Restaurant dishes

Chef à table: restaurant dishes from the cook to the table

As many restaurants prepare to reopen this week under green and purple label restrictions, some businesses that have relied on delivery during recent closures are likely to downsize. An innovative project, however, hopes to make restaurant-inspired deliveries a permanent fixture of the Israeli food scene. Inspired by a business he watched overseas, hotel entrepreneur Doron Benvenisti – the driving force behind Assemblage, a hip new boutique hotel, spa and café near Carmel Market – created Chef to Table : meal kits that recreate the restaurant’s dishes and are delivered to your home. And not just any restaurants: to his credit, Benvenisti has managed to convince 11 of Tel Aviv’s top chefs – including eight whose popular restaurants have been reviewed in these pages – to share not only their recipes but also comprehensive and easy-to-follow recipes. , step-by-step instructions, both in print and on video. It may seem complicated and time consuming to recreate restaurant-quality dishes at home, but Chef to Table has gone to great lengths to eliminate the work and leave the fun. Therefore, all the ingredients needed for each recipe are on hand, packed compactly in a sturdy, airtight carton. And I mean all the ingredients – down to a little packet of salt, when the recipe calls for “a pinch of salt”. While every household is sure to have salt on hand, nothing is left to chance; the only ingredient that you may need to provide yourself is water.

Currently, there are 22 dishes on the menu, covering a wide range of cuisines, as well as dietary considerations, such as vegan and gluten-free. Each dish is accompanied by a clear photograph, and of course you can study all the ingredients before ordering. In fact, each recipe also comes with a detailed nutrition label. All of the recipes are in Hebrew only, but the images and common names of familiar ingredients mean you don’t have to be an expert in the language to handle. An additional consideration that is essential is the confidence required to be successful. It is for this reason that each recipe is also identified by its level of difficulty – from easy to moderately difficult (taking care not to omit the estimated preparation time). At least, there’s no need to worry about tackling hefty amounts: each dish is designed to feed two people (with the questionable exception of Chef Moti Titman’s whole chicken). The dishes are listed in no apparent order and include what may qualify as starters, main courses and desserts, even if they are not defined as such on the site. So, prices range from 51 NIS for a dessert to 192 NIS for the most extravagant main course: beef plus a side. (Note: Minimum order is NIS 80, excluding shipping.) Middle Eastern Knaffeh (NIS 51), which neither of us had tried before. We were assured in writing that they were not very complicated. First, the green curry with rump steak (cheftotable.co.il/product/sheitel/), a dish from chef Tom Aviv, whose culinary skills have been examined here no less than twice before. It was one of two recipes provided by Aviv. The recipe page not only lists all the ingredients – many of which are depicted in individual photos – but also the necessary kitchen equipment. In addition, the QR code will take you to a very professional video in which Aviv walks us through all the stages in less than 10 minutes; therefore it is strongly recommended to watch the entire video before even starting to work. While the preparation time for this recipe is rated at 30 minutes, it took us a lot longer, especially considering the extra cooking time. But that’s okay: we weren’t in a hurry, and the result was worth the effort. In particular, the spicy rice was a welcome change from the plain rice we get in restaurants; and the ability to decide how much nice red chili to include allowed a good degree of control over the level of spiciness. (Hint: using all the pepper led to a feeling of heat that completely filled our mouth – but in a pleasant way.) We decided to eat half of it on our own. To replenish the partially missing protein component of the curry, we replaced the tofu – although one of the traditional alternatives (i.e., chicken or shrimp) would be an equally good choice. This maneuver meant we could stretch the curry to last over two different dinners. Finally, it was time to try the knaffeh, which until now had always seemed like a challenge I would never try at home. But again, after watching Chef Nof Atamna’s skillful video presentation (cheftotable.co.il/product/knafe/), it suddenly appeared doable. And to our relief, joy and satisfaction, the knaffeh came out crunchy, sweet and flavorful – a treat we devoured until the last crumb of kadaif cheese strand. (The only disappointment in this recipe was that all the cheese was mozzarella, not the authentic Arabian cheese traditionally found in knaffeh.) Chef at the table. Kosher and not kosher. 48 Allenby Street, Tel Aviv. Phone. (050) 838-3084
Online menu (in Hebrew only): cheftotable.co.il/shop/The writer was the guest of Chef to Table.


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