Canadian Chef Culinary Tour - February 2019

February 24-March 4, 2019

For the first time ever four of Canada’s best chefs are coming to Israel for a culinary adventure to explore Israeli Cuisine! 

 

The chefs are: 

Connie DeSousa, Charcut Roast House, Calgary
John Jackson, Charcut Roast House, Calgary
Nick Liu, DaiLo, Toronto
Amy Rosen, Food Writer

 

"A tour like this of Israel is on our bucket list. This thoughtful itinerary covers everything from
learning about the culture and history of the people, to breaking bread and diving into the
taste of place. The group of chefs and food lovers that have been put together have not only
guaranteed our days will be packed with fun and education but they will also be filled with
shared memories and experiences in one of the most magical places on earth."
From Connie and John
Charcut, Calgary

Click HERE for the registration form

 

 

Day 1:  Sunday, February 24

Welcome to Israel!


Welcome and Opening lunch: “What is Israeli Cuisine”? Is there an answer? Let’s find out while we explore the past, present, and future of Israel through food with Avihai Tsabari, culinary expert and owner of Via Sabra.

 

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.  Enjoy a biblical cooking workshop and lunch.

 

Proceed to the Negev

 

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.

 

Cocktail reception upon arrival to Beresheet Hotel, overlooking Makhtesh Ramon

 

Dinner at Beresheet

 

Overnight:  Beresheet, Mitzpe Ramon

 

 

Day 2: Monday, February 25

The Negev "In the desert, you can remember you name" (America)

 

Breakfast at your hotel

 

Jeep tour (or ATV’s) in Makhtesh Ramon, 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.

 

- or       -

 

Hike through the geological formations at HaMinsara (the Carpentry Shop), with black prismatic rocks which look like wood. The rocks are composed of sea sand, which melted and turned into liquid during a volcanic eruption, and then cooled into these quartzite prisms.

 

Lunch at Lasha Desert Bread “Lasha” (kneading in Hebrew) is a boutique bakery specializing in baking sourdough breads with the flavor and aroma that has almost disappeared from the world. The bakery owner, Hadas, has a special interest in passing on the secrets of bread baking to the world. Connect to the desert and to the spiritual with Hadas who will tell you her story.

 

Tour and tasting at Nana Farm Winery. In the heart of desert, between ancient stone terraces and barren golden sand hills, wine vineyards appear. The powerful site is hard to describe in words. Experienced vintner Eran Raz, nicknamed "Nana", has created a quality leading wine in what some may be surprised to call ideal conditions for quality vine growth.

 

Optional Spa time or relax by the pool


Dinner and Kumzitz in the Ramon Crater. A Kumzits (קומזיץ) is a compound-word in Hebrew derived from the Yiddish words קום (come) and זיץ (sit). The word is used to describe an evening gathering where everyone sits together, and sings songs.


Overnight:  Beresheet, Mitzpe Ramon

 

 

Day 3: Tuesday, February 26

Northern Arava – where miracles bloom

 

Breakfast in your hotel

 

Check out of your hotel and drive north to the Arava

 

Visit the R&D Center for the Central & Northern Arava Region in Hatzeva learn about the miracle of Arava agriculture, where vegetables are grown in the heart of the desert.

 

Lunch and learn at Gan Yarak Organic Farm, a series of greenhouses in the middle of the Arava which is used as an educational centre.

 

Float in the Dead Sea

 

Stop at a Garlic Farm where the most incredible garlic is grown in the lowest place on earth. Why does it taste so good?

 

Drive to Jerusalem & check into your hotel

 

Late dinner at Hatzot, which is a part of Jerusalem’s history. Two brothers, Abraham and Michael Ajami founded this landmark family restaurant in 1970. Located on Agripas Street between the Machne Yehuda Market and Nachlaot, one of the older neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Legend has it that Meurav Yerushalmi - the favorite Israeli mixed grill dish - was born at Hatzot Restaurant.

 

Overnight:  Orient Hotel, Jerusalem

 

 

Day 4: Wednesday, February 27

Jerusalem – awaken your senses

 

Breakfast in your hotel

 

Early morning Machane Yehuda Market Tasting Tour. Enjoy the energy with all the rich fragrances, colors and sounds this iconic Jerusalem market offers. Let the tastings begin!

 

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.

 

Lunch at Azura, Azura Restaurant, a family-run institution in the Iraqi market famous for its Turkish-inspired delicacies that are slow-cooked to perfection atop kerosene burners.

