“Go, eat your bread in gladness, and drink your wine in joy; for your action was long ago approved by Hashem.” Ecclesiastes 9:7 (The Israel Bible™)
View at the Herbert Samuel restaurant at the Ritz Carlton in Herzliya. (Credit: Eliana Rudee)
A team of top Israeli wineries along with the Herbert Samuel’s Chef Mor Cohen are highlighting the local wine and food scene in a tribute series of set menus at the Ritz Carlton Herzliya for Israel’s 70th.
In reflecting about what is unique about Israel’s local wine and food scene at 70, Chef Cohen told Breaking Israel News, “Today, it is clear that Israeli cuisine is a mixture of cultures together with great local ingredients.”
This delicious mix of cultures – a result of the prophetic ingathering of the exiles – and the focus on local ingredients are not just trends in Israel, but part of its DNA. As many of Israel’s neighbors have been less than friendly in the short history of the country, Israel has had to rely on its own agriculture and citizens for its food economy.
Yakir Tamam, Culinary Director of the Herbert Samuel maintained that through the use of high-quality local ingredients, one can create dishes that are both “local and luxurious” and “act as a culinary salute to the traditions of this region and prove that culinary excellence is another source of national pride for Israel and its people.”
Similarly, said Cohen, “Our greatest accomplishments have been in the ability to produce top-level locally sourced ingredients.”
Because of Israel’s size and geographic diversity, he explained, Israeli restaurants have access to ingredients within driving distance so that they are fresh and ready for food production soon after they leave the source. “That translates into very fresh cuisine without ever compromising on taste and the options that we have to offer our diners,” added Cohen.
As a result, Israel’s chefs and food producers are increasingly being recognized on the international scene. Cohen explained, “Over 70 years, the variety of ingredients has grown substantially and with that grows the variety of restaurants that can offer different cuisines. There is no doubt that we have succeeded in producing an environment that thrives in mixing many different food cultures and tastes while leveraging locally sourced ingredients – all this is true for both food and wine where restaurants and vineyards are achieving global recognition.”
The series of four events, which began in March and goes through mid-October, celebrates the country’s culinary accomplishments and utilizes local ingredients and flavors. Each event is composed of a five-course kosher meal with a menu carefully designed by the restaurant’s chef in tandem with the wineries’ sommeliers.
The features of the wine, working to best highlight each region and flavor, carefully guided the construction of each dish.
Featured wines highlighting the Carmel Heights and Valleys. (Credit: Eliana Rudee)
“While typically it is the food that defines the wine, here the culinary experts are working on the opposite track, where the wines – each with a different character from different parts of the country – will serve to define how the meal is structured,” said a Ritz Carlton spokesperson.
“As a rare occasion where competing wineries will be working with another – and one of Israel’s top young chefs, Mor Cohen of the Herbert Samuel – the wine and food series leverages local ingredients and flavors,” added the spokesperson.
“I believe that healthy competition combined with the ability to compliment and learn from one another is the true foundation of a growing food and wine culture,” voiced Cohen.
The first series, highlighting the Golan Heights Region on Israel’s northern border, featured the Golan Heights winery. According to Tamam, the region’s high elevation sources some of the nation’s best fruit trees including apples, almonds and plums, as well as beef and lamb.
“As in every country that makes wine, the terrain plays a big role in the flavor of the wine,” Cohen noted.
The second series, highlighting the Judean Hills, featured Flam, Castel and Tzora wineries. According to Tamam, the Judean hills are renowned for flavors that are derived from the region’s herbs, spices and mushrooms that thrive in the cool and mineral rich mountains that surround the Jerusalem area. With a terrain that combines both forested area and numerous valleys and open space, the region has been producing unique flavors and dishes since ancient times.
The third series, highlighting the Carmel Heights and Valleys, was heavily influenced by the traditions of the Druze population who live along the mountain ridge and in the surrounding valleys; as well as the presence of large flocks of sheep and access to the fish of the Mediterranean that have been feeding this area for centuries. According to Tamam, agriculture of the nearby Hefer Valley contributes some of the country’s best vegetables and flavors – perfect pairings for Tulip, Maya and Bat Shlomo wineries.
