All posts filed under: food for thought

food products of interest or making headlines

The Galilean Kitchen…..a cookbook in the making

Within the rural region of the Galilee, home to a diverse ethnic population, culture and flavours mingle together in the local kitchens where traditional dishes are cooked. Through the eyes and palates of home cooks, The Galilean Kitchen will immerse you in authentic cooking from a social, cultural and culinary perspective, allowing you to re-create the delicious flavours in your own kitchens. Inspired by my love of Middle Eastern food and the beautiful Galilee of Northern Israel, I am writing a book that enters into the untapped area of Druze villages, surrounded by olive and citrus groves and where with local seasonal produce alone, Sinye, Hubeza & F’tir are prepared from recipes that have been passed through the generations. Coupled with the stories of the local home cooks, their heritage and passion for food, The Galilean Kitchen will be a cookbook with a difference and one to look out for, when it reaches the shelves at the end of the year…. As part of the social element of this project, a crowdfunding campaign has been set up to raise funds for producing, publishing …

any excuse for cheesecake….

Every Jewish festival has a culinary significance and Shavout makes no exception. Also known as the spring harvest, this festival of weeks, directly translated from the Hebrew, makes two references to the connotations of food, the end of the spring barley and the start of the summer wheat harvest, as well as the dietary laws laid down in the Torah, when given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Shavout is by far my favourite festival, in so much as it is customary to only eat dairy products during the holiday and therefore a cheesecake fest takes place in Israel. The laws of keeping kosher does not allow milk to be eaten after meat and it is said that as the  laws of the Torah were handed down to Moses on Shabbat, there was not enough time to slaughter the animals, so only dairy was eaten and therefore the tradition has been maintained. Israel is also the “land flowing with milk and honey” and it is from that Biblical saying that we eat the dairy products of the land. The food of Israel has always been …

‘foodography’ the genre of food art…..

From a highly competitive market, the judges of the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Awards sifted through 7000 images and films entered this year. Andy Macdonald, director of Pink Lady® in the UK said “the competition was intensely fierce and the standard was phenomenal” as he announced this years overall winner Mark Benham, who captured the immense fun and art of baking, with ‘flour frenzy’. At a culinary star studded reception in the Mall Galleries, London, on Tuesday 28th April 2016, journalist and food critic, Jay Rayner took to the stage to compere and announce the winners of the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Awards. The Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, now in its fifth year, is recognised as the world’s leading celebration of the art of food photography, attracting fierce competition worldwide. The winner of Best Food for Celebration category was won by Shoeb Faruquee from Bangladesh, with his stunning image of The Grand Kitchen, portraying a frenetic scene of chefs in a hot, steamy kitchen preparing for a wedding feast. …

the green gems of spring….

With Spring in full bloom, the Galilee is a place of beauty with wild flowers cascading through the lush green hills, the smell of the citrus in the air and the white blossoms have fallen to the ground, to make way for the first fruits. May heralds the beginning of the elusive fresh, green almond, a misunderstood nut that is grown in Northern Israel and throughout the Middle East. South of Nazareth in the Lower Galilee is the Arab village of Iksal, famous for their almond groves and the abundant harvests of a special strain of almond called Um al-Fahem. unique not only in it’s size and taste but also for it’s extra soft skin. These almonds are sold as fair trade and known to be amogst the best in Israel. Delicate in both flavour and texture, the young, unripe nuts are picked whilst the outer skin remains light green and furry, well before the hard brown shell of the almond has had the chance to form. Inside the light olive green casing is a smooth, soft, white almond with a subtle, grassy flavour. They …

it’s a wonderful, culinary world out there…..

I have two passions in life….food and Israel….but not necessarily in that order… Israel Good Food Guide is my way of combining my enthusiasm for both and giving you a taste of the eclectic cuisine of Israel, through news, reviews and delicious pictures of plates of art. With tips on where to buy and eat wonderful produce, both on and off the beaten track, great recipes to try and recommendations for experiencing the coffee culture, culinary tours and workshops, you will see for yourself how exciting the food of Israel really is. I will introduce you to great restaurants as well as the inspirational chefs and creators of  exquisite food, so join me in meeting the ‘foodies’ of this wonderful, diverse culinary world.

a new look…..

