Shuk & Cook: Freshest Kind of Fun

It hasn’t even been a week in Tel Aviv and I am already obsessed with the lifestyle. I understand why people from all over the world decide to make Tel Aviv their home away from home.

Maybe it’s my convenient 5 minute walk to the beach, the lively night scene, or being able to buy iced coffee on every street corner for 5 shekels. Or maybe, narrowing it down, it’s the people and cuisine that are making TLV my new home.

I am interning for Delicious Israel, a company that specializes in culinary tours around Israel. My boss is owner and guide Inbal Baum, and she shares her passion for Israeli cuisine by taking people around the “foodiest” parts of the city. Even after my first day of work, I can proudly say that I am not working at all this summer, but rather putting my heart into something I truly have a passion for: finding hidden food spots.

On my first day, I met Inbal outside of the Carmel Market. She informed me that today’s tour would be a unique one, as the clients signed up for a speciality tour called “Delicious Shuk and Cook.” A foodie’s dream, this tour includes exploring the shuk as well as cooking a feast using ingredients from the market.

Not only were we checking off ingredients we needed to cook our delicious meal, like juicy cherries and nectarines, zaatar, ripe tomatoes, and chicken, we also got a taste of the hidden gems in the market.

Our first visit was to the “Doctor of the Shuk,” who refreshed us for our humid day by offering us various juices. We tasted perfectly sweet medjool dates, snacked on a not so Israeli warm, cheesy bread, and most importantly, ate hummus from the best, Shlomo & Doron.

With our stomachs already full, we headed back to Inbal’s home to concoct a delicious Israeli meal. Olivia, the chef, lead the cooking class and was sure to make both couples a part of the cooking experience. While everyone sipped on cherry and nectarine infused champagne, we were also busy dicing tomatoes, frying eggplant, baking cauliflower, and marinating the chicken.

In just over 2 hours, we prepared a delicious feast: shakshuka, mini sabich, market salad with carrot, kohlrabi and mint, fire charred eggplant, whole roasted cauliflower, chicken in pomegranate syrup, soy, and zaatar, and malabi for dessert.

The best part of the Shuk and Cook: participants receive a copies of the recipes to take home!