Tel Aviv’s eclectic cuisine comes to London
Tel Aviv’s cuisine combines Middle Eastern and European influences, to delicious efect
VIBRANT HERB salads heavy on mint and lemon and studded with pine nuts and pomegranate seeds; crisp pastry parcels filled with buttery egg and spinach; beef and date-molasses kebabs on fragrant cinnamon sticks, like lollipops. The food of Tel Aviv draws from everyone who has ever passed through Israel’s cosmopolitan coastal city, says Shaul Ben Aderet, one of its star chefs. ‘It comes from Europe and Africa, with each settler bringing his own kitchen.’
The result is a celebration of vegetables, herbs and olive oil, fresh fish and lamb, and a hedonistic approach to feasting that Ben Aderet aims to recreate in London this weekend. TLV in LDN is a festival that has been a year in the planning, a ‘crazy’ extravaganza, he ex plains, bringing together ar ti sts, musicians, fashion and food.
The chef and owner of three restaurants in Israel and one of the event’s key curators, Ben Aderet was born to parents of Iraqi and Greek descent, and his menus are as likely to star chicken-liver pâté laced with Calvados as they are kibbeh soup with its semolina dumplings. The Roundhouse in Camden, north London, is this weekend his shuk, transposing Tel Aviv’s bustling market scenes into food stalls bearing tiramisu-flavoured ice cream from the city’s hippest gelateria, Anita, and street-food servings of Levantine-inspired chicken shawarma. ‘What better way to transport the flavours and colours of such a happy, 24-hour city than through food?’