Taste Of Israel, West Coast Style
Being a foodie on the East Coast, I felt intrigued to explore a California sample of trendy Israeli cuisine and entertaining. One difference, this event features both kosher and not kosher exhibitors and live cooking demonstrations. Some similarities, both coasts share trends of healthy, yet, tasteful dishes, and elevating the foods of the Middle East to a new level.
On June 7, California will host a Taste of Israel, a one-of-a-kind tasting event celebrating Israeli and Israel-inspired cuisine that will coincide with the country’s 70th anniversary. It will bring critically acclaimed chefs and vintners from around the world to Los Angeles’ iconic Skirball Cultural Center. Guests will have the unique opportunity to savor unlimited gourmet tastings prepared by top chefs from Israel and the U.S., as well as sips from Israeli vintners; view dynamic cooking demonstrations, experience captivating live music; and take advantage of a dedicated VIP area with exclusive perks. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Larger than Life: LA Family, the local chapter of a community-led charity founded in Israel dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer.
Participants from the lineup of chefs who will be preparing the evening’s gourmet bites include celebrity chef Eyal Shani of New York and Tel-Aviv’s Miznon; Meir Adoni of New York’s critically acclaimed Nur and Tel-Aviv’s Blue Sky and Lumina; and Tomer Blechman of New York’s popular Miss Ada. Additional participating chefs will include Israel’s Shaul Ben Aderet, Golan Gurfinkel, Dudi Asraf and Zammy Schraiber, to name a few, as well as a growing roster of U.S.-based chefs specializing in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, such as Anne Conness of LA’s Jaffa and Food Network alum Malcom Mitchell.
Complementing the array of flavorful tastes will be sips from 20 of Israel’s best vineyards — including including Barkan, Psagot, Shiloh and Tabor — highlighting their contributions to winemaking in the region. Visiting vintners will provide guests with a unique glimpse into the grape varieties throughout the country that have made Israeli wine some of the most respected and award-winning in the world.
In addition to delicious food and exquisite wine, the event will also feature entertainment by MOMENTS, a 25-piece musical ensemble known globally for their elaborate stage shows and performances.
According to event organizer, Orly Tal, “We wanted to really showcase the real Israel and Israeli food. There’s so much more to Israeli cuisine than hummus and falafel! There’s an amazing food scene happening in Tel Aviv right now and throughout Israel that features truly gourmet food and international flavors.
When we thought of a night out in Israel as the inspiration for the event, it seemed appropriate to make it an elegant celebration. This isn’t just street food. Many of our chefs are known globally for high-end cuisine, we wanted to honor that, and really make a night out of it.
Food festivals are usually delicious, but they are not always an experience. So many well-meaning events tend to miss the mark on the art of the experience. We wanted people to really enjoy having a night out, to dress up, to have dancing, and live music, and incredible wine and gourmet food. It’s Israel’s 70th birthday this year, so it’s time to celebrate!”
As a New Yorker, I want to share the names of the NYC restaurants participating are:
Nur — Chef Meir Adoni
Miss Ada — Chef Tomer Blechman
Miznon — Chef Eyal Shani (note: he’s a celebrity chef in Israel, and also has restaurants there)