He was one of nearly 300 guests who turned out in Beverly Hills for Spago’s 39th annual interfaith seder on the second night of Passover, April 6.
The elegant evening included a service led by University Synagogue’s Rabbi Arnold Rachlis and Cantor Ruti Braier.
The chefs prepared an array of dishes, including braised beef short ribs, Alaskan salmon, and matzah ball soup. But among guests, the biggest hit might’ve been the garlic-and-thyme matzah, which was baked in the restaurant’s pizza ovens.
“We take great pride in making sure we do it right every year,” Spago’s chef de Cuisine Areg Avanassian said of the matzah. The evening lasted several hours. Around 5:45 p.m., guests filed in. Barbara Lazaroff, co-founder and owner of Spago, went table to table making small talk with guests, which included artists, designers, publicists, tech leaders and even singer-songwriter Carol Connors, co-writer of the theme from the original “Rocky” movie.
As the evening went on, guests swapped business cards and stories over plates of gefilte fish about how they ended up at the one-of-a-kind annual seder, a benefit for Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger.
The evening concluded with Lazaroff expressing gratitude to the many people who turned out.
“From the bottom of my heart,” the restauranter said, “it means so much to me that you chose to celebrate your holiday here.”