Passover recipes from Jerusalem's hottest chefs
It's not all matza and bitter herbs. Although Passover is closely associated with the ancient Israelites' Exodus from Egypt, with its narrative of emancipation from bondage (the seder eve is in may ways a "banquet of liberation"), the holiday is also a celebration of the Judean blooming spring and harvest bounty. All of these themes come together in the collective heritage of Passover cuisine, which many find to be overly restrictive due to the traditional prohibition of leavened products, known as chametz (European Jews have even extended the prohibition into the realm of legumes, or kitniot, which are known to appear in many otherwise kosher-for-Passover recipes).
But for creative chefs who enjoy fresh ingredients and lavish feasts for extended clans, Passover can be a time of experimentation with flavors on a scale not generally braved. GoJerusalem.com has spoken with the chefs at three of the Holy City's hottest restaurants, and we're proud to share the below luxurious yet easy-to-prepare recipes straight out of Jerusalem's top kitchens.
After learning his trade in the high-end kitchens of London and New York, Jacob Turjeman is now at the helm of one of Jerusalem's most classy restaurants, 1868. One of Turjeman's guiding principles is to include representatives of as many different food groups as possible in each serving, which he accomplishes nicely with this sweetbread dish's medley of herbs, vegetables and proteins. "For me," he tells GoJerusalem.com, "veal sweetbread encapsulates Jerusalem. It's the flavor of the Machane Yehuda market, where my rhythm is. The combination of the ras al hanut spice mixture and the sweetbreads brings me back to my original roots," he adds, while the roasted peppers and beans on the side "lend the dish flavors that are distinct and mighty, yet balanced - it's Jerusalem on one plate."
Onions and roasted pepper cream ingredients
Guy Kimchi, who runs the kitchen at the German Colony's kosher Latin fusion restaurant La Boca, tells GoJerusalem.com that asado is arguably the ultimate festive Argentinian dish. "It's traditionally prepared for special events and holidays," he says. "My grandmother used to make it every year for Passover." He learned the original recipe in her kitchen, but he gave it an "upgrade" by using a tender veal asado cut instead.
Marcus Gershkowitz gives traditional meat a contemporary twist day in and day out at Angelica, a landmark of the new Jerusalem cuisine. Preparation is well underway for Angelica to offer a non-traditional prix fixe Seder eve banquet - a first for the eatery - with a menu set to include sashimi with grilled tomatoes, lemongrass and shitake soup, a variety of fresh salads, lamb stew, mushroom-stuffed chicken and unlimited wine refills. "Lamb is an extremely festive ingredient," Gershkovitz asserts. "It's classy and flavorful."
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