Israeli Cuisine 2.0

January 25- February 2, 2018

Join Via Sabra as we deepen our exploration of Israeli Cuisine!  We are pleased to offer a new version of our “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” Trip inspired by the film of the same name.  This trip considers a variety of aspects connected to the culinary and introduces you to people, places, and ideas that will expand your taste buds and your awareness of the role of food in our lives and culture.


Thursday, January 25 - "Not by Bread Alone"


Neot Kedumim: The Biblical Landscape Reserve in Israel, embodies the panorama and power of the landscapes that helped shape the values of the Bible and provided a rich vocabulary for expressing them.  Cooking workshop using ancient recipes.

Proceed to the Negev

Lunch in Yerucham with the Culinary Queens of Yerucham

Social Drinking: Visit the Kerem Ramon community and wine collective consortium of Torah-oriented young chose to come to Mizpe Ramon, a geographically peripheral region on the margins of the Israeli socio-cultural landscape that lacks a strong economic structure. Kerem Ramon aims to provide a source of income for residents while also building a strong future for the Negev

Cocktail reception from the terrace overlooking the Ramon Crater

Avihai Tsabari “Explore the Past, Present, and Future of Israel Through Food"

Dinner at Beresheet

Overnight:  Beresheet, Mizpe Ramon


Friday, January 26  - "In the desert, you can remember you name" (America)



Avdat: Today we visit one of the towns along Nabatean Spice route is Avdat which is over 2,000 years old.

Sde Boker Institute: David Ben Gurion "retired" to the Negev with a cry that others should follow.  Today we visit his gravesite overlooking the valley that the children of Israel had come through on their way to the Promised Land.

Kornmehl: Lunch at the Kornmehl organic goat cheese farm, situated among magical views of the desert hills, the faces remnants of terraces belonging to an ancient farm that is over 5,000 years old.

Ramat Negev Desert AgroResearch Center: The scientific and technological research at the RNDARC is creating more effective agricultural methods, new crops and livestock and ecological use of saline or brackish water irrigation in this previously unproductive land.

Wine tasting at the Rota Winery whose wines are produced from top-quality grapes that come from organic vineyards and cared for entirely by human hands- no mechanical machines are used. 
Shabbat dinner at the Rota Winery farm surrounded by vineyards and desert landscapes.

Overnight:  Beresheet, Mizpe Ramon


Saturday, January 27"Culinary Evolution"



Travel to the Makhtesh HaGadol, a geological formation found only in Israel and northern Sinai. The steep rock cliffs surrounding a closed valley drained by a single wadi are the product of erosion.

In the family tent of a Bedouin family you will encounter the Bedouin way of life, listen to inspirational stories and nomad philosophy, realize contemporary conflicts of the Bedouin culture in modern Israel, and get a chance to ask questions.  A traditional lunch is prepared on the spot

Travel to Tel Aviv

Explore East and West Jewish food traditions with experts: Amit Aaronson, TV host and culinary blogger/writer & Shmil Holland, one of Jerusalem’s most well-known chef’s inspiration comes from his grandmother’s stories and Eastern European recipes.

Finish the night at a local jazz club.

Overnight:  The Market House, Tel Aviv


Sunday, January 28The UnTourist Tel Aviv



Tel Aviv’s Florentine neighborhood a study in transition and contrasts: Trendy establishments exist side by side near original Mom & Pop stores. With multidisciplinary artist and educator Shirel Horovitz we will study the vibrant street art scene as well as visit a plethora of art galleries that tell the behind the scenes story of “now” Israel.  Accompanied by Ronit Vered (food writer for Ha'Aretz), food culture researcher, culture, journalist, and author we will weave in “tastings” of ethnic and traditional foods from the nearby Levinsky market and stop at trendy cafes.

Sharing with the chefs: What makes a chef “great”?  Meeting with chef Jonathan Borowitz, cookbook auther Adeena Sussman and food critic Osnat Guetta, learn about what goes on in the kitchens of some of Tel Aviv’s most acclaimed restaurants. Begin to understand the stages from concept to market to preparation to the plate on the table. 

Dinner: M25, Shuk HaCarmel
“One of the top meat restaurants in the city just happens to be this unassuming, tavern-style eatery. Featuring one-of-a-kind Israeli dishes, with fresh meat taking the spotlight, carnivores can rejoice in the deliciously juicy flavors, and a menu that changes daily.”

Overnight: The Market House, Tel Aviv


Monday, January 29Food with a Social Conscience



Vegan tour: Tel Aviv’s vegan cuisine is drawn from traditional Israeli cuisine based on fresh fruit and vegetables, locally grown and easily available at street markets and from the culinary melting-pot which is characteristic of Tel Aviv.  We finish with a vegan/vegetarian cooking workshop with Ori Shavit, food journalist, blogger and animal rights campaigner.

Urban gardening: The upper parking lot of the Dizengoff Center shopping mall, is a concrete maze of cars...that also boasts a hothouse with fresh green vegetables. Yarok ba’Ir (Green in the City) serves straight-from-farm veggies within the Greater Tel Aviv area as a true merge of hydroponic and aquaponic solutions with urban chic.

Project Leket: Volunteers go into fields to pick and gather fruits and vegetables that were not collected during the commercial harvest. We will volunteer at the logistics center to help sort and pack the collected produce in preparation for distribution to soup kitchens, food pantries, senior citizen centers, homeless shelters and other places serving those in need.

