He got his early culinary education in his Nana’s kitchen, absorbing the kind of easy, native respect for real food that comes from home. And home for Bernamoff was vibrant, food rich Montreal. At first, Bernamoff cast off his love of food for a more practical future in law, but in 2009 while attending law school in New York, Bernamoff decided he could no longer ignore the foods of his youth—specifically the specialties of Montreal’s Jewish delis.
Bernamoff, his wife Rae Cohen, and friend Max Levine cooked up the idea of Mile End Delicatessen that summer. In 2010, with no culinary experience to speak of, Bernamoff opened his own Montreal-style deli and quickly built a reputation for Mile End’s smoked meats, matzoh ball soup, poutine, and brisket. Responsibly sourced meats and Old World technique distinguished Bernamoff’s venture and helped usher in the modern era of New York deli dining.
Building on his success, Bernamoff opened Mile End Sandwich in New York’s NoHo in the summer of 2012 and published The Mile End Cookbook with Cohen that fall. And though it’s temporarily out of commission due to Hurricane Sandy, Bernamoff opened a Red Hook commissary to feed his diners all the bread, bagels, bialys, and meats his diners could ever want. Bernamoff has also hosted dinners at the James Beard House, and he participates at food events around the city. He and his team are reestablishing deli ideals of yesteryear, returning quality, dependability, and pride to product—and establishing a true sense of culinary community and home-town pride. In 2013, Bernamoff was named 2013 StarChefs.com Rising Star Restaurateur.GET THE RECIPE>