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Israeli Restaurant Named One of World’s Best

Tel Aviv eatery Herbert Samuel was named one of the world’s best restaurants by a French publication.

The French are opining on Israeli cuisine too. The debut edition of — a foodie ranking similar to the British World’s 50 Best Restaurants survey — gave nods to four Israeli eateries, says Jewish Business News.

LA LISTE picked Tel Aviv’s Manta Ray, Herbert Samuel and Helena BaNamal among the world’s 1,000 exceptional eateries. A fourth LA LISTE resto, Mul Yam, permanently shut its doors after a fire this summer.

More Israeli-Food Fever

Israel’s white-hot food scene is getting lots of love from global media this week.

The New York Times showcased Tel Aviv-Jaffa in its popular “36 Hours In…” feature, with a spotlight on foodie hotspots like Rothschild 12, Manta Ray, Cafe Xoho and the original Lehamim bakery, whose English-language offshoot, , has been the toast — pun intended! — of Manhattan.

The Indian Express, meanwhile, asked how a “culinary desert” like Israel could become a foodie “triumph” in just a few decades. Chefs like Moshe Basson (The Eucalyptus) and Aviv Moshe (Messa weigh in. “Led by their belief that a country’s true culinary culture is rooted in its terroir, [chefs are] applying their newfound skills and ideas by working with native ingredients and techniques,” the paper enthuses.

(Of course Israel isn’t the only place to get great Israeli food these days. Israeli chefs and their cuisine have been hitting it big right here in the U.S. See our recent feature, The Year We Tasted Israel.

Challah Abomination

An animal ingredient hidden in a grocery chain’s challah is “akin to hidden pork fat in a dish for the Muslims’ Eid al-Fitr.”

That’s what The Washington Post’s Bonnie Benwick’s is calling a liver-based preservative baked into challahs at Giant Food, the mid-Atlantic grocery retailer.

Giant doesn’t label the challah as kosher, but it makes sense that customers would assume it to be pareve. “This loaf is unfit for the consumers who are most familiar with challah and whose ancestors have ushered in the Sabbath with it for thousands of years,” Benwick writes.

Tribulations for Toronto Deli

After a rough year that included a mysterious summer shutdown, Toronto kosher deli Ben & Izzy’s has closed again — this time, because of a fire, reports CJN.

In Twitter postings, the two-year-old deli is promising to reopen in May. The fire gutted Ben & Izzy’s basement.

Support has come from as far away as San Francisco, where Wise Sons Deli tweeted: “We know how this feels, we lost our commissary last year. Our thoughts are with you!”

New Chef at NY Israeli Eatry

There’s a new face behind the stove at Bustan, the “modern Israeli” restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Jose Paulo Cortes — just to clarify, he’s not Israeli — worked under Chef Efraim Nahon at downtown NYC Mediterranean eatery Barbounia.

“I fell deeply in love with the flavors and the techniques used, and decided that I wanted to learn everything that I could about it,” Cortes tells Dish. Bustan’s the only place in New York with a wood-fired, 360-degree rotating brick taboon, the Middle Eastern cone-shaped oven.

Michael Kaminer is a contributing editor at the Forward.

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