Regions explored: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Mediterranean Coast, Galilee
Length: 6 days
Date: March 8th to 13th, 2021
Availability: Limited to 12 guests
❀ A showcase of the New Israeli Cuisine. Special menus (all with top Israeli wines) in Israel’s best restaurants.
❀ Street Food, Markets, Growers, Producers, Wine Makers and more.
❀ Meet Israel’s top chefs, best ethnic cooks, and most serious foodies.
❀ Spend time in the intimate company of interesting and like-minded people from all over the world.
This one is personal.
You kept asking me to do an Israel tour, and I obliged, so it’s dedicated to you. I used all my experience, knowledge, contacts and bag of secrets to creating for you a memory for life.
Here’s just a little taste of what you’re about to experience.
Chef Eyal Shani, one of the clear voices of the Israeli New cuisine, whose restaurants are spreading now all over the world, told Richard Vines in Bloomberg’s feature story titled, Israel Is the World’s New Dining Hotspot, that the revolution in Israeli food started about 30 years ago, when immigrants started to discover their roots and to explore Arab cooking.
“People came to Israel from all around the world but the policy of the government in the beginning was to cut all the memories from Europe and from the Arab countries and to create a new Israel,” he says. “So they created a new Israel but they forgot to create a kitchen for the new Israel, nothing to eat. Now, the Israelis are mixing between the (culinary) fashions that are happening all around the world and cooking their own small memories from their grandmothers.”
He is right, because in no other place in the world are there so many different ethnic cuisines fused in one huge melting pot with the local (Arab cuisine) to create a young culinary paradise that you can find in Israel.
The main ingredient in Israel’s food revolution is its people and their memories from a long list of disappearing cuisines. I dedicate this tour to these amazingly talented chefs.
Most photos here were taken from their Instagram accounts :
Adam Szold , Assaf Hadar , Davif Frenkel , Eliezer Mizrachi , Erez Komarovski , Eyal Shani , Michael Gertopski , Orel Kimchi , Rottem Liberson , Tomer Agay , Uri Navon , Yehi Zino , Yuval Leshem and also from Cityfoodsters and Mark Wiens who visited with me last year.
The New Israeli Cuisine is all about the product. It will always be the star of a dish. Although cooking techniques are quite straightforward, the ingenuity is in combinations and seasoning.
In all the restaurants we shall visit, the vast majority of the produce is local: Fish and Seafood from the Mediterranean Sea, Beef and Lamb from small farms and Vegetables and Fruits from the Arava desert in the south to the mountains of the Galilee region in the North.
Being the undisputed culinary capital of Israel, and dubbed ‘The city that never stops’, Tel Aviv, with all its energy and vibe will be our base.
We will taste the best it has to offer, from street food at iconic holes in the walls to the product extravaganza at Eyal Shani’s Hasalon food circus. From the unique flavors Tomer Agay creates at Santa Katerina to a midnight Pita stuffed with unbelievable Kebab at Jasmino.
We will spend a whole day in the ancient city that developed a unique culinary ‘language’. We will discover its best food in thousands of years old alleys laden with history, in its colorful markets and lunch at Azura, one of the best ethnic restaurants in Israel.
We will finish the day, after visiting some of the most famous historical sites in the world, with a bang at Macheyuda, the happiest restaurant in the world and one of the cornerstones of the New Israeli Cuisine.
Along the beautiful coast of the Mediterranean you can find many great places to eat. But no food tour of Israel is complete without visiting two of them.
Yehi Zino’s Pescado in the post city of Ashdod is without a doubt a world class fish restaurant and the best in Israel.
Up in the North there’s a little village called Liman, where Michael Getopski found his paradise after he left bustling Tel Aviv to open Michael – Local Bistro. Trust me that Michael’s paradise is your paradise.
The north, from the fields of the Izrael Valley to the mountains of the orchards and vineyards of the Galilee region and the elevated plains of the Golan Heights, is the heart of agricultural Israel and its wine country. There you can find some of the best wineries, boutique growers, cheese makers, olive oil producers and even one of the first caviar farms in the world.
As opposed to Tel Aviv which is mostly populated by Jews, the North is densely populated with Jews, Arabs, and Christians, a fact that gives it a distinct culinary character.
We will visit one of the first Caviar farms in the world in Kibutz Dan, where they started in 1992 to research the possibility to grow Russian Ocetra Sturgeon. Today, their premium product can be found in the best restaurants in the world.
We will travel through the wine country and stop for tastings, but the highlight of this excursion to the north is a workshop/lunch at Erez Komarovski’s house. Komarovski is one of the pioneers of the New Israeli cuisines, and one of the most talented bakers in the world.
Israel is studded with shops that sell Falafel, Hummus, Sabich, Borekas, Shakshuka, Kebab or Shawarma. Quick, tasty and inexpensive food.
In almost every day of the tour, we will have a stop, or two, or three, at the very best of these places to have a quick bite that is guaranteed to fill your eyes with tears.
One can’t really understand the New Israeli Cuisine if he or she does not taste its roots. The cuisines of Morocco, Jewish Iraq, Persia, Georgia, Russia, Poland, Caucasia, Syria, Latin and North America, Tunis, Lybia, Ethiopia, the Balkan, Turkey, Druz, and Palestinian are just part of this amazing puzzle.
We will taste as much as we can of the best of them.
You deserve only the best, and The Norman, in my humble opinion, is the best in the whole country, and the only place I would stay if I was a tourist in my own town.
Ideally located in the heart of the white city The Norman is a sanctuary of luxury and comfort. A perfect home away from home for you to return from our intensive program.
First Meal: Lunch on Monday, March 8, 2021.
Last Meal: Dinner on Friday, March 12, 2021
Hotel Stay: From Mar 8 to 13, 2021.
If you need more nights (special rates), please let me know.
Flights: Our travel agency will be happy to help (All airlines, but discounted rates with Turkish Airlines)
Visa: Visas are not required for most countries but check beforehand. Let me know if you need assistance.
Stamp in Your Passport – If you don’t want your passport stamped. just ask the immigration officer as this is a common request that is easily fulfilled.
Dress Code – Casual to Smart casual.
Free Time and Sightseeing: Hardly any, so if you wish to spend more time in Israel for it, do it before or after the tour.
Price includes all food, beverages, taxes, service charges, domestic transportation and 5 nights of accommodation.
Price does not include airfare and any travel or medical insurance.
Extra nights: for before or after the tour can be booked in advance at The Norman at special rates:
A Note on Set Menus
The menus offered during the tour are selected by The Hungry Tourist with the help of our local partners. We believe they represent the best culinary fare Israel has to offer. Guests may order outside of these menus at their own expense.
A non-refundable deposit of USD 1000 per person will be charged upon reservation.
The balance will be charged to your credit card 60 days prior to the first day of the tour.
Cancellation Policy and Penalties
If cancellation is received up to 30 days before the first day of the tour, the deposit will be forfeited.
If cancellation is received up to 10 days before the first day of the tour, a penalty fee of 50% of the remaining balance will be charged. If cancellation notice is received within 10 days of the first day of the tour or the guest is a no-show, the entirety of the remaining balance will be charged.