Andrew Krausz, a 46-year-old British lawyer-turned-culinary visionary, is on a mission to elevate kosher dining to Michelin-star status. As the founder of the pop-up kosher restaurant The Fire Place in London, Krausz has long felt that kosher cuisine can rise above its current standards.
“The directive with kosher food is either to save money or to make money,” Krausz said in an interview with Unpacked. “How many of these establishments are actually driven by excellence and a desire to provide the very best they can? The answer is very few.”
His passion for food and belief in the potential of kosher dining led him to establish two unique gastronomic ventures: Blue Smoke, a glatt kosher smokehouse, and The Fire Place.
Krausz has always been passionate about cooking, but said that genuinely exciting kosher dining experiences had been few and far between for him.
A full-time aviation lawyer by profession, Krausz’s culinary journey began in earnest during a 2017 trip to the U.S. There, he was introduced to the robust flavors of smoked meat at Milt, a Chicago kosher smokehouse.
Krausz was astounded by the intensity of the flavors; Texas-style barbecue was virtually non-existent in the U.K.
This experience inspired him to build his own smokehouse in London, which he named “Blue Smoke.” The venture quickly gained traction through word of mouth, with demand frequently outstripping supply.
He has also embraced innovative delivery methods, once shipping his smoked meats and fish via private jet and yacht within six hours, as reported by Jewish News.
Krausz’s culinary success led him to launch The Fire Place, a gourmet pop-up restaurant situated in his own garden, which he operates roughly twice a month.
“It’s got a speakeasy vibe,” he said about the sought-after seven-course meal reservation, which sells out in under a minute every time a new block of tables becomes available online — the only way to secure a spot.
Krausz prides himself on serving a constantly-changing menu of adventurous dishes. Examples include sea trout pastrami, chilled morello cherry soup, and mini pies with artichokes and beef cheek.
“Don’t come if you don’t want an adventure. It’s quite different, featuring things people have not had anywhere,” he said.
As diners arrive at The Fire Place, they’re treated to an immersive experience, beginning with cocktails in an underground wine cellar. Then, guests enter the main room, furnished with Serbian-made chairs and antique oak tables, surrounded by a vast collection of wines and spirits.
At the heart of Krausz’s ventures is a desire to revolutionize kosher dining, evident in his crafted dishes. “I want to encourage others to raise the bar in kosher dining so we can be proud of it. If you make an effort, it shows,” he said, adding that he sees his culinary gift as a means for kiddush Hashem, elevating and honoring Jewish tradition.