Strange times call for out-of-the-ordinary solutions, such as the ones offered by chef Ivan Maslov.
In his Maslov Food Solutions catering service, the young but experienced chef offers foodies gourmet options for events of every size, from small birthdays at home to large weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. His clientele, he says, appreciate the best ingredients.
“I let the ingredients speak. I offer many options from the French and Italian cuisines to Asian, Spanish and other cuisines, and I always make sure to have a few vegan options.”
Maslov is well equipped to provide a range of ideas and various cooking methods. “The preparation of the food is inspired by the ingredients. I like to smoke fish and meats, grill or poach. I like to surprise my clients,” he says.
The 35-year-old Maslov grew up in Ukraine but feels completely Israeli.
“As a child I was not a big eater,” he tells me. “I was very problematic. I hated eggplant and fish,” he recalls.
“I still have a love-hate relationship with Russian food. The food we had at home was tasteless. I used to go fishing with my father. The fish used to swim in our bathtub before being cooked. Maybe that’s why it took me a long time to open up to food from the sea.”
But the wait was time well spent, and today, fish dishes are among his favorite foods.
Maslov did not attend a cooking school but instead worked in some of the best kitchens in Israel, moving up the ladder until he was managing kitchens for some of the most famous chefs, such as Raphi Cohen’s Raphael, Avi Conforti’s Topolopompo, Aviv Moshe’s Messa and many more.
Maslov says his ideology of food can be summed up as paying attention to the details, no matter how small.
“From choosing the ingredients, always pick only the best available, to understanding each component and how it behaves in different situations, this is what makes or breaks an event,” says Maslov.
His catering is unique in terms of quality and atmosphere. “Understanding how important the event is for my clients pushes me to do my very best.” He says.
These days, with no big events to work on, Maslov spends most of his time catering small events at clients’ homes.
To taste his cooking, we invited him to our small kitchen and opened a few wine bottles. Since there was a birthday being celebrated, we allowed ourselves to splurge on the wine and invited the chef to raise his glass with us.
We loved the opening dishes, especially the vegan kohlrabi carpaccio, which was fresh, exciting and perfect for our vegan guest.
“I try to always have a few vegan dishes in every menu,” says Maslov. Other vegan options included an excellent vegetable curry with rice and crostini topped with grilled kohlrabi cubes, while non-vegans around the table received very tasty crostini with red tuna cubes and vegetables, which was perfect. Another successful dish that was very tasty was the bruschetta with beef tartar and mushroom duxelle. The vegan across the table got the same bruschetta, but instead of beef, the topping was made from baked beets. The look and flavors were every bit as tasty as the beef.
Next we got a tomato salad made from five different kinds of tomatoes and topped with goat cheese and a poached egg. Our kohlrabi carpaccio had a slice of Brie and salsa verde on top.
Main dishes included fillet of fish on red massaman curry with steamed rice and aromatic greens. Yummy. The main dish was sirloin from locally grown beef, aged for 40 days, served with glazed vegetables and roasted potato.
Desserts included small bite-sized cakes, salty fudge, crack pie and more. We loved it all and gladly recommend Food Solutions and the charming chef Maslov to all our friends who, we hope, will be able to celebrate very soon.
Prices start at NIS 450 per person.
For more details: www.maslov.co.il or phone (052) 747-3717.