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Meet The Team

Our team knows that choosing the right caterer is an integral part of any successful event. At The Kosher Kitchen, our role is to help every client feel comfortable with their menu choices and theme. Our first goal however is to let each client know that their event is unique and we will do our best to exceed expectations every time.

Michael M. Medina, President & CEO
The Kosher Kitchen Catering Co.

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada from Moroccan-Jewish parents, Michael grew-up speaking Spanish at home and French in school. Coming from such a culturally diverse background prepared Michael for what was to come. Michael has traveled to several countries, including Israel, France, England, Spain, Morocco and parts of South America.

As a lay leader and volunteer, Michael currently sits on the Board of Directors of GMU Hillel and has chaired the Israel Advocacy Committee. Michael is also the past President of Chabad Tysons Jewish Center in Tysons Corner, VA. He is a School of Management graduate from George Mason University with degrees in Marketing and Business Administration. After graduating from university, Michael decided to get certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and volunteer weekly as a member of a local rescue squad in Northern Virginia. During his 5-year stint as an EMT, his career as a marketing professional expanded holding key roles mainly in growing hi-tech companies and finally becoming a marketing consultant to several small businesses in the area.

After marrying his wife, Michael became inspired by her Russian roots and her unique flare for cooking-up some very creative dishes. Michael never forgot his heritage and when thinking about a new venture, and an old passion, the savory and traditional Mediterranean cooking of his mother and grandmother came to mind instantly... and The Kosher Kitchen Catering Co. was born. Michael now lives in Maryland with his wife and daughter.

Michael was also the owner of DISTRIKT Bistro. A kosher mediterannean restaaurant located inside the Washington DCJCC.


Karen P. Barall, Director of Client Services
The Kosher Kitchen Catering Co.

Karen joins The Kosher Kitchen with an extensive background in community relations as well as grassroots advocacy and has worked with multiple non-profit organizations. In those roles, Karen executed numerous events which have given her the necessary experience to help produce various banquets for corporate clients and organizations as well as special events for private clients. As an active member of the Jewish community in the Greater Washington Area, Karen enjoys working with people and thrives at catering to individual clients’ wants. She brings new leadership skills as our Director of Client Services. Karen lives in Potomac, MD with her husband and two children.


Merryl Shaffir, Account Manager
The Kosher Kitchen Catering Co.

Merryl was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and comes to us with a legacy of Southern hospitality and grace.  Before joining The Kosher Kitchen, she has worked in the kosher catering industry for eleven years.  Merryl has a lifelong career in sales and marketing and will handle every detail of your event with style and efficiency - giving it the attention it deserves. She currently resides in Silver Spring, MD with her husband.


Avi Harouch, Executive Chef
The Kosher Kitchen Catering Co.

Trained in nouvelle cuisine and coming from Moroccan and Israeli origins, Chef Avi has over 30 years of experience creating international savory dishes, including a degree from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in California. With creative leadership rolls at high-end caterers and hotels in the DC metro area, Chef Avi has experience designing food ideas that are succulent, unique and visually pleasing. He has also owned and operated restaurants and food markets in California. Chef Avi lives in Washington, DC.