KA and Amaze in Taste: Talks break down

October 18, 2013 by Henry Benjamin
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Talks between representatives of Sydney catering company Amaze in Taste and the Kashrut Authority over the issuing of a Kosher licence have broken down following a fiery discussion at Bondi Kosher eatery Katzys.

kashrut

Hilton Cohn, a spokesman for Amaze in Taste told J-Wire: “We could not reach an agreement and were at the receiving end of a statement by the KA representative questioning in no uncertain way our trustworthiness. We will go it alone without a KA licence. This can only be good for the community as an alternative method and will result in lower prices.”

But KA president Baron Revelman told J-Wire: “The KA is owed a substantial debt by Passion8 and although the company has been liquidated, we hold personal guarantees by its former directors and will vigorously pursue them through the courts.”

He told J-Wire that the KA is a not for profit organisation and the shortfall of the payment will have to be borne by the community.

Revelman made it clear to J-Wire that any future licences must be protected. He said: “In order that kosher consumers and the community be protected , it has been the practice of the KA for some time now to have a bank guarantee as part of its licence agreements. Any new licensees will be subject to the same conditions and this will not be compromised.”

Hilton Cohn added: “A temporary licence issued to Amaze in Taste by the KA has expired.”

J-Wire understands that Stanley Kahn, a former director of failed caterer Passion8 is employed by Amaze in Taste and his wife Felicia, a former executive employee of Passion8 is a director of separate entity Amaze in Taste.

Comments

10 Responses to “KA and Amaze in Taste: Talks break down”
  1. Baron says:

    Colin,

    If you do find the comment misleading and offensive I suggest your complaint is with the administrator, I simply repeated the words he wrote in his report, it was hardly my opinion. Nobody denies there are difficulties running a business, and more so when one has to comply with Jewish law and the Jewish calendar, but 14 other KA caterers seems to manage, as well as the other KA licensees. What about some sympathy for the unsecured creditors who have been left owed nearly $1 million?

  2. Colin says:

    Baron

    I find your comment regarding the administrator making a handsome profit in August highly misleading and offensive to to the families who worked so hard trying to make a living out of the Passion8 business.

    The Jewish calendar makes running a Kosher catering business extremely difficult.

    You know better than anyone else that August is one of the best months of the year. Due to restrictions as to when functions are possible, there are some months like June and July, when the function revenue is negligible.

    It is time that this debate starts recognising that three hard working families have lost significant capital and their livelyhoods.

    Some sympathy and generosity would be more like the Jewish religion I believe in

    • Steven says:

      Colin,
      What about everyone else they left in debt? And the way they went about doing it?
      As Jews we feel sympathy for them – however the ones who truly need our sympathy at this point are those who are now struggling to cope with the unpaid bills Passion8 has left them.

      • Colin says:

        Steven

        I am very sorry for everyone who has lost money out of this sad episode. The community needs to think this through to ensure that it never happens again.

  3. Benseon Apple says:

    When in doubt, blame the KA. Isn’t that right Brian Shakenovsky?

    The KA provided kashrus supervision for Front Page and Cherry Bim for many, many years, and then for Passion8, without bringing any of those companies “to their knees”. Surprise, surprise that, during an economic downturn, Passion8 also loses money and its unsustainable business model fails. So who should be blamed? The KA of course!

    That’s right, the directors of Passion8 are totally blameless. The inability of the kosher consumer to pay a small fortune for Passion8’s overpriced functions had nothing to do with it. In short, the KA is the evil tiger whose comparatively small charge for supervision (the mashgichim barely earn a salary that they can live on) and its requirement that all meat be purchased locally brought Passion8 “to its knees”.

    Such nonsense you espouse Mr Shakenovsky!

  4. Baron says:

    A simple reading of the Administrator’s report reveals two pertinent facts, firstly that the collapse of Passion8 had nothing to do with The KA. Mr Shakanovsky’s remarks are both false and defamatory. Secondly, page 47 of the Administrator’s Report to Creditors, a publicly available document, shows that the Administrator managed to make a handsome profit from trading Passion8 during his Administration period, under exactly the same “rigid and autocratic” terms and conditions to which Mr Shakenovsky refers.

    The KA works hand in hand with caterers and communal organisations to faithfully serve the Jewish community. We would suggest Mr Shakanovsky takes the time to talk to communal leaders at for example the JCA and COA to find out the truth.

    The only area where the Kashrut Authority will not compromise is in assuring that all food served is kosher to the highest standards, thereby satisfying the entire community.

    Over the last six weeks The Kashrut Authority bent over backwards to assist the start up of this old/new entity. The KA is a not-for-profit communal service organisation and cannot recoup losses from profits. It has to protect its employees, and ultimately the community (who ultimately pays for kashrut) and is entitled to impose normal and reasonable commercial conditions. Verbal guarantees are of course meaningless.

    Like all other KA licensed caterers, The KA asked the licensee to provide a guarantee for the amount of fees that the caterer would incur over a 3 week period. Every KA licensed caterer currently meets this condition. Amaze In Taste’s sole director refused to do so.

  5. Brian Shakenovsky says:

    After the highly professional kosher catering company Passion 8 was brought to its knees by a number of factors including the rigid and autocratic approach of the NSW Kashrut authority the community has worked hard to put together a new company to service the commercial and philanthropic requirements of our community.
    I am sad to see that once again the KA has found a way to stifle this new fledgling company.
    I have always had a kosher home and kosher functions but am reconsidering whether I want to be subject to the harsh and unrelenting approach of the NSW K A.
    It is such a pity that in difficult economic times when it beyond the budget of so many Jewish families to keep kosher the K A does not appear to work with the community and caterers to facilitate the observance of kashrut.

  6. Jacob says:

    Hilton…well said. Separation from the KA can only bring improved pricing to customers. An increase in the number of acceptable kosher suppliers (in the eyes of those that don’t adhere to the KA) will naturally drive down costs as in any competitive (non-monopolistic) environment.
    The KA is a law unto itself and has really become less and less relevant in the eyes of many people (not all) in our community.
    I will gladly back the Kahn’s new venture even without supervision of the KA.
    I hope that there are some independent rabbi’s out there with the beitzim to back them also.

    • Steven says:

      Funny J-Wire how the posts times are 7:00 pm AEST and 8:15 am AEST.

      I sure hope you guys are posting from a different timezone with all the ‘Kosher’ knowledge you have.

      One Q for both of you, have you read M.Holtzmans report ?

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