When Amy Steinhaus Kirwin and Rebecca Edana first met, years ago at the Southampton Arts Center, they were amazed by all they had in common. For starters, they were both from Los Angeles—hardly the most common city of origin among contemporary East End residents. “And then,” says Edana, “we discovered that both of us were Jewish.”
“At the time, there were no other Jews out here—or at least it seemed that way,” says Steinhaus Kirwin.
“New York was supposed to be full of Jews,” adds Edana. “But we looked at each other and thought: I think we’re the only two here.”
What followed first was friendship—grounded in a shared sense of tradition and a mutual love of cooking—and what followed shortly thereafter was something even grander: a cooking show aptly named Two Jews Making Food.
“It all started one day when I was hosting a Hanukkah party for my husband’s family,” says Edana. “I told Amy about it and she got a little quiet, so I asked, ‘What’s wrong?’ She was like, ‘Well, I’m just a little upset that you’d be having this party and didn’t invite me. Like, what Jewish people are you inviting?’ So I explained, ‘No, it’s just family; of course I would have invited you.’ And so then we just started talking about all the food we make—her recipes and my recipes—and she goes, ‘You know, it would be really fun to get together and make these recipes one day.’ And I thought it sounded like a great idea. I knew we’d have a hoot. And then she’s like, ‘You know, it would be really fun if we taped it.’ And I just started laughing, like, ‘Oh my god, our moms would love it. Yes!’”
Their first show—broadcasted over Facebook Live in late 2019—went just as the two women predicted: It was fun, a hoot, and beloved by their mothers. So when the pandemic hit fewer than six months later, both Steinhaus Kirwin and Edana were determined to continue making their show. And that’s when what started out as an outlet for the two women alone became something like Jewish penicillin for the souls of their viewers. The ladies’ joyful schtick, now featuring fogging face shields and other PPE-related mishaps, was exactly what the East End needed—and it still is.
“It was really challenging to do everything we wanted to do over Facebook Live,” says Edana. “We were talking and we were moving all the cameras and everything was outside because of Covid, so we were just trying to get everything set up all the time.”
“So together we started talking about LTV Studios [in East Hampton],” says Steinhaus Kirwin. “We knew we had outgrown our own capabilities and they had just redone the kitchen, so it felt like serendipity.”
And it was. Steinhaus Kirwin and Edana filmed the pilot episode of Two Jews Making Food, “Bangin’ Bagel Brunch,” at LTV Studios on October 18, 2021, and have filmed more than thirty episodes since.
Each episode features recipes for both food and cocktails, a ‘Yiddish Lesson of the Day,’ and yummy cameos by Jason Momoa (kind of). But more delicious than even the most mouthwatering of Steinhaus Kirwin and Edana’s recipes is their on-screen chemistry. Leading with equal parts heart and chutzpah, the women offer not only engaging cooking tutorials but charming windows into their lives and friendship. Two Jews Making Food is as much a celebration as it is a cooking show.
“We just love doing it,” says Steinhaus Kirwin, “and it’s really fulfilling for us. When Rebecca and I met, we were just thrilled to meet another Jewish person. Now, thanks to our show, we have met and heard from so many other Jewish people in our community. It’s so great to connect with everyone—both Jewish and not—and so our only hope is to keep going and hopefully go even bigger.”
“We are also extremely lucky in that there are so many fabulous chefs and farmers on the East End,” says Edana. “So we just want to continue to learn from them and continue to explore other kinds of cuisines. Because at the end of the day, Jewish people have moved around so often over time that much of the food we make is honestly just food from all over the world that’s been taken by Jewish people and adapted. That’s why our show is Two Jews Making Food and not Two Jews Making Jewish Food. We love to eat and we love to eat everything.”
“And we love to have a good time,” says Steinhaus Kirwin. “That’s kind of the whole goal for us. We have fun filming and we just want other people to have a good time watching. That’s it. Though, secretly, I do also hope they’re jealous of our friendship, as well.”
And so to Steinhaus Kirwin and Edana we ask: How do you say ‘mission accomplished’ in Yiddish?
If you have cable and live in East Hampton or Southampton, you can watch Two Jews Making Food on Channel 20 every Tuesday at 12:00 p.m., Friday at 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Two Jews Making Food is also available to stream on YouTube or on LTV’s website.