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February 20, 2023 1:36 pm

Series of Pop-Up Events in New York Spotlight Israeli Chefs, Cuisine for Local Foodies


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Chef Jonathan Sharvit overseeing preparations at the Tel Aviv Groove pop-up event at MEAT restaurant on Feb. 19. Photo: Gil Aviram Photography

A series of pop-up culinary events taking place over the course of three days in New York has chefs from Israel collaborating with local chefs and restaurateurs as a way to introduce foodies to Tel Aviv-inspired cuisine and Israeli products.

Tel Aviv Groove kicked off Sunday night at the kosher restaurant called MEAT in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, where the restaurant’s chef Roger Mifsud hosted chef Jonathan Sharvit. Together they created an exclusive menu for diners that featured Sharvit’s style of cooking while also highlighting Israeli wines, whiskey from Israel’s M&H Distillery and award-winning olive oils made in Israel. Dishes included beef tartare, amberjack bruschetta, lamb ragout, dry aged tagliata and a chocolate creme dessert.

Sharvit was a finalist on the cooking reality show Chef Games. He has worked for a number of establishments in Israel and around the world, including in Italy and Australia, and runs an upscale catering service.

Also on Sunday, the non-kosher ice cream and gelato shop Bambina Blue turned into a pop-up where chef Assaf Maoz hosted chef Yossi Sherf and they jointly created dishes centered on an Israeli olive oil boutique brand, including salty snacks, olive oil cookies and yogurt ice cream with olive oil. A separate event in New York as part of Tel Aviv Groove is an Israeli wine and olive oil tasting workshop where attendees can also talk to two Tel Aviv chefs about Israeli cuisine and enjoy dishes by chef Tal Abaov from the Rothschild TLV non-kosher restaurant in Manhattan.

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The first Tel Aviv Groove series of pop-up events took place in Los Angeles in October 2022. Its creator and organizer, Tel Aviv-based Israeli entrepreneur Orly Segal, told The Algemeiner that following its success, she decided to bring the celebration of Israeli food to New York.

Segal is the owner and manager of a public relations company located in Tel Aviv that specializes in the culinary arts and hospitality. For the last two decades she has been representing Israeli chefs as well as luxury hotels, wineries, food festivals and wine festivals. She came up with the idea to create Tel Aviv Groove after she fell in love with an American and as she traveled more and more to the US, she was inspired to start a project that would introduce Americans to “young, relevant up-to-date Israeli chefs with the vibes and the taste of Israel,” she said.

“When we did the pop-up in October [in Los Angeles] I thought just Israeli crowds would come,” she told The Algemeiner. “And I was very surprised because most of the crowd was from the Jewish community but also many local foodies, and also all the events in LA had a waiting list or were fully booked. We got a huge hug from the city.”

Several people who Segal met in Los Angeles through the Tel Aviv Groove events are also coming to attend some of the pop-ups in New York as a show of support. Segal added, “for us it really makes the heart wide. It’s like we’re getting a huge embrace.”

Tel Aviv Groove will return to Los Angeles for four days from February 24-27 and then comes back to New York in September. Segal told The Algemeiner that she is also in talks with “several restauranteurs” to take the series of pop-up culinary events to Las Vegas later this year.

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