Chaim Silverberg loves kosher cuisine, so he caters it and films it.
Chaim William Silverberg is the proud founder of CWS Meats — his boutique kosher catering business boasting his initials — and he also maintains Tripping Kosher, a platform for smart videos featuring kosher food establishments. Handily, the two support each other.
Silverberg wants people to hear about and to try his CWS Meats, but he also passionately wants them to experience his video platform documenting his kosher culinary adventures. A typical Tripping Kosher video — each just a few minutes long — features Silverberg, usually with a friend, chowing down in a kosher restaurant. Although some of the movies follow him at a kosher trade show or winery. Some are serious, like a short piece on Moss Cafe, a kosher farm-to-table cafe in the Bronx. Others reveal Silverberg deploying his own brand of irreverent humor.
“I want to occupy a space in the kosher food industry,” says Silverberg, a native of St. Louis Park, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis. “The results you see now are the result of long-range planning. I’ve been networking for 10 years, going to all of the major kosher food shows.”
For Silverberg, 35, the networking and laying of groundwork first resulted with a kosher product, a kosher bacon made from lamb and teasingly titled Lamb Baaacon. He started selling the yummy stuff at the Knish Shop in Pikesville. (Lamb Baacon replicates the smoky, fatty, crunch salty flavor profile of pork bacon, along with just a touch of sweetness.) Silverberg gradually expanded his offerings of packaged meats and also began doing pop-ups at farmers markets, where he sells kosher sandwiches, soups and other offerings. He now considers CWS Meats a boutique catering operation.
“We do backyard catering for special family events,” Silverberg says. “We’ll bring a half an animal to your backyard and smoke it on the premises. Those who are using us love us. You’re paying more, but it’s something special.”
The videos, at first glance, appear to be more of a lark, but Silverberg is quite serious about them.
“The catering feeds into the videos and the videos promote the catering,” he says. But “the goal the whole time was the video. And the long-range plan is to monetize the videos. I’ve always wanted to do this kind of video. No one else is doing it.”
His goal, like that of many online video producers, is to get enough eyes on his videos to attract corporate sponsorship.
Silverberg is serious enough about his food adventures to have committed himself to them full time. He left his job as a teacher at Kennedy Krieger Institute a few years back.
“This is slowly but surely, slowly but surely, turning into something,” Silverberg says. “I love to feed people. I love to run my mouth. I love the sound of my voice.”
We hope Netflix is reading.
For more information, visit cwsmeats.com.
Richard Gorelick is a Baltimore-based freelance writer.
Watch CW Silverberg on This Week in Baltimore Eating on Facebook Live May 17: