Sweet victory for Meir Adoni - again

Or Ginsberg – and his mentor – emerge the winners on finale of ‘Mischakei Hachef.’

Meir Adoni (photo credit: DAN PERETZ)
Meir Adoni
(photo credit: DAN PERETZ)
Chef Meir Adoni claimed victory on the season finale of Mischakei Hachef, which aired Monday evening, as his contestant, Or Ginsberg, was the final cook standing.
Winning in the finale – which was taped last year – means that the accomplished and prominent Adoni has emerged victorious in both of the only two seasons of the reality cooking competition. While the victory was Ginsberg’s, the three judges – Adoni, Assaf Granit and Moshik Roth – all served as mentors and team captains throughout the season; the competition between them was at times more fierce than between the contestants.
After a series of auditions, Adoni, Granit and Roth narrowed down the pool of cooking competitors until they each selected their team of six hopefuls. Through a series of team and individual challenges, the contestants were eliminated one by one until just three remained in the finale.
The remaining trio were Ginsberg, a 31-year-old from Tel Aviv, Nofar Zohar, 28 of Tel Aviv – cooking for Granit – and 38-year-old Sabina Valdman – cooking for Roth – who immigrated from Latvia at age 12 and now lives in Tel Aviv.
“I was sure he would win,” Adoni said in a TV interview after Ginsberg was crowned the winner. “It was not an easy competition, but Or’s advantage was his quiet, his intelligence, his sharpness.”
Adoni said he knew he wanted Ginsberg on his team from the moment he watched him in the show’s boot camp helping out the other contestants – despite them being his competitors. “I knew that was the guy I wanted with me.”
Adoni, speaking to The Jerusalem Post last year – after the show was taped but before it aired – said “the fact that I won last season left me with a feeling that there’s a huge chance this season that I won’t win again.”
“And then I said: No way, there’s your team here, you picked them, they’re yours, and you owe them no less than that the last time,” Adoni recalled. He said he is still in close contact with his team members from the past two seasons, some of whom now work for him in his restaurants.
“The second group, they’re also my kids, and also to them I need to give all of my soul, and start from an attitude of ‘of course we’re going to win’ – there is no other option.”
Adoni told the Post that the bonds he built with the contestants – even some not on his team – transcend reality TV.
“It’s not a TV format it’s part of my life,” he said. “It’s real... it’s souls of people, dreams of people, they’re friends who I will have for life.”