The Jew And The Carrot

A Taste of Paris Comes to Tel Aviv

By Danielle Ziri

  • Print
  • Share Share

Photo: Lauren Tolila

What did Israeli restaurant-goers and French President Francois Hollande have in common this week? They probably ate the same dish.

A group of 19 French chefs from some of the most prestigious restaurants in France visited Israel this week as part of the 2nd annual French gastronomy week, an event organized by the French Institute in Tel Aviv.

Among them were award-winning chefs, pastry chefs, butter experts and even Guillaume Gomez, who cooks at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris.

For three days, the French chefs taught master cooking classes and partnered with their Israeli counterparts to collaborate on special menus at some of the Holy Land’s most popular restaurants.

One of them was the Michelin-starred Christopher Hache, who works at Les Ambassadeurs, a restaurant located inside the luxurious Hôtel Crillon in the French capital. This week, he joined Chef Moran Yanay in the kitchen at the Montefiore boutique hotel in Tel Aviv and concocted a few special dishes for the menu.

Lauren Tolila

For starters, a perfectly round and firm poached egg in a velvety onion cream, sort of like a velouté. A very white dish that almost melts into the deep white plate until you cuts into the egg and let the orangey yolk add a pop of color as it spreads into the cream. The particularity of the egg, which was partially cooked in a microwave in order for it to inflate just a little bit, lies in the fact that the yolk and the white both had the same texture, as chef Hache explained. The mild onion cream was perfectly soft and even quite comforting.

Hache followed it up with a main course of Le bar en croute de Cajou. Translation: a cashew-crusted sea bass, beautifully placed in the center of Tandoori sauce. Although we commonly associate the traditional Indian yogurt-based sauce with chicken or beef, this mild version by chef Hache complimented the fish well.

Those whose stomach’s still allowed something sweet, were also able to enjoy a date millefeuille, a Middle Eastern inspired twist on a French pastry classic made out of layers of thin and flakey puff pastry dough alternating with layers of pastry cream and topped with glazed sugar. For the date version, Hache replaced the pastry cream with a sweet and smooth caramel-colored date one.

“When I go to a new place, what interests me are the local products,” he told the Forward standing by the kitchen door as people approached to shake his hand in gratitude, “I went to the market here so that I could bring something with a local touch to the menu.”

This wasn’t Hache’s first time in Israel. He participated in the event last year.

“Before coming last year, the other chefs and I had some preconceived idea of this country,” he admitted, “We hear a lot of things about Israel in France and the media can really amplify things.” “But when we actually arrived we made one of the most wonderful discoveries,” Hache continued, “I’m absolutely impressed by the people, by their happiness, their warmth and hospitality.”

Hache mentioned that he was particularly moved by “the complexity of Jerusalem”, which he and the other 18 chefs visited during their trip this year.

“It was incredible to see visit both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and realized how close yet very different the two cities are,” he said, “I also studied the Bible quite a lot, so it was very meaningful to me.”

As far as Israeli food goes, Hache told the Forward that he has become enamored with borekas — a baked pastry which can be stuffed with cheese, potatoes or mushrooms.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: tel aviv restaurants, french food israel, french chefs israel

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.