 

Begin your tour of the Old City with a walk along the Ramparts. We will tour the historical and religious sites of the Jewish and Christian Quarters. We will discover off-the-beaten track sites in the winding alleyways and enjoy some Jerusalem delicacies.  We will have a “taste of history” that combines the senses of smell, taste, and sounds of what is Jerusalem.

 

Walk through the Arab shuk – check out the local humus and sweets.

 

Dinner at MachaneYuda

 

Overnight: Orient Hotel, Jerusalem

 

 

Day 5: Thursday, February 28

Jerusalem Hills – beauty and history on every turn

 

Breakfast in your hotel

 

Check out of your hotel and head to the Jerusalem hills

 

Visit Shai Seltzer’s Goat and Cheese Farm for a tasting. Shai Seltzer’s Goat & Cheese Farm: In the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, Shai created his own goat farm after winning cheese exhibition awards. Meet this unique individual who prepares his cheese in a 2,000-year-old cave.

 

The town of Abu Gosh, just outside Jerusalem in the Jerusalem Hills is the unrivaled hummus capital of Israel, and some would say, the world. An Arab-Israeli village, Abu Gosh is famed across Israel for it’s amazing hummus restaurants, with Israelis traveling from all over the country to eat it.

 

Visit Al Yasmin, in Abu Gosh for a taste of the country’s best tehina and halva. Kamel Hashlamon’s imported millstones, crafted by a Syrian stonemason, to create authentic, traditional tahina and halva

 

Drive North

 

(time permitting) Stop at Sindyanna in the village of Kanna, where Jewish and Arab women work in equality and mutual respect in the Sindyanna of Galilee’s factory and Visitors Center for fair trade.

 

Dinner Galilean cooking workshop: learn and participate in a true to life cultural immersion. Together with our hosts, we will have a hands-on preparation of traditional Galilean dishes. Our reward: we enjoy our feast, the product of our own labour.


Overnight: Isrotel Mitzpeh Hayamim

 

 

Day 6: Friday, March 1

The Galil - Back to Basics

 

Optional: Early sunrise tour

 

Take a ride on a golf cart or bike through the Hula Valley, important resting place for migrating birds and many species of rare fish and plants creating a wonderland of flora and fauna. In 1948, the government decided to drain the swamps and pond and convert them into agricultural fields.

 

Breakfast at your hotel

 

Spend the morning is spiritual Safed, (pronounced Tzfat in Hebrew), a town that sits at a higher altitude than any other city in Israel. One of Israel’s four holy cities, along with Jerusalem, Tiberias, and Hebron. Safed is the center of Kabbalah since the 16th century, and home to a mixture of Hasidic Jews, artists, and hippies. We’ll tour the cobbled alleys this old city has to offer, taste Kadosh Cheese and a variety of other culinary treats one wouldn’t expect to find here.

 

Try your hand at foraging and learn about the different edible plants and herbs that spurt and grow after the rains. Gather what you’ll find, and your Canadian host chefs will incorporate it into a delicious, hearty meal.

 

Enjoy Friday night (Shabbat) Dinner at a stunning private villa in Tsfat’s charming artist’s quarter (Villa Tiferet). Your dinner will be prepared by your host chefs Connie, John, Nick, and Amy. Special guest and super spice man Tony Kanaza from El Babour Galilee Mill in Nazareth will be spicing it up with them.

 

Overnight: Scots Hotel Tiberius

 

 

Day 7: Saturday, March 2

Akko – 4000 years of history

 

Breakfast in your hotel

 

A peninsula that pokes out into the Mediterranean, Akko entices visitors with towering ramparts, deep moats, green domes, timeless synagogues, slender minarets, church towers, secret passage ways and subterranean vaults. Learn about the city’s ancient history as well as its important role in Israel’s modern history.

 

Tasting tour in Akko with Chef Osama Dallal, an Akko native and one of Tel Aviv’s most promising young chefs, through all the culinary delights that this city has to offer.  


Lunch at Uri Buri
“For the past 20 years opposite the Crusader subterranean city in Akko, the Uri Buri restaurant has been offering different kinds of delicately prepared fresh fish and seafood dishes served with more than 100 different kinds of fine Israeli wines.”

 

Continue to Amphora Winery deserved the coveted title of Israel’s most beautiful vineyard and can compete with rural vineyards around the world. The lovely winery building, with the forested slopes of the Carmel mountain ridge in the background, completing a picture just as charming as any in Tuscany.

