Sixty chefs, sous chefs, floor managers and restaurateurs from 14 leading restaurants overseas are coming to Israel for the third Round Tables festival starting in late October.
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For three weeks, from October 29 to November 17, the chefs will be working with their Israeli counterparts at Israeli restaurants. Each restaurant – one in Jerusalem, the rest in Tel Aviv – will host the foreign culinary influence for a week, offering a tasting menu of the guest chef and hybrid offerings of the two teams: multicultural dishes using local ingredients.
Of the 14 restaurants, eight have Michelin stars, up from 13 and four last year. And this year, not only fine dining but also more casual cuisine will be featured.
This year will also stress farm-to-table cuisine and, fittingly, restaurateurs seeking inspiration less in the city supermarket and more in nature. Many of the visiting chefs aren’t just chefs, they’re also farmers to some degree. And some of their restaurants are actually located on farms or in villages – including L’Air du Temps in a Belgian village and Sud 777, whose chef Edgar Nuñez set up a farmer’s market in Mexico.
Among the participants are the Japanese-Peruvian eatery Maido from Lima, Peru, ranking eighth in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Its award-winning chef Mitsuharu Tsumura will be the guest of Yuval Ben-Neriah’s Ya-Pan. Another is Kadeau from Denmark, the 94th best in the world. It focuses on the cuisine of Bornholm Island in the Baltic Sea’s wild southwest. The Danes will be hosted by chef Jonathan Roshfeld at the Jonathan Food Club.
Another prestigious participant is 7132 Silver from the Swiss Alps, which will be working with chef Shahaf Shabtay at Nithan Thai in Tel Aviv. L’Air du Temps will be paired with the Pastel restaurant at the Tel Aviv Museum.
The more casual participants include Pok Pok of New York and Portland, Oregon, whose chef Andy Ricker has won the James Beard Foundation Award for cuisine. It’s pairing with Thai at Har Sinai near Tel Aviv’s Great Synagogue. Another casual-type participant is Xemei of Barcelona, which is beloved by celebrities and offers Italian food.
The one participating restaurant in Jerusalem is Mona, run by chef Moshiko Gamlieli.