By Deena Levenstein
We walked through the seemingly secret door and up the stairs to Tali Friedman’s beautifully designed studio with a kosher state-of-the-art kitchen in the heart of Jerusalem’s flagship outdoor market. By then we had tasted no less than 19 foods and drinks throughout Mahane Yehuda, everything from a puffed pastry dish with tehini, spice and pickles (it’s better than it sounds) to natural no-added-sugar cold fruit teas.
Upstairs in the studio, we were given an overview of the 10-dish meal we were about to prepare from the freshest market ingredients. We were each given tasks and we got to work.
Yossi, Tali’s wonderful sous chef, immediately turned on invigorating up beat music and sailed around the kitchen directing us as needed.
- Every ingredient was prepared according to the precise instructions.
- For example, I chopped parsley as fine as sand. Yes, that’s what Yossi requested. No, I didn’t know that was possible.
- Everyone enjoyed the process and felt proud of the ingredients they had prepared for the meal.
- When we were done, dozens of fresh ingredients were ready to be thrown together in perfect harmony.
- At that point Tali began to put together the dishes in front of our very eyes as she explained every step.
Each course was served as fresh as it comes. The dishes were bursting with flavors and even the pickiest young eaters among us loved the meal.
Here are a few examples of our meal:
- Ceviche salad with fresh radishes and mango
- Roasted baladi eggplant with fresh tehini concentrate and tomato
- Apple blintzes prepared by the kids with olive oil instead of margarine and a homemade apple filling.
All that food along with arak (a local alcoholic drink) and two bottles of wine – one red, one white – meant we had the most wonderful feast for the taste buds, the stomach and heart. Everyone left happy, with a sense of accomplishment and contentment.
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