8 Day Cooking Vacation

COOKING VACATIONS – ONE WEEK
PROGRAM

Our program for your unforgettable cooking vacations in IsraelA wonderful week of food, fun and discovery, from the shores of the Mediterranean in Tel Aviv to green Galilee in the North, climaxing in the incomparable magic of Jerusalem

Program includes:

 

A rich culinary program that covers most parts of Israel guided with a chef
8 days/ 7 nights boutique hotel accommodations, based on double occupancy
Daily breakfast
6 Lunches & 5 Dinners
5 hands-on cooking classes, followed by a meal based on the foods prepared in class
Local wines will be served with all meals and cooking classes
Deluxe van/mini-coach with driver and air conditioning
Multilingual program director
Welcome dinner at one of Tel Aviv’s most talked-about restaurants
Visits to two produce markets: the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv and Akko’s lively market
Relaxation in Galilee’s embracing silence
Learning about Israeli’s cheese scene
Wine tasting tours in the Galilee and the Judean Hills
Exploring the magic of Jerusalem’s Old City, Me’a Shearim and Ein Kerem
Discovering some of the best and most intriguing Israeli restaurants
Getting to know Mediterranean traditional baking
Savoring from several traditional Mediterranean cuisines with our exceptional chefs
Small group 6 – 12 participants
Cookinisrael apron and recipe booklet
2 nights at either the Cinema Hotel or the Center Hotel in Tel Aviv.
2 nights at Amirey Hagalil Spa Hotel
3 nights at Harmony Hotel Jerusalem

 

Immerse yourself in the flavors and aromas of the real Israel, while enjoying five hands-on cooking classes and getting to know this vibrant, fascinating country from the inside out. Throughout the tour, you will be staying in charming boutique hotels that offer excellent service, eating at outstanding restaurants and traveling in a private, air-conditioned minibus.

Itinerary – 8 days, 7 nights

SUNDAY

Arrival and Welcome Dinner
Arrival at the hotel in central Tel Aviv and check in. The hotel (either the Cinema Hotel
or the Center Hotel, which both belong to the Atlas chain) is beautifully located in
Dizengoff Circle, the heart of Tel Aviv’s liveliest shopping and entertainment district and
within walking distance of the beach.
In the evening, our driver will take us to the highly rated Herbert Samuel restaurant,
named Tel Aviv’s Best New Restaurant in 2007 by Time Out magazine. Acclaimed Chef
Jonathan Roshfeld presides over the spacious open kitchen, and the spectacular view of
the sea provides us with a perfect backdrop to get to know each other.

 

 

MONDAY

Tel Aviv – Market and Mediterranean Cooking Class
Breakfast at the hotel. Then it’s off to the bustling Carmel Market, Tel Aviv’s colorful
open-air market bursting with an aromatic abundance of super-fresh, locally grown
produce. The heady fragrance of mint, basil and rosemary is punctuated by mounds of
mangoes, melons or succulent strawberries, depending on the season. Here we will shop
for the ingredients for our first cooking workshop, focusing on healthy, delicious dishes
based on the Mediterranean diet.
Our cooking workshop will take place in a kitchen with one of our chefs. After feasting
on the results of our class, we shall return to the hotel.
In the afternoon and evening, you will be free to savor the flavour of Tel Aviv, the
buzzing hub of Israeli business and culture, which is celebrating its 100th birthday in
2009 with a raft of special events. You can spend some time on the beach, have fun at the
wide array of tempting shops or explore some of the city’s renowned museums and
historic sites. Alternatively, you may take a guided walking tour of Tel Aviv’s White
City, whose 4,000 Bauhaus and International-style buildings earned its designation as a
UNESCO World Heritage site (additional charge – minimum of 6 in group).
Dinner on your own (we shall be happy to make recommendations).

 

TUESDAY

Galilee: Akko, Spa Time and Middle Eastern Cooking Class
Breakfast at the hotel. Then we board our private minibus for the trip north to the hills of
Galilee. Traveling along the shores of the Mediterranean, we reach the seaside city of
Akko, whose ancient walls have witnessed the arrival of figures as diverse as Marco Polo
(in 1271) and Napoleon Bonaparte (1799).
After exploring Akko’s lively market bursting with exotic spices, spectacular sweets and
other culinary treats, we will have lunch at the city’s celebrated hummus restaurant. Get
ready for the most authentic, delicious hummus experience you’ve ever had!
Now we leave the coastal road and travel northwest to Galilee, home of lush landscapes
that change with the seasons. The rolling hillsides are studded with centuries-old olive
trees and vineyards of more recent vintage, along with fragrant wild herbs and in the
spring, blankets of wildflowers.
Arrival at Amirey Hagalil Spa Hotel in the Upper Galilee. This boutique hotel, situated in
the middle of the Galilee natural forest, commands an enchanting panoramic view of the
Golan Heights, the Sea of Galilee and Mt. Arbel. Relax and enjoy Galilee’s embracing
silence (you may choose to pamper yourself and pre-book one of the several treatments
and massages offered at the charming Spa).
• In the evening, we will head towards Kefar Rama
In the evening, we will head towards Kefar Rama where the chef of Azeba Restaurant,
Habib Daud, and his wife – an exceptionally interesting couple (Habib learned to cook in
his mother’s kitchen and used to work as hospital nurse) – will be hosting us in their
house for one more culinary class. This unique culinary experience will take you through
a hands-on class on the Galilean and the traditional Arab cuisines. You will learn to make
such typical dishes as assorted stuffed vegetables, dumplings, etc. All dishes use farmfresh
ingredients only and are based on traditional recipes that have passed down for
many generations.

