4 Israeli restaurants win international honors

USA Today awards Timna in NYC; French foodie list gives top nods to Manta Ray, Herbert Samuel and Helena BaNamal.

Israel Tel Aviv   Manta Ray,   restaurant www.simonsays.fr


A delicious end to 2015, as Israeli chefs receive top honors from foodie experts from the US and France for their innovative concoctions.

USA Today’s readers voted Timna, in New York’s East Village, as the best new restaurant of 2015. Israeli chef Nir Mesika – who did his culinary training in Israel and Italy, and cooked at Goocha, Catit and Mizlala in Tel Aviv – opened Timna with partners, Amir Nathan and Ori Apple.

“Timna’s menu showcases Modern Israeli cooking rooted in the traditions of the Mediterranean,  Middle East and North Africa. The memories of cooking with my mother, as well as the ancient Moroccan flavors I grew up on, are still in my mind and in my cooking vision today. I want to provide diners with a cross-cultural experience and aspire to create the perfect worldly bite for our diners, ” Mesika tells USA Today.

A few weeks ago, Shaya, the New Orleans restaurant belonging to Israeli-American chef Alon Shaya, was voted Restaurant of the Year by The Daily Meal and Eater.

Meanwhile, the inaugural edition of LA LISTE – a French foodie undertaking meant to rival the UK-based “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” survey – gave nods to four Israeli eateries for their creativity on the plate. One of the restaurants, Mul Yam, has since shut its doors following a disastrous fire in July and announced that it would not reopen.

LA LISTE said Manta Ray, Herbert Samuel and Helena BaNamal are among the 1, 000 exceptional restaurants from around the world.

“The goal of LA LISTE, whose first ranking was unveiled in Paris on 17 December, is to provide these criteria by summarizing all available information on the world’s 1, 000 top restaurants, ” reads its mission statement.

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