Israel’s cuisine is the fusion of the Middle East and its surrounding Mediterranean influences with the Sephardic and Askenazi styles of Jewish cooking, to produce creative, innovative modern food from the traditions of old. The Israel Good Food Guide is about allowing you to discover their culinary delights, in the hope that you will experience the foods, restaurants, chefs, produce and all things ‘foodie’ in Israel, to make your culinary tour the very best it can be.

eclectic chefs, cultures & cuisines…..

Tel Aviv, the culinary capital of Israel is full of gastronomic diversity, due to the wanderings and innovative discoveries made by Israel’s hungry young chefs, as explored in Ruth Nieman’s latest article, published today on The Culture Trip. Exploring this eclectic group of chefs through their travels to Michelin starred establishments throughout Europe and the Far East and back to the vibrant metropolis of Tel Aviv, the array of assorted tastes and flavours can be found in their restaurants. Taste the authenticity of the individual chef’s styles in Abraxas North, Taizu, Raphael, Tapas Ahad Ha’Am or Nanuchka, where the unique style of  Georgian cuisine, where meat is known to be the key ingredient, has been turned into a Vegan haven, where tofu, soya and legumes stand proud….. http://theculturetrip.com/middle-east/israel/articles/tel-avivs-eclectic-chefs-cultures-and-cuisines          

spring is in the air….

  Tu B’Shevat, is marked in the Jewish calendar as a celebration of the sign of the early saplings and the beginning of the Spring. Known as the New Year for Trees, this festival is traditionally known as the festival of nature and marked by the planting of young trees across Israel and the involvement in ecological projects up and down the country. Tu B’Shevat is thought to be an agricultural festival with strong biblical roots and as with most Jewish festivals, religious or non, food plays an integral part. It is the fruits and grains native to the land of milk and honey that are significant on Tu B’Shevat and therefore it is customary to eat pomegranates, dates, figs, grapes, barley, wheat and olives, known as the 7 species from the book of Deuteronomy. Despite the heavy rains in Israel today, young trees are being planted and beautiful seasonal produce are being eaten, for today is Tu’B’Shevat and spring is in the air…..

Israeli restaurants named in ‘La Liste’…..

Israel can take pride going into 2016, in the knowledge that four of it’s restaurants have made it onto ‘La Liste’, compiled for the worlds top 1000 acclaimed restaurants. ‘La Liste’ was invented by Antoine Ribaut, a French-American computer systems architect who compiled the data from many food sources and guides from 92 countries, including Michelin and Trip Advisor. With the help and support of France’s Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius and the French Tourist board, the 1,000 restaurants were agreed and named, including Israel’s very own Herbert Samuel, Mul Yam, Manta Ray, and Helena. Herbert Samuel of 6 Koifman, Tel Aviv was ranked 643 and with it’s inventive menu of locally sourced ingredients and beautiful location overlooking the Mediterranean sea, is justified on all levels. Mul Yam, Tel Aviv’s highly acclaimed seafood restaurant was ranked 668, despite it sadly closing it’s doors back in July 2015, due to a devastating fire. Manta Ray, 703 Yehezkel Kaufman, also in Tel Aviv came highly ranked at 779, due to its stunning location on the beach, as well as it’s famous …

Anything but A-Sham….

During the middle week of December, Haifa opens it’s door to one and all for  the Festivals of Festivals, where cultural activities show no boundaries in embracing the festivals of Eid, Christmas and Chanuka in a celebration of co-existence. Amongst all the doughnuts and latkes on offer this year, the delights of Arab food is taking centre stage in the form of A-Sham, it’s meaning referring to the geographic area famous for the cuisine, the Levant area. Food on offer is being cooked by famous chefs including Atamna-Ismaeel, winner of the lasts year’s season of Master Chef, very popular now in Israel too. Dishes include Sfiha and Manakish, Levantine pizza-type dishes with dough bases as well as the more well known dishes of Kibbeh, Fattoush and Baklava. The Festival of Festivals is simply about bringing cultures together, and to my mind there is no better way than with the sharing of foods….