Homestyle haute cuisine

chumus (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Mamilla Hotel last week hosted an exclusive, oh-so-Jerusalem workshop as part of the OpenRestaurants festival, led by culinary director and executive chef Oshri Za’afrani.
Bringing a luxurious taste of Shabbat gastronomy and the fusion that characterizes Israel’s exciting food scene to the foreign journalists in town for the festival, Za’afrani prepared delicacies from a range of Western and Eastern culinary traditions. There were the well-loved standards of the Ashkenazi table (Kedem grape juice, sesame-studded halla rolls, gefilte fish platters, chopped liver, steaming cholent, chicken and noodle kugel) as well as classic salatim of the Sephardic Shabbat meal, including a mezze of Moroccan carrots, fried cauliflower, stuffed grape leaves and preserved lemons, alongside delectable chraime (white fish in a tangy tomato sauce) and vegetable couscous.
Assisted by 46 chefs, Za’afrani took time to explain the various dishes on the table and the rituals and blessings involved, detailing the Shabbat preparation process and the importance of wine as a custom in Jewish tradition. The tasting tour concluded with an insider visit to the hotel kitchens.