I first interviewed Warren Rosenfeld of Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli on a cold, very wet day in Ocean City, Maryland back December of 2015. It was a fantastic culinary and sensory experience and the C.C. crew and I were excited when we were able to schedule his food truck as the subject of our second segment in our month-long “Food Truck Focus”.
We went in knowing a few things – 1: the food would be incredible, 2: the weather was going to be beautiful and 3: I would be conducting the interview with Warren inside the truck as it rolled from one location to another – a first for both myself and the C.C. crew.
The on the road experience was sort of like standing in a neat, little kitchen in the middle of a small airplane with intense turbulence – but with a lot of fun. You just steady yourself against a shelf and duck your head when the potato chip bags come sliding back and forth along the racks.
All kidding aside, spending time talking with Warren is always a good thing. He’s charismatic, witty, incredibly knowledgeable (he worked for years as a powerful DC attorney, head of an IT company and developer before coming “out of retirement” to open his deli in Ocean City a little over three years ago.)
Once we arrived at the location (the new Garden Shack Farm’s Farmers Market on Beaver Dam Road in Lewes), it didn’t take long for hungry, kosher food loving patrons to line up at the truck eager to dig into Rosenfeld’s delicious offerings of hot Corned Beef and Pastrami sandwiches on rye with slaw, authentic Brooklyn style knish and more.
Twice when I was outside of the truck chatting with Warren about the experience, two separate patrons came up to tell him how incredible and authentic his food was and how they had not experienced anything like it since they were kids from neighborhoods in a place and time far away from where we were standing.
They were sincere, they had connected with the food emotionally and they were thanking him for the experience. That was important and grounding for Warren. In fact, he told me that that was one of his favorite aspects about this line of work – being able to bring that food memory back to life for people.
Warren described the experience as a “mini-picnic” for the patrons who were clearly pleased with their lunch selections. As I sat there myself, on the bumper of the Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli Food Truck, enjoying a delicious corned beef on rye, a hot knish and a cold Dr. Brown’s root beer, on a spectacular, sunny and crisp spring afternoon, I realized that Warren was right. It was like a mini-picnic and it made me very happy indeed.
I guess I had connected with the food emotionally as well…