Mother and son team Inna and Alex Khitrik, opened Inna’s Kitchen in 2011 with a mission to preserve their Jewish culinary traditions, while making them modern and relevant for today's more health conscious society. The original Newton location had six strong years in business and was sold in 2017 to move to a space that would allow larger production and catering. On December 26, 2018 they returned to Newton to open their Culinaria, a dedicated production space with a small retail storefront.
Their family emigrated from the USSR in 1990 and found a home in Boston, while Inna's mother and sister escaped to Israel. Theirs is a story shared by many Jews, and their food honors the diversity of communities and cultures in the Jewish experience. Inna's Kitchen cooks "Jewish cuisine from around the world." The model works well. Customers happily combine flavors across their menu. Start with a bowl of Chicken soup and a knish, followed by a falafel in an Israeli pocket, and pick up frozen pot pies and stuffed cabbage to take home (these hot prepared items are available at the Boston location).
From its inception, Alex and Inna endeavored to build a sustainable business. They thought it was important to make all dishes from scratch, taking no shortcuts. Alex and Inna share a commitment to using quality ingredients that complement their home-style cooking, and the best ingredients are locally sourced and seasonal. To make it easier to serve a wide audience they keep their Newton Culinaria allergen friendly -- it is dedicated free of many common allergens, including gluten, dairy, and tree nuts.
Inna's Kitchen was invited to be a locally sourced vendor at the Boston Public Market (BPM) that opened in July 2015. Inna's Kitchen at the BPM offers a selection of popular items: Middle-Eastern sandwiches and salads for lunch, chicken and vegetarian soups, shakshuka, latkes, and omelets for breakfast, and frozen soups and entrees to take home. It is also the home of their signature dish Shakalatkes, a melding of Eastern-European and Middle-Eastern tradition. Inna and Alex see the Market as an opportunity to further their mission in partnership with farms and other local producers to bring Jewish cuisine to the modern table and the Boston community.
Inna Khitrik, my mother, was born in Belarus and first learned to cook from her father--he also taught her to draw the swan that is the inspiration for our logo. She started working in this country at a deli in 1990, then co-founded a deli in Brookline. Since then she has worked as head chef and kitchen manager for the JCHE in Newton. Inna has also worked as a personal chef for families in Newton preparing weekly meals.
"Khitrik has been able to recreate the neighborliness that tenants once enjoyed in their own kitchens." The Jewish Advocate, November 12 - 18, 2004
She is passionate about traditional Jewish cooking, including regional specialties, as well as being creative with recipes and catering to the needs and expectations of current customers-- she is a master at making nutritious yet delicious dishes to suit various dietary needs. It is her mission to bring both traditional and new style dishes to the public, that is hopefully hungry for something new!
"Matzo ball soup, latkes with sour cream, and a honeycake prepared by Inna and Alex Khitrik should be tempting enough to get you to 'Jewish Roxbury at Haley House Bakery Cafe.'" Matzo and memories, by June Wulff, The Boston Globe, November 17, 2010
I, Alex, was interested in cooking and baking as a young child. My mother's culinary skill and passion for food rubbed off on me, or so I'd like to think. Beyond working in her kitchens I also worked at Rosenfeld's Bagel, cleaning and braiding challah, and more recently as a cook and baker at the non-profit Haley House Bakery Cafe in Roxbury. I am especially passionate about baking, growing food, and trying new ingredients and methods. I also enjoy baking gluten-free items for family, friends, and now the community.