WEDNESDAY

Galilean Cheese and Wine
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, we will visit Hanoked dairy, a local boutique
dairy, located in the village of Gilon. The Israeli cheese scene has flourished in recent
years and includes at present a remarkable range of unique artisanal cheeses, produced by
skilled cheesemakers in small boutique dairies around the country. In Hanoked, you will
experience an exciting dairy cooking class in which you will get to savour the rich
variety of Israeli cheeses as well as learn how to prepare artisanal cheese. You will then
enjoy a delightful tasting cheese lunch on the terrace overlooking the magnificent view.
From ancient times, the Levant has been famous for the quality and quantity of its wine.
After lunch, we will take you through an intoxicating wine tasting tour of Galilean
wineries, including the unique Rimon Winery, located in Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra,
which specializes in producing the most extraordinary pomegranate wine.
Back to the hotel in the evening. Rest and relax at the hotel’s spa. Dinner will be served
at the hotel’s intimate restaurant.

THURSDAY

Spices, Jerusalem, Challa Bread
Get ready for a day full of excitement and adventures as we set out southbound to
Jerusalem. The journey will take you into the magical Judean Hills surrounding
Jerusalem, we will stop at Tavlin herbs and spice farm located in the heart of beautiful
Eshtaol Forrest. Tavlin farm has over 500 different kinds of spice plants as well as goat
cheese, olives, olive oil, coffee and assorted breads. In this colourful farm, you will
explore the aromas and flavours of exquisite herbs and spices. Then you will enjoy one
more hands-on cooking class with Osnat in a local little village. You will learn to prepare
in this class such delicacies of the kurdish traditional kitchen sorts of stuffed
vegetables and plenty of succulent Mediterranean salads, starters and appetizers, like
beetroots with pomegrate, special aubergines, stuffed wine leaves, among many others.
Following is a visit to the highly regarded Flam Winery for some wine tasting. You will
savour here the great, exquisite wine from the emerging boutique leader in Israel’s Judean
Hills.
Arrival in the afternoon at Harmony Hotel Jerusalem located in Nahalat Sheva, one of
the first neighborhoods to be built out of the Old City walls of Jerusalem at the end of the
19th century. Just a few minutes walk from the Old City, this exciting new hotel,
combining modern eclectic design with delicate sensitivity to Jerusalem’s unique essence,
offers 50 guestrooms overlooking the roofs and narrow alleys of what is considered one
of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
In the evening, we will journey into the past at Mea Shearim and experience a
fascinating culinary tour in this Hassidic Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, little more than a
century old, but in the dress and customs of its inhabitants is surely an amazing surviving
fragment of the world of Eastern European Jewry. “Like a city within a city, Mea
Shearim is immersed in Jerusalem”, wrote the Israeli Literature Nobel Prize S.Y. Agnon.
We will explore on foot Mea Shearim’s tangle of courtyards and alleyways, a world unto
itself, get to know the delicatessen with their herrings, pickled vegetables, tasty sweet
cheese blintzes, sweet and spicy kugels, and observe the full swing of preparations for
the coming Shabbat. On Thursday evening, the challa bakeries are working all night.
Challah and feigelach – small sesame rolls – are prepared here by hand with ancestral
skill and beauty, and baked in an old stone oven fixed in the wall. When these challahs,
whose flavour and sweetness are unparalleled, emerge hot and fresh from the oven,
dozens of trays are arranged in tiers. All night long, neighborhood residents stream in to
choose a challah for Shabbat. (Visitors to this area are requested to dress modestly.)
Dinner at a cozy Mediterranean restaurant, located in an old warehouse which was part of the
old Jerusalem train station.

FRIDAY

Baking & cooking hands-on class
Breakfast served at the hotel. We then head for our last hands-on class.
Our last cooking class will include an authentic baking class with talented chef Esthy who
learned cooking and baking in her Moroccan mother’s Jerusalemite kitchen. Esthy will show us how to prepare special Jerusalemite cuisine bread, borekas, rusks and bagels. And while it is all in the oven, we will stroll down the picturesque streets of Ein Kerem, revel in its lovely lanes and gardens, appreciate the old Arabic style houses, and finally return to have lunch at Esthy’s house.
Return to the hotel. Pause and feel the serene atmosphere of Jerusalem as Friday ends
and Shabbat arrives.
Dinner will be served at a restaurant near the hotel.

SATURDAY

The Old City
Breakfast is served at the hotel.
Excursion in Jerusalem. We will go for a walking tour in the Old City that will get you
to some major sites and allow you to sample the delicacies of the Arab cuisine. With its
4000 years of history, the Old City is a vast and intricate hodgepodge, and the best way
to explore its rich texture is by plunging in and wandering through its hummus parlors,
holy sites, ancient bakeries and picturesque market.
Return to the hotel in the afternoon. Free evening.

SUNDAY

Breakfast and departure. Visitors wishing to stay longer in Israel, please feel free to
contact us for further arrangements, suggestions or any other query.
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