks in my family survived the Holocaust, Mr. Cohen stated. “But now, we’ll be able to pass something down.”
And shortly his maternal grandmother from the Caribbean will move to Florida “where she belongs,” said Mr. Cohen. “She says, ‘Oh I have these mother of pearl fruit knives that you are going to have take.'”
He will put them to immediate usage. His food and drink is hospitality. There are regular game nights and at-home dinners with other couples. He loves his apartment but would move “in a heartbeat” if he could. “You’ve got your go-bag ready,” Mr. Cohen said. “Your dream apartment could go on the market tomorrow.”
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