Food, Flirting, and Filming – How JArts™ Met the Brass Sisters
By Laura Mandel
Just over a year ago, we received an email from producer Bruce Seidel, introducing us to the Brass sisters, Marilyn and Sheila Brass. We were immediately intrigued by these adorable local sisters of cookbook fame, and figured we ought to meet them. We invited them over for coffee, and between their seriously fudgy brownies, stories of growing up in the shtetl of Winthrop, and their incessant smiling (mostly to flirt with Joey), we were all smitten with the ladies who would soon be known as The Food Flirts. As we learned about the idea for the new show from producers Bruce and Denise, we didn’t yet know what it might be, but we knew that it would be on PBS – and that we had to be involved with whatever this affable duo was doing! When Marilyn told us about their massive collection of antique copper molds, I just knew these ladies were the real deal.
After a few months of conversations and connections with local restaurants and performers, Bruce told us that he would be coming to town from LA to film the first few episodes. At the end of a week of filming, Bruce invited us to join them at a “party” at their house, a few scenes to be taped at their home as the finale of the first episode. On a snowy day, we trekked through Cambridge snowbanks to get Marilyn and Sheila’s adorable place – a modest house, filled with a neon “Marilyn’s Café” sign, 100+ copper baking tins, and a cool 1920’s butchers scale. All alongside a mountain of tater tots with chickpeas and pickled onion, an innovation they call Tater Tot Papri Chaat (recipe here).
Watch the first episode and you can see the rest of the story. And yes, it was a blast. And yes, that was an amazing full Bollywood performance in their modest living room!
And with that, here are a few important Brass Sister tips and facts:
· If you didn’t manage to make honey cake for Rosh Hashana, it’s not too late to make Grandma Goldberg’s honey cake from Baking with the Brass Sisters Yom Kippur break-fast.
· Here’s a little gem from NPR, A Tale of Two Cookies, the story of how this Orthodox Jewish Brass family celebrated Christmas
· You can meet these sassy sisters on October 3rd at the Stonehurst Estate. Watch their show, taste dishes by their restaurant friends, and schmooze at the Beyond Bubbie’s Kitchen style evening. This event is almost sold out, so get your tickets fast!