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October 24, 2014 2:26 pm

Platinum-Selling Pop Star Alex Clare Teaches Guardian Journalist How to Make Cholent

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Alex Clare. Photo: Twitter.

Award-winning British singer and songwriter Alex Clare recently invited a Guardian journalist into his home to teach him how to make the traditional Jewish stew cholent.

The Too Close singer, who is an Orthodox Jew and a former chef, put the reporter to work and had him peeling potatoes as the artist explained the ingredients that go into cholent, such as beans, barley and onions.

The star spoke about how he balances his religious commitments with his musical endeavors saying that when he started out in the music industry, telling promoters he could not work Friday nights and Saturdays because he observes Shabbat was “a huge problem.” He added, “The [record] label was just like, ‘It’s not gonna work, man.'” He also explained that he always wears a hat for religious reasons.

“People always wonder why I keep my hair covered. They think I’m bald,” he said. “I’m not bald but it’s an obligation as an Orthodox Jew to keep my head covered.”

Clare wear tzitzit as well, but admitted that in the beginning of his career he would hide them for fear of what people might think. He has since come to realize that people will respect him more for openly expressing himself.

“Worried about how people perceive me, I almost always tucked my tzitzit into my trousers so people wouldn’t see them,” he said. “And then I thought, you know, it’s the 21st century. I should really be able to dress exactly how I want and not really worry about how someone might judge me. In fact the other way around. The more you express yourself, where you’re coming from and where you’re going to, I think people respect that.”

Usually other Jews are the ones surprised to find out that he is an Orthodox Jew, Clare told the reporter. “Even other Orthodox Jews are very surprised that there’s a guy who says he’s Orthodox and also works in the music industry,” he said.

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