[overheard from one of the chefs (who will remain nameless) while eyeing a massive tray full of chicken livers]
2. Will you marry me?
[2 out of the 4 chefs proposed to their girlfriends while in Israel! Jewish Agency, how about paying for their honeymoon here?]
3. Is the roux brown enough?
[a roux being central to just about everything they cooked]
4. Who knew, creole can be kosher AND taste good?
[said by, well, everyone who tasted the food, in awe of the good tasting Kosher creole food]
5. When are we eating falafel?
[a common chant from the chefs looking for authentic street food]
And a special addition, overheard from a staff member:
"The next delegation we are hosting will be a dietitian exchange!"
As it turned out, a one week visit is all Rosh Ha'ayin needed to assure lifelong relationships and support from 4 celebrity chefs from New Orleans. The goal of unifying the two communities was simplified by bringing a group of people together with similar values and a shared passion for food.
I was personally inspired to continue with this kind of bond - it is exactly the concept that I have for Israel Food Tours - sharing what we love with people we appreciate. I am working hard now so that Israel Food Tours can help replicate this type of meaningful experience for other chefs.
At the end of such a positive experience, as personal toast after toast highlighted on the last day, the only thing left to say is L'chaim Jewish Agency Partnership 2gether Rosh Ha'ayin and New Orleans - let this project live, breath, and continue to connect Kosher Creole!
Here is a brief recap of an amazing with and trip highlights:
- Welcome Reception with host families in Rosh Ha'ayin
- Kosher cooking class and demonstration with Chef Gilad Dolev
- Shabbat dinner cooked by together by Israeli and NOLA chefs
- Dinner with lone soldiers at Darna Restaurant
- Tastings in authentic and artisanal eateries throughout the country (to name a few, Flam Winery, the Tel Aviv Farmer's Market, Shai Seltzer's goat farm, Muscat, falafel stands, shwarma and humus joints)
- Cooking, serving and demonstrating how to cook 2,000 tastings at the Rosh Ha'ayin Promenade opening, with proceeds going to charity
- Cooking for Israel Defense Force soldiers at an army base
- Saying goodbye to Chefs John Besh, Alon Shaya, Jacques Leonardi, and David Slater, or rather 'see ya soon'