Culinary Arts


Culinary Arts specialists at JCC Maccabi ArtsFest® will get into the kitchen with professional chefs and be engaged in every aspect of running a kitchen and preparing great food. From choosing the right ingredients and learning new cooking techniques, to understanding the history and culture behind food, you will learn how to plan a menu and understand the process of transforming raw ingredients into delicious dishes. Your culinary creations will be showcased, served and devoured at the Final ArtsFest Showcase for your peers from JCC Maccabi®—the grand finale of JCC Maccabi ArtsFest.

What are we looking for?

    • A passion for cooking, including time and energy spent preparing and creating new dishes
    • An interest in the global food market, grocery stores and shopping
    • An appreciation for culinary arts, and what it takes to run a kitchen
    • A passion for trying different foods, for experimenting with different and challenging ingredients and for creating different dishes
    • Enthusiasm, curiosity about food and a desire to collaborate
    • Some prior experience in the kitchen with knives and other cooking techniques such as slicing, dicing, baking, etc. would be helpful.

Please answer the following questions in the text boxes provided on the application.

      1. Tell us briefly your experiences with the culinary arts at home. Are you the family chef? A TV armchair creative chef who “competes” while watching Top Chef? A secret cook who experiments in the kitchen when no one is looking? How does food preparation play a role in your life?
      2. Talk us through your favorite dishes to prepare. Why is it your favorite, and what do you with to elicit in the person consuming the dish?
      3. Why do you want to participate in JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
      4. Anything else you would like us to know about you and your interest and skills in the culinary arts?
      5. Anything else you would like us to know about you and your culinary interests?

* For basic instructions to upload a video to YouTube, please click here

Culinary Arts Artist in Residence

Jeffrey Paletz graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco. He has served as a sous chef for the last four years, and has worked at several notable restaurants in the Bay Area. He moved back to Long Beach in 2017 where he is now the executive sous chef for Primal Alchemy Catering Company. In his role, he is in charge of all aspects of culinary operations including the hiring and training of all new culinary team members. Jeffrey’s love of cooking began in his childhood home where he was always testing out new techniques and recipes. Jeffrey grew up at the Alpert JCC, first as a camper and later as a senior camp counselor and Judaic specialist. He is eager to share his culinary knowledge, love of teaching, and can’t wait to work with the JCC Maccabi ArtsFest teens.