 

Drive to Tel Aviv and check in to your hotel

 

Dinner at HaBasta

"A tiny restaurant and wine bar, just a clutch of round tables on an alley just off Carmel Market, draws its inspiration from the market's fresh offerings".

 

Optional: Drinks at Imperial Bar or Bellboy. See what’s happening in the Tel Aviv night scene.


Overnight: Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv

 

 

Day 8: Sunday, March 3

Food with a Social Conscience

 

Breakfast at your hotel

 

Project Leket (to collect): Learn about this important organization the brings volunteers into the 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, and homeless shelters.

 

Farm to Table lunch at Farma Cultura, an open inviting space rooted twenty minutes north of Tel Aviv in the heart of Moshav Bnei Zion.  Overlooking the horizon, the organic vegetable farmland is nurtured by Permaculture methods – a philosophy of agricultural ecosystems that work with nature designed to be sustainable and self-sufficient by looking at plants and animals in all their functions.


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.

 

Explore the trendy Florentin neighborhood with Shirel Horovitz on an Urban Graffiti Tour. Who are the people going out at night and changing the face of the neighborhood? What kind of story do these images and words tell us about the people living there? What is unique about graffiti in Israel and in Tel Aviv?

 

Meet fellow Canadian Roni Saslove, one of the most talented and premiere female winemakers in Israel, for a “Refining Your Senses” workshop.

 

Dinner on own


Overnight: Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv

 

 

Day 9: Monday, March 4

Tel Aviv - Takin’ it to the Streets

Breakfast at hotel

 

The biggest trend in Tel Aviv today is street food. Meet with local chef and food expert Jonathan Borowitz, and Bentzi Arbel, owner of two of Tel Aviv’s hottest restaurants to learn about the evolution that street food has gone through the years.

 

Continue the morning by touring Shuk HaCarmel, Tel Aviv’s central market. In recent years, Carmel Market has joined the ranks of Tel Aviv’s trendy spots for bars, restaurants, coffee shops and chef-owned food stalls. Taste a variety of street food dishes including borik, hummus and malabi.

 

Lunch at: 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.”

 

Try Israel’s lesser known street food, sabich, at Sabich Tchernichovsky.

 

Chef Eyal Shani has elevated the simple pita at Miznon with fresh gourmet cuisine stuffed in light and fluffy pitas. Try his signature roasted cauliflower as well.

 

Taste falafel at HaKosem, which in recent years has developed a serious cult following in Israel. Jerry Seinfeld even made a point to stop here on his last trip.

 

Bring your culinary inspiration from today’s tour to an Israeli street food cooking workshop and final dinner led by cookbook author Adeena Sussman. Learn how to make some of Israel’s traditional street food dishes so you can bring the flavors home with you!

 

Transfers to airport or post tour arrangements

 

 

For more information please contact us: info@viasabra.com / 972-3-5188188

 

* Some of the activities in this itinerary rely on local hosts, suppliers, or sites and therefore it is subject to change.

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Costing

 

Price per person in a Double Room: $6050
Supplement for a single room: $1400

Price is in US Dollars.

 

 

Click HERE for the registration form

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Payment terms

Deposit due October 30, 2018: $750 per person

Balance due one month before the trip (January 24th, 2019)

 

Price includes:
• Vip Arrival
• Airport transfer
• Via Sabra welcome package
• A private, licensed, English speaking, culinary tour guide
• All sites, museum and special activities as listed in itinerary
• 8-nights in 5-star hotel accommodations
• Israeli buffet breakfast in your hotel daily
• Group lunch and dinners as listed in the itinerary (Bellboy Cocktail Bar is not included)
• Bus transportation for entire trip with Wi-Fi on the bus
• light snacks & bottles of water at guests' needs

Excluded Services:
• travel & health insurance (recommended)
• tips for tour guide and driver 
• airfare

Price:*
750 $
Single deposit. Invoice for the balance will be sent when due.
Price:*
1500 $
Double room deposit. Invoice for the balance will be sent when due.
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Cancellation Policy


• Cancellations up to 90 days prior to departure $500.00 p/p will be charged (non-refundable deposit)


• 89 to 60 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 20% of the total tour cost per person


• 59 to 30 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 50% of the total tour cost per person


• 29 to 8 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 75% of the total tour cost per person


• Up to 7 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 100% of the total tour cost per person