Chef Michael Solomonov hosts: Israeli Soul Tour

February 15 -24, 2019

Join celebrated chef Michael Solomonov on a culinary journey into the heart and soul of Israeli Cuisine. Solomonov is owner of Zahav Restaurant in Philadelphia and winner of the 2017 James Beard Award for Outstanding American Chef. To complement his already popular Zahav cookbook Michael, together with his business partner Steve Cook, will release a follow-up cookbook called Israel Soul, due out in the fall of 2018.  The Israel Soul Tour follows the creative process of the new cookbook- easy, essential, delicious.  Let us take you around the country to discover where Mike gets his inspiration.

 

 

***Last 2 spots left***

 

 

Click HERE for the registration form

 

Day 1:  Friday, February 15

Welcome to Israel!

 


Meet in Tel Aviv and drive south.

 

Opening at Ben Gurion’s Grave. The first prime minister of the State of Israel, David Ben Gurion, was not only a shrewd political and military leader but, also the symbol of the Zionist vision. At a relatively advanced age, Ben Gurion and his wife, Paula, "retired" to the Negev with a cry that others should follow.  When he died, he requested to be buried in the Kibbutz cemetery, overlooking the valley that the children of Israel had come through on their way to the Promised Land.

 

Lasha Desert Bread Bakery- Bringing Forth Bread from the Earth Workshop. Bake bread and connect to the desert and to the spiritual with Hadas who will tell you her story.

 

Cocktail reception and Shabbat dinner

 

Overnight: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon

 

 

 

Day 2: Saturday, February 16

Negev

 

Breakfast at your hotel

 

Late start to allow time for spa treatments

 

Five hundred meters deep, 40 kilometers long, and 10 kilometers at its widest, Makhtesh Ramon is the largest in the world. A Makhtesh is not actually a crater, it’s a particularly large asymmetrical hole dug out of the ground by natural processes of erosion.


Enjoy a morning 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.

 

Tour, tasting and lunch 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.

 

Afternoon pool and spa time at your hotel


Dinner at Beresheet

 

Overnight: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon

 

 

 

Day 3: Sunday, February 17

Northern Arava 

 

Breakfast at your hotel

 

Food Meditation at Midbara in Tzukim

 

Lunch and learn at Gan Yarak Organic Farm, a series of greenhouses in the middle of the Arava which are used for after-school programs.

 

Visit the R&D Center for the Central & Northern Arava Region in Hatzeva

 

Brief float in the Dead Sea

 

Drive to Jerusalem

 

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 which is 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: Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

 

 

 

Day 4: Monday, February 18

Jerusalem 

 

Breakfast at your hotel

 

Machane Yehuda Market Tasting Tour with Amit Aaronson, TV host and culinary blogger/writer. Enjoy the hustle and bustle 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 and Shmil Holland, one of Jerusalem’s most well-known chef’s inspiration comes from his grandmother’s stories and Eastern European recipes.

 

Tour the Geula neighborhood with well-known Jerusalem chef Shmil Holland, sparking a dialogue between tracing the history and folklore of foods and the practice of real food preparation.

 

Lunch at 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.

 

Back to the hotel for some rest

 

3:00 pm optional visit to the Israel Museum

 

Festive dinner on the rooftop at the Mamilla Hotel with a Chefs Michael Solomonov and Kobi Bachar.

 

Late night tour of the Old City

 

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

 

 

 

Day 5: Tuesday, February 19

Jerusalem Hills 

 

Breakfast at your hotel


Visit Shai Seltzer’s Goat and 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.

 

Lunch at Rama’s Kitchen. Recently reopened after a fire in 2016, Rama’s Kitchen continues to be a thriving culinary landmark and is consistently ranked as one of Israel’s leading restaurants. The menu constitutes a confluence of contemporary western cooking techniques and traditional Arab and Mediterranean cuisine that is characterized by simplicity and earthiness.

 

Project Leket (to collect): Learn about this important organization that brings volunteers into the fields to pick and gather fruits and vegetables that were not collected during the commercial harvest. 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.

 

Drive north

 

Dinner at Café Glida, a Romanian restaurant located in Haifa. An ancient tradition atmosphere surrounds the restaurant and you cannot ignore the aromatic and authentic smells of Romanian cuisine that are rich in flavors and color.

 

Overnight: Efendi Hotel, Akko

 

 

Day 6: Wednesday, February 20

Meet the Locals

 

Breakfast at your hotel

 

Travel to Metula, Israel’s northernmost city, bordering Lebanon.

 

Meet some lone IDF soldiers who will join you for the day.

 

Continue to spiritual Tzfat, 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, Tzfat is the center of Kabbalah since the 16th century, and home to a mixture of Hasidic Jews, artists, and hippies. Tour the artist’s quarter with 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.

 

Head to the shores of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and chat with fisherman whose family has fished this lake for generations.  Get to know St. Peter’s Fish and how it came to symbolize the area.

 

Dinner on Napoleon’s Walls cooked by Chefs Osama Dallal & Uri Jeremias. Osama, an Akko native and one of Israel’s most promising young chefs and Uri, a legend in Akko and chef of his famed restaurant Uri Buri.


Overnight: Efendi Hotel, Akko

 

 

 

Day 7: Thursday, February 21

Akko

 

Breakfast at your hotel

 

On a peninsula that pokes out into the Mediterranean, Akko seduces 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.

 

Tour Akko with Chef Osama Dallal, an Akko native through all the culinary delights that this city has to offer. 

 

Continue to Caesarea, a city of the past and the future, the new opposite the ancient.  Ancient Caesarea reveals the wonders of the past that were built by one of the greatest builders of the ancient world.   Caesarea’s antiquities park houses unique building from various periods, bearing silent witness to the upheavals that have visited Caesarea as well as the region over the past 2,300 years. A tour of the national park is like walking through a story.

 

Make a quick stop in Hadera at the well-known Opera restaurant for their legendary Yemenite soup.

 

Continue to Tel Aviv

 

Check in to your Hotel

 

Dinner at Claro, Sarona, Tel Aviv

 

Overnight: Isrotel Royal Beach hotel , Tel Aviv

 

 

Day 8: Friday, February 22

Ramle - Lod 

 

Breakfast in your hotel

 

Pastries and Breads Tour of Ramle Lod Market, one of the oldest and most authentic markets in the country. The Market was founded at the end of the Ottoman era, renovated under the British Mandate, and has continued to thrive since then. With a reputation as one of the cheapest markets in Israel, vendors are sometimes found using tape recorded sales pitches to call shoppers to their stalls. The market is always loud with hawking vendors and Middle Eastern music.

 

Lunch at Abu Michel. People go to Abu Michel in the Old City of Lod to eat masabacha ‏(a chickpea dish‏) and listen to stories told by Michel Abu Tabit, the founder of the establishment, who was there at major junctures in local history, without stepping foot outside his restaurant.

 

Possible performance by the Ramle Lod Youth Orchestra

 

Shabbat dinner in Kfar Saba

 

Overnight: Isrotel Royal Beach hotel , Tel Aviv

 

 

 

Day 9: Saturday, February 23

Shabbat Shalom

 

Breakfast at your hotel

 

Begin your day in Jaffa and hear the untold stories. Tour the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa, a predominantly Arab neighborhood in Jaffa, and hear a challenging narrative about the city and its history. Continue your tour through Jaffa, enjoying the beauty of the winding streets and the beautiful port. 

 

During lunch, hear about future food trends