Talented women are making their mark on Tel Aviv's culinary scene

In the White City, stereotypes of a restaurant industry dominated by men are passé.

A dish at Meshek Barzilay in Tel Aviv (photo credit: Courtesy)
A dish at Meshek Barzilay in Tel Aviv
(photo credit: Courtesy)
​In Tel Aviv, stereotypes of a restaurant industry dominated by men are passé, as a growing number of female chefs and restaurateurs are making their marks on the city's thriving culinary scene.
One of Tel Aviv’s largest and fastest-growing hospitality companies, R2M Group, is headed by Ruti Broudo. R2M includes seven hotels and restaurants in the city designed by Broudo, with several more on the way by 2020.
The group's venues include Hotel Montefiore, a chain of pâtisseries called Bakery, flagship restaurant CoffeeBar, Brasserie, a hybrid concept dining and event space at Herzl 16 and Disco Tokyo, and specialty food market Delicatessen.
A common thread of chicness linking these venues is recognized by Tel Aviv socialites as Broudo's style.
 

Shirel Berger is a young experimental chef at the head of Opa, a vegan restaurant offering a novel fine dining experience including a nine-course, seasonal tasting menu of curated, plant-based dishes.
Berger ages all fruits and vegetables for 3-5 months, manipulating their flavors to produce fascinating results in tastes and textures.  Her best-known dish involves lychees fermented and cooked in olive oil, which has an unexpected meaty flavor and texture.
 

Merav Barzilay is the founder and chef at Meshek Barzilay Kitchen, an organic vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Tel Aviv’s Neve Tzedek neighborhood.
Meshek Barzilay was originally launched in 2002 in nearby agricultural community Moshav Yarkona, where Merav and her family have been farming for several generations.
More recently, she also opened the Meshek Barzilay Delicatessen, a fast-casual concept that features a prepared food bar, organic grocery, shake counter, bakery and organic grocery, as well as shelves full of locally made goods and products.