Wild seabass dish highlighting the Carmel Heights and Valleys. (Credit: Eliana Rudee)
“In Carmel Heights and valleys we found a lot of salty, fruity, crisp and mineral notes in the wine so we accompanied those flavors with a combination of fresh local fish and fruits like apricots and nectarines,” said Cohen.
According to Tamam, the final series, highlighting the Negev Mountains and Yatir and Midbar wineries, is a region that despite its classification as a desert, gives remarkable produce that utilizes the dry conditions combined with the salt of the earth and vegetation to present a myriad of flavors. The meal introduces fish from the Red Sea further south and utilizes food preparation techniques that the native Bedouin population has been perfecting for centuries.
Reflecting on Israel’s first 70 years and looking forward to the next 70, Chef Cohen maintained, “If you add knowledgeable winemakers and great natural resources than you’ll have great food and wine experiences. At 70, Israel can take pride in our culinary excellence alongside our many other cultural, economic and national accomplishments.”
We all know that the midterm elections are different this time around. They are usually like “all politics,” namely local. But this time around they’re different. They are all presidential, all about Trump, as most everything is. And for the anti-Trump crowd — I’m talking about the political commentators and “analysts” — any and all things bad are held to be Trump’s fault. This is presumably because they believe that their condemnations of Trump will result in a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.
A new book explores how graffiti artists in Beirut skirt limitations on expression to share political criticism in the streets.
A photograph of the book “Drawing Lines” by Tamara Zantout, taken at the launch of the book at Beit Beirut cultural center, Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 25, 2018.
BEIRUT — Beirut’s alleyways and streets are peppered in bright, detailed and provocative graffiti. Street artists use the medium, which exists in a legal grey area, to express their identity and give voice to political frustrations.
On Tuesday, San Francisco will become the largest city in the nation to allow noncitizens to vote, and the city has spent $310,000 on a “new registration system” specifically aimed at illegals. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the plan is the first in the state and follows Proposition N, a 2016 ballot measure allowing votes by noncitizens over the age of 18, reside in the city, and have children under age 19.
By the count of the Chronicle, only 49 noncitizens have signed up to vote on Tuesday, which works out to $6,326 for every illegal voter, but there’s more to the story. City officials are worried that voting could expose illegals to ICE, who might come looking and possibly deport somebody. So supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a backer of Proposition N, urged the city to spend $500,000 to warn the illegals.
At first Sabbath service after massacre, shooting survivors are blessed; rabbi says to those who condemned Trump’s visit: ‘No one tells me how to welcome a guest in my own home’
On November 3, 2018, a joint communal Shabbat prayer service at Pittsburgh’s Beth Shalom Conservative synagogue following the massacre a week prior which saw 11 Jewish community members killed. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A week after an anti-Semitic shooter massacred 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the community embraced each other in prayer on Saturday.
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.”
We’ve been told for a long time that the ceasefire is on the way. It had many names in the past, such as tahdiah, hudna, and most recently—”an arrangement.” On Friday, once again, reports started emerging that an agreement has been reached. Several hours later, southern Israel was hit with a barrage of rockets. What happened?
And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for No Human Being shall see Me and live.” — Shemot 33:20
Faith is deeper than knowledge. While scientific data is absorbed only in the brain, faith permeates all parts of the human personality. Nothing is untouched, all spiritual limbs quiver, and everything is transformed. It is thus more difficult to acquire faith than knowledge, and faith has a more radical effect on the human being.
A Catholic archbishop recently touched on an unspoken but highly subversive phenomenon: How anti-Christian forces exploit Christian teachings to empower those who seek to dismantle Christian civilization, Muslims being chief among them.
In an interview published last summer by the Italian outlet IlGionarle.it, Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said:
The King of Jordan, not some lowly clerk, announced that Jordan will not extend the currently existing leases renting two parcels of land to Israel. One is the so-called Island of Peace in the northern Naharayim area and the other located in the southern Arava, near Tzofar, an agricultural cooperative village (moshav). Jordan was entirely within its rights to decide not to renew the leases