A taste of Israel, in London and Jerusalem
This autumn, two food festivals will put the focus on the rich culinary history of Israel
Jerusalem, like London, has long been a meeting place of cultures and cuisines - and this autumn the two cities will trade recipes and talent at a pair of food festivals.
The London Restaurant Festival consists of more than 70 events, 250 tasting menus and ten “top cuisines”, including a starring role for the food of Jerusalem.
Israeli chef Moshiko Gamlieli will make a guest appearance for one night only at Mortimer House, where he will be cooking a five-course tasting menu on 22 October.
Special menus will also be offered at The Palomar in Soho (below), which will serve up a “feast of modern Jerusalem” on 21 October, and Scully, the first restaurant of Yotam Ottolenghi protege and former Nopi head chef Ramael Scully. He promises “an explosion of Israeli flavours” on 16 October.
If tickets are in short supply - and on past form they will sell out quickly - you might consider a trip to OpenRestaurants Jerusalem the following month.
From 19 November it will offer more than 100 culinary events, from market tours to master-classes. And while homegrown favourites such as hummus and shawarma may be the principal attraction for visitors, Jerusalem’s restaurant culture has lines of influence reaching throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
One of the most appealing features of the festival is the “taste train”, a journey along the city’s light rail system between Damascus Gate and Machane Yehuda Market (below), which allows you to hop on and off, making the most of the restaurants and food stalls at each station in between.
Packages including the taste train and one of a selection of food tours, covering the old city, its falafel-makers or its delicatessens, are available for €30. For a more immersive experience, a €195 ticket includes a cooking class with chef and slow-food enthusiast Moshe Basson, an evening of Israeli wine and tapas at the Mamila hotel, snacks at a pita bar and challa bread for the sabbath.