Israeli Celebrity Chef Takes on Kosher Challenge in Herzliya

Jonathan Roshfeld, a judge on Israel’s 'Master Chef,' will now prepare meat dishes without cream or butter in the new branch of his restaurant Herbert Samuel.

Israeli celebrity chef Jonathan Roshfeld has just opened a second - and kosher - branch of his restaurant Herbert Samuel, one of the most expensive restaurants in the country. Located in the new Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Herzliya marina, Herbert Samuel Herzliya is headed by Roshfeld and longtime business partners Adi and Irit Strauss.

The move comes shortly after the launch of Roshfeld’s third restaurant, Alma Lounge, in the downtown Tel Aviv Alma Hotel and just before the latest season of the Israeli version of “Master Chef,” where Roshfeld is a judge, is due to air.

“We tried to bring the DNA of Herbert Samuel here from Tel Aviv, yet there’s something very refreshing here, cooking without butter or cream,” said Adi Strauss, who reveals that it took some convincing for Roshfeld to open a kosher restaurant.

“The moment I became a judge on ‘Master Chef,’ people kept asking me if I have a kosher restaurant,” Roshfeld says, adding, “I don’t think it’s a lower-quality cuisine if it has no butter or cream in it. There’s a generation here that wants to eat well and wants to know there’s no shrimp or pork in the restaurant’s kitchen.”

The decor of Herbert Samuel Herzliya echoes that of its older sibling, albeit without the bar. The menu is based on fish and meat dishes, some created with classic techniques and others of a more complex nature. They include Herbert’s tomato salad (without cheese), truffle and chestnut gnocchi, tuna and beet sashimi, Tuscan duck ragu pasta, yellowtail tataki with crispy garlic and peanuts in soy sauce, lamb ribs with a wild herb mix and a salmon tartare with Habanero sauce, truffles and black sesame seeds.

Adir Cohen, 24, is the executive chef. He’s been with Roshfeld for a few years now, working at Roshfeld’s Yavne Montefiore and most recently in charge of the kitchen at Herbert Samuel in Tel Aviv. “He has the kind of spirit that few chefs can offer,” says Roshfeld of the young chef, “and if I had to choose, I’d say he’ll be the next Jonathan Roshfeld.”

Tomer Appelbaum