Dinner: Nanuchka
“The first 100% vegan Georgian restaurant in the world”

Overnight: The Market House, Tel Aviv


Tuesday, January 30Back to Basics in the Galilee


Breakfast and check-out and depart hotel

Jezre’el Valley Winery: In a land of some 300 boutique wineries, it took a high-tech entrepreneur, an organic landscape architect and a branding designer to come up with a new concept for their wine venture.  Meet with Jacob Ner David a successful serial entrepreneur in technology based start-ups who made a dream come true and continues to infuse out-of-the box thinking into the DNA of the winery.

Galilean Oil Press: The olive tree is a source of food, energy, medicine, and cosmetics. At one of the oil presses in the Galil we learn that the inhabitants of the nearby villages olive oil production serves as a culture and tradition and not merely a source of commercial trade.

Arrabe Market: One of the largest of the Galilean Arab markets known for its extremely fresh and heirloom produce.

Jullius Distillery: is the first artisan distillery in Israel specializing in production of the finest quality Eaux De Viex (fruit brandies). All the materials used are from the Galilee Mountains manufactured manually using only natural ingredients with no added aromatic or flavoring substances, sweeteners or coloring agents.

Check-in hotel

Dinner – Way Inn
“Savor the tranquil, mystical, magical atmosphere of Safed and the delicious food of Chef Rony BarEl, who along with his wife Gita Zohara, converted their 250-year-old home into an enchanting retreat.”

Night tour of Safed and/or meeting with artist

Overnight: Amirei HaGalil, Upper Galille


Wednesday, January 31Ingathering of the Exiles- Through Food



Peki’in – According to tradition, Peki'in has maintained a Jewish presence since the Second Temple period. The elderly sole remaining member of the Zinati family cares for the ancient synagogue as best she can.  Grandma Jamilla, the founder of family owned olive oil soap made from local oil and medicinal herbs is a local legend.

Kfar Vradim:
The German-Speaking Jewry Heritage Museum tells the history of the German-speaking Jewry in central Europe up until World War II and presents the activity and influence of German Jews in the Land of Israel.

Plia' Center for Bukharan Jews: Greeted by Bukharan, visitors cloak themselves with traditional Bukharan customs and start dancing to the music played.  Drink Bukharan tea and hear stories of the Bukharan community in Israel alongside photos and traditional Bukharan family and home objects.

Moshav Ein Yaakov: Lunch at the Kurdish Taste and Smell Restaurant.

Mevrhatey: Authentic Jewish Ethiopian experience in an Ethiopian mud gojo hut including dancing to ethnic music, traditional treats including injera bread with spicy lentil, chickpea and avocado dips; fragrant coffee and tea; and daba, a loaf made of whole grains and fruits according to a family recipe.

Moshav Amka, Carmela, an icon of Yemenite tradition, song, dance and cookery will teach her guests about the date fruit and its powers and treated them to traditional Yemenite meal served on large trays.

Dinner at Deir el Asad: Kamla’s home-restaurant features the best of Moslem Arab cooking.  Besides the wonderful food, the sisters have a Jewish partner as well as a kashrut certificate from an ultra-Orthodox supervisor.  True Galilean co-existence!

Overnight: Amirei HaGalil, Upper Galilee


Thursday, February 1A Taste of Conflict: Politics of Food

Food provides a foundation and container for community and individual histories and memories, which are always tied to land and landscape.



Za’atar a Middle Eastern spice mix, that crucially contains the dried and ground leaves of a wild plant species. Having been designated an endangered wild plant species, its collection was prohibited by Israeli law affecting traditional Palestinian rural practices and economic livelihood.    Today we will visit the Arab-Jewish  Sindyanna to understand the role of za’atar in political issues like land ownership

Afternoon on your own in Jerusalem 

Chumus and falafel:  Melting pot or pressure cooker food! Many typical dishes are a reminder of the shared history and culture of Arabs and Jews - something easily forgotten in today's divided politics where the roots of certain foods are fiercely debated as a marker of identity, an expression of history, culture, and values.

Dinner at Notre Dame Jerusalem, in east Jerusalem, overlooking the old city.   Prepared by Chefs for Peace, a group of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim chefs committed to exploring cultural identity, diversity and co-existence.

Overnight: Orient, Jerusalem


Friday, February 2Food: Tradition and Modernity



Discover the connection between food and culture in the Ladino speaking communities of old Jerusalem through the Old Yishuv Courtyard Museum

In the home of an ultra-Orthodox woman we will learn how this traditional, insular community relates to food.

Travel to Nataf

Lunch: Rama’s Kitchen: Destroyed by fire over a year ago, Rama has re-built her beloved restaurant.  Group summation and farewell in the home of a true “woman of valor”.



750 $
Trip Deposit
4200 $
For one person in a double room
5200 $
For one person in a single room
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Price per person (Double room) - $4200

Price per person (Single room) - $5200

Trip deposit - $750 per person (nonrefundable)

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Payment and cancellation policies:
Nonrefundable $750 deposit is requested upon registration. Reminder of payment will be made no later than December 15th.
Upon cancellation, 50% of total sum will be refunded by January 1st (minus deposit).
By January 15th, 25% of the total sum will be refunded.

Via Sabra's services include:

  • Via Sabra welcome package
  • All site entry fees
  • All special activities listed in the itinerary
  • A private, licensed, English speaking, culinary tour guide
  • Bus for the entire trip with Wifi
  • All accommodations –  5-star hotels (Tel Aviv and north – 4 stars).
  • *Upgrades available upon request
  • All breakfasts. Lunch and dinners as specified
  • Light snacks and cold-water bottles

Not included:

  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Tips for tour guide and driver


*Itinerary is subject to change based on seasonal considerations and availability of speakers and restaurants.