Some of Israel’s top chef’s chime in on what makes for a perfect Valentine’s Day in Israel.
Amos Sion from Helena in Ceasarea proposes an afternoon stroll along the beach (should Valentine’s fall on a sunny day) with a dish of oysters and bottle of good sparkling wine on hand for a spontaneous picnic. When you get home in the evening, cook yourselves a great meal and open a bottle of wine.
Shaul Barda of Eretz Goshen, Culinary Art on Valentine’s Day: as a Jewish Israeli I’ve lucked out twice – Valentine’s Day and the Jewish holiday Tu’Be’Av. There are cynics who say that even one love holiday is too much – I love my wife every day, why a silly holiday – and then there are those (mostly women) that would love to celebrate a love holiday every month. I think that twice a year is just the right dose of love holiday. I personally try not to miss an opportunity to show my wife why she’s my other half (expect for the times where I totally miss the boat). A day like Valentine’s needs to start with some sort of romantic gesture in the morning, from a small flower on the way to morning errands or orange juice and an omelet in bed or even a letter or poem left on the pillow (for those who don’t wake up at the same time). If you are continuing the day together take advantage of your luck, and if you are only meeting again at night, allow me to recommend some utterly magical and easily pulled off fun: a camping stove, a finjan, milk, hot chocolate, marshmallows, a blanket, a mat and pillow. Pack it all up and head out for a night picnic, savoring your cup of hot chocolate in your favourite spot. Don’t be deterred by the winter and the fact that it’s a bit cold outside. The whole idea is body heats…
Kobi Gotthelf, Chef and Manager of Taleh in Be’er Ya’akov recommends some romantic fun on Valentine’s day by surprising your partner with an indulgent, flavourful and exotically spiced mushroom quiche. With the quiche, bring a bottle of red wine from a boutique winery and book a room at a romantic cabin.
Chef Dafna Barush from Pituim in Jerusalem recommends celebrating with the children and the rest of the family in a restaurant in the afternoon. And in the evening? A romantic meal with your partner, over candlelight, a good bottle of wine, cheese and fresh baguette. And the most important thing, of course, lots of sweets: chocolates and small individual sized desserts.
Chef Haim Tibi of Muscat in Mitzpe Hayamim says that even though Valentine’s Day is not an Israeli holiday we are always happy to join in on other’s holidays as well – especially those that celebrate love. “I recommend celebrating simply with your partner in a romantic restaurant with good wine. Don’t need anything more than that.“