With the exit of chef David Frank in April 2019 and the addition of Los Angeles chef Haim Leibowitz, Chef Dave’s Catering is now JSL Catering.
Larry Frank, president of JSL Catering and brother of David Frank, said he’s excited for the future of the brand. After finding a chef, he said there is nowhere to go but up.
“It was an issue of finding a chef and a chef that would continue to cook as we did as Chef Dave’s,” Frank said. “We do a lot of stuff from scratch and it’s healthy and fresh. We found that with Haim. And that was the hardest part of the transition. Once I had that, it drove what we would do going forward as a team.”
Frank said JSL is still going to continue business as usual. The company is still certified kosher by Cleveland Kosher.
“The only thing we really changed is the chef, everything else is in place, same as before,” he explained. “We have the same business standards, kitchen, staff and clients. We’re going to continue doing things as we have. A lot of customers have stood by us and gave us mazel tovs since we shared the news. We’re just going to be committed to serving quality food as we have over the years.”
The biggest change in the company is the name, which is derived from the initials of Frank’s children, Joey, Sam and Louis, as well as standing for “Just Say L’Chaim.”
“I didn’t want to rebrand as far as pushing a certain thing because that can pigeonhole you,” he said. “In the kosher community, people will find me no matter what. The name isn’t as important as I thought it was when we started this eight years ago. We’ve gotten a tremendous response (on the name), especially with chef Haim. Just tell Haim what you want and he’ll do it. The key was just finding someone that will produce what we need. We wanted to maintain the tradition.”
With Leibowitz, JSL Catering will be able to do small dinners to banquets serving more than 500 people.
“A couple of people suggested I talk to him and he to me,” Frank said. “We touched base, did some samples and talked. After that, we started working together and he takes a lot of pride in his work. He does a lot of stuff from scratch and he does a lot of different things and is open to doing what people want.”
JSL Catering will cater a deluxe kiddush Aug. 31 at Green Road Synagogue in Beachwood. On Sept. 15, the company will also cater a buffet dinner at Young Israel of Greater Cleveland in Beachwood. Reservations will be accepted at jslcatering.com. The catering company’s menu will also be posted and updated on its website.
As for the future, Frank is looking ahead.
“I’m excited about all of the new items Haim can come out with and the different foods he produces and just working with someone that shares the idea, the vision. Also, I’m looking forward to working with the community and being busy, picking up to the point where we were before and giving people what they want.”