‘Round Tables’ returning to Tel Aviv

A representative for the festival said there wasn’t any specific reason that there was only one kosher restaurant taking part.

September 10, 2017 00:19
2 minute read.
ONE OF the specialty dishes by Spanish Michelin star chef Ricard Camarena.

ONE OF the specialty dishes by Spanish Michelin star chef Ricard Camarena.. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The international culinary festival “Round Tables” will be returning to Tel Aviv for three weeks this November. The initiative, sponsored by American Express, will bring 60 chefs and restaurateurs to eateries in Israel for the third year running.

Ravenous Israeli diners will be able to pick from 14 different tasting menus created over the three-week period – 13 in Tel Aviv and one in Jerusalem. The visiting chefs – from 11 countries – will spend a week taking over the kitchens of their local hosts, and serving up a tasting menu from their home restaurants, with a local twist.

The chefs hail from Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Peru, Mexico, England, the USA, Italy and Scotland. Six of the restaurants taking part have one Michelin star, while two have two Michelin stars.

Of the 14 restaurants in Israel taking part, one is kosher – 99 Hayarkon at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv. While studies show that 70% of Israeli Jews want access to kosher food, and that the number of kosher restaurants in the country is on the rise – closing in on 30% – just 7% of the Round Tables offerings are kosher.

A representative for the festival said there wasn’t any specific reason that there was only one kosher restaurant taking part. She admitted that there is plenty of demand, and the kosher option each year is always sold out.

“But it’s not that easy to adapt Michelin- starred food from abroad to a kosher kitchen,” she said.

Chef Andreu Genestra, of his eponymous restaurant in Majorca, Spain, who has one Michelin star, will be hosted at 99 Hayarkon. Mona, the only restaurant in Jerusalem participating in the festival, will be hosting British chef Simon Hulstone from The Elephant, which has one Michelin star.

Other chefs taking part include Mitsuharu Tsumura, of Maido in Lima, Peru – which is ranked No. 8 among the 50 best restaurants in the world – who will be cooking at Ya Pan in Tel Aviv. Sang Hoon Degeimbre, of L’Air du Temps in Belgium – which has two Michelin stars – will take over the kitchen at Pastel in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

“We see culinary art as a bridge between nations and cultures, particularly in Israel, where culinary diversity is a unique component of our culture,” said Noam Katz, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director-general for media affairs. “In recent years, Israel has become a global culinary center and a source of inspiration for tourists and professionals alike.”

The tasting menus will run from NIS 209-399 depending on the restaurant and what is included.

For more info visit www.roundtablestour.com.

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