Jerusalem Village: A Shabbat Come True

Last Friday I experienced something that I never thought would happen to me so early in life- a private chef came to my house and cooked an entire Shabbat meal for me and 10 guests. Is this a joke? No. This is reality, people.

Thanks to Jerusalem Village, an organization based in Jerusalem that helps young people connect to each other through interesting events and groups, I was able to invite 4 friends and 6 strangers into my house for a night of food, drinks, and many laughs.

The concept behind it is to get new “olim” (immigrants) and native Israelis to meet over a shared Shabbat experience in an intimate atmosphere.

When I heard this- I jumped on the offer.

Jerusalem Village provides the ingredients, the chef, and even a portable kosher kitchen- great for me since the kitchen I have now isn’t kosher and I always want to invite my more religious friends, but can’t.

Thursday night the food was delivered, and early Friday morning we got to cooking. For 6 hours. Naturally, we started drinking early.


the menu for the evening- drum roll, please…

The Menu:

  • Beet Root Soup
  • Stuffed Grape Leaves
  • Fennel and Pear Salad
  • Sprouts Salad
  • Sea Bass Patties in a Spicy Pepper Sauce
  • Homemade CousCous
  • Red lentil + Pumpkin curry

And while I’m looking forward to hearing from Orit Bon Apetite (the chef who graciously came over and planned an exquisite meal) about the specific recipes, I can’t actually speak to them right now as I was strictly the sous chef. It was so nice not having to worry, but just be a helping hand.

And so while I can now roll grape leaves like a mother fucker, I can’t really say what the exact recipe is- yet.

In the meantime, here’s a classic recipe for an Israeli nightcap, or as one Israeli guest described it as: Israeli water!

Arak Recipe

  1. Take a whiskey glass and pop in one large ice cube
  2. Pour one shot of arak (anise liquor)
  3. Garnish with a mint sprig

Viola- you’re now Israeli!

**If you or someone you know is looking for an unforgettable experience, I would highly recommend both Jerusalem Village as well as Orit Bon Apetite for a more private or intimate occasion. Seriously, people, she makes miracles happen in the kitchen.


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