With so many markets to choose from and so many variations on Israeli cuisine, taking a cooking class is the ideal way to experience the best Israel has to offer. From vegan home cooking to Druze delicacies and everything in between, we've rounded up the top ten cooking classes in Israel to improve your culinary skills. Feast your eyes on the ‘sage’ knowledge that Israel’s chefs have to share with you:
1. A cooking workshop with Israel’s healthy food expert Phyllis Glazer
American-born Phyllis Glazer is one of Israel’s most influential food personalities and a successful cookbook author. In her energetic cooking classes, she welcomes you into her Tel Aviv home for a spectacular evening of vegan cooking using the healthiest flours, organic herbs grown in her garden, and finally a sit-down feast. You will learn about fermented foods, the health benefits of herbs and spices, how to bake no-knead spelt bread, cook eggless shakshuka, and experiment with protein-filled grain combinations.
2. A guided tour through Machane Yehuda Market and a rooftop feast!
Chef Tali Friedman takes you on a gastronomic journey through the market while gathering ingredients for a culinary fête in her home. How to pick the best ingredients, and finally, enjoy the fruits of your visit with a rooftop dining experience, where you will learn to prepare dishes like handmade gnocchi with green almonds and chard, young garlic soup, and stews made from the bounty of the market.
3. Rethink kosher fine dining at the Culinary Hub
At the Culinary Hub (Sarona Market), famed Chef Meir Adoni and Chief Culinary Officer Ido Zarmi teach a kosher fine dining class using modern Israeli techniques to create multi-textured dishes, an array of contrasting sauces, and carefully chosen ingredients that mimic non-kosher foods, such as borage flowers for an oyster flavor, and “bacon” made out of braised, pressed veal short ribs.
4. A Druze cooking class in the Galilee
Discover the stories behind the people of the Galilee with Paul Nirens. In this Druze cooking class, he takes you to the village of Maghar, to Pnina’s Kitchen. Pnina, a religious Druze woman, lets you experience her culture and tradition through dishes like sinye (meat kebabs with tahini), zalabia (a fried spice bread), and shulbatta (bulgur wheat with vegetables).
5. Experience Israeli food at Bulthaup Culinary Academy
As the head of the Bulthaup Culinary Academy and a well-loved chef, Avner Laskin takes you on a culinary journey through Israel that begins at Tel Aviv Port Farmers’ Market (Shuk HaNamal) – choosing and learning about ingredients with a focus on the fresh herbs, seasonal fruit and vegetables that Israel has to offer. This plant-based class focuses on various techniques from steaming and roasting to baking and making confits.
6. Tour Acre and break bread with Chef Erez Komarovsky
One of Israel’s most influential chefs and baking experts, Chef Erez Komarovsky welcomes you to his cooking and baking workshop at his home in Mattat, in the Galilee. Get a behind-the-scenes tour of Acre’s colorful market followed by a tour of Chef Erez’s organic farm and dine on produce picked that morning with perfectly paired wines as he cooks for you and shows you how to make use of all the ingredients.
7. Get culinarily creative at Feincook
If modern cooking techniques intrigue you, the Tel Aviv cooking school known as Feincook is the place to be. Learn to prepare Israeli food with renowned Chef Yair Feinberg using smart appliances like the Thermomix (a hi-tech food processor), a sous-vide machine and dehydrators. Here, local Israeli ingredients go hi-tech, making for an innovative culinary journey through modern food.
8. A private cooking class and dinner experience in the home of Chef Ezra Kedem
Nothing beats the experience of dining in the home of a venerable chef, especially one like Chef Ezra Kedem, a pioneer of Israeli cuisine with a strong focus on seasonal, farm-to-table ingredients. Chef Ezra welcomes private groups into his studio in the picturesque Jerusalem neighborhood of Ein Karem for a cooking class and a once-in-a-lifetime tasting regale on his organic farm that includes the best local cheeses and wines in this all-encompassing gastronomic adventure.
9. Cook like an Israeli in Orly Ziv’s home
Clinical nutritionist, food lover, and cookbook author Orly Ziv, expertly leads classes which take you on a trip through Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market, filled with storytelling about the ingredients that have shaped Israeli home cooking. Afterwards, continue on to her house to learn how to make a selection of eggplant dishes, a traditional hummus, shakshuka (eggs in tomato sauce), and more. (054-4649706/cookinisrael.com)
10. Traditional Jewish cuisine at Dan Gourmet Cooking Experience
At this leading Tel Aviv culinary institute, you’ll experience step-by-step cooking through a spectrum of Jewish cultures and influences, including Moroccan favorites such as chraime (a fish in a tomato sauce), and handmade couscous with vegetables and toppings, as well as Eastern European comfort food like kreplach (meat -filled dumplings), sweet noodle kugel, and creamy chopped liver.