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By Sara Berkowitz Eaker

local_spotlight Nosh Passover

Sivan’s Kitchen


Meet Sivan Kobi, the creative culinary force behind Sivan’s Kitchen, which boasts nearly 400,000 followers on Instagram and recipe reels that garner millions of views. As a celebrated chef in­fluencer, Sivan creates content with classic and unique twists on recipes while procuring holiday-themed table decor collections — all inspired by her Israeli roots. She takes her viewers on a sensory journey, from the golden hues of her challahs to her vibrant salads that pop with color.

Sivan’s website opens with the quote, “We light candles in a testament that faith makes miracles possible.” She beckons her followers to cook and share foods that evoke the essence of our heritage, to dress our tables with delicious eats, but also with beautiful tablescapes lit by the warm glow of candlelight on Shabbat.

As Passover approaches, Sivan unveils an exclusive Passover collection that intertwines tradition with one-of-a-kind modern elegance. Inspired by her visits to Israel, she has curated a line of unique pieces, from Seder plates shaped in a Hamsa hand — the universal sign of protection, power and strength — to round matzah boxes crafted from Lucite and adorned with hints of gold.

Sivan’s social media has also evolved into a sanctuary for those seeking solace during turbulent times. Re­flecting on the shock and tragedy from the attacks on Israel on October 7 that continue to today, she finds comfort in her kitchen: “Cooking is my therapy.”

Consumed by news and updates, Sivan took a brief pause from social media. But she soon recognized an opportunity to offer support by sharing recipes that connect us back to our homeland in Israel. The outpouring of positive messages and comments highlighted a shared yearning to find comfort through cooking and baking. Sivan believes that in a world where unity is more crucial than ever, “this collection serves as a symbolic reminder, emphasizing the values of power, togetherness, peace, love and light during these trying times.”

Sivan’s family has been deeply entrenched in the art of baking. Not unfamiliar with the difficult plight of the Jewish people, her grandparents, Holocaust survivors, imparted their expertise to her father, motivating him to join the family’s bakery business in Israel. After mastering his skill, he relocated his family, including 4-year-old Sivan, to Los Angeles in 1980. Her father opened Sherman’s Bakery in the San Fernando Valley that same year, marking a legacy that would sprout more bakeries over the next 25 years.

“Back in the day,” Sivan says, “it was not very popular to have a Jewish bakery, let alone a kosher bakery despite the many Jews and Israelis who lived in Los Angeles.” However, her father gained acclaim for his exceptional challah and his sufganiyot, traditional jelly-filled doughnuts synonymous with Hannukah.

As a dedicated lover of the art of challah baking, Sivan says she takes immense pleasure in witnessing the transformation of beginners who embrace her recipes and eventually become devoted weekly challah bakers. “The satisfaction of seeing others discover their baking prowess and experience the magic of homemade challah is truly rewarding,” she says.

Sivan’s connection to the kitchen dates back to her early years, influenced by the culinary traditions of her mother’s Iraqi heritage and also the remarkable cooking of her mother and grandmother. “I’ve just absorbed so much from so many different women and people around me that really it’s gotten me to where I am today,” she says, “and I’m still learning, and I’m still developing more and more.”

Married to an extraordinary chef with culinary talent who has owned and operated restaurants, culinary expertise runs on both sides of the family. Sivan’s mother-in-law is a self-taught chef, and Sivan has skilled sisters-in-law who are also exceptional chefs. The collective familial passion with diverse influences has shaped her narrative.

“My husband has been my backbone for everything,” Sivan says. “He’s constantly, like, ‘What I thought of, this is what you should do. You should make this, you should recreate this, let’s work on this. What do you think?’ He’s helping me and coming up with ideas because he’s very creative and very involved in the business aspect of what I do. I run the page. I’m the one in charge of the filming, making recipes and editing. I don’t hire anyone to edit my videos. I don’t hire anyone to answer DMs or comments. It’s 100% me.”

We posed a thought-provoking question to Sivan: If she were gifted an opportunity to cook a Shabbat meal for anyone at her table — whether famous, not famous, alive or passed on — who would it be? Without hesitation, she responded: “Number one, it would be my father. What I would give to share a meal with him again. And also Golda Meier.”

Sivan says her page is about connecting people to Judaism through food and bringing Shabbat back into our homes. “I think our lives are so busy and we don’t have time for a lot of things, and we are tapped out of Shabbat,” she says. “My page makes you want to make challah.”

She receives heartfelt messages expressing gratitude, with some people saying if it weren’t for you, my Shabbat table would not look like this, or my husband is eager and happy to come home for Shabbat. She wants to reassure us that Shabbat doesn’t have to be so elaborate. “It’s Instagram at the end of the day, and it doesn’t have to be perfect, she says.” Sivan’s advice that she has learned on her journey is to improvise.

Sivan Kobi
“If something didn’t go the way it wasn’t supposed to go, improvise it. Don’t throw it out.”

Sivan says she hopes that families in Israel can find peace and comfort in the hope that the hostages will come home soon. “I am praying to God, but I am just really thinking about all the families that will have to go through this Passover holiday without their loved ones.”

Sivan’s message in closing on her website is a nod toward using candlelight to find our way through the darkness of uncertainty: “May these pieces serve as a reminder that, even in the darkest times, our shared values of unity and peace can illuminate the path forward. The smallest light can dispel the darkest night and where the spirit of resilience turns every challenge into a celebration. Being Jewish means finding beauty in the miracles of everyday life and embracing the light that connects us all.”

On Passover, freedom and redemption weigh heavily on our current reality and hearts as we wait for our people to be set free once again. Sivan’s Kitchen allows us to partake in shared meals, inspired table landscapes and prayers when we light the Sabbath candles. Whether you are baking challah for the first time or seeking a connection to our homeland, Sivan’s Kitchen guides you on that meaningful journey.

The following recipes embody Sivan’s passion for cooking and her desire to offer her unique creations for your Passover holiday table. From her refreshing, vibrant green salad that evokes spring, to a luscious and decadent dessert, let these recipes enhance your Passover dinner experience. Whether you are hosting a Seder feast or a more intimate family gathering, these recipes from Sivan’s Kitchen will delight you and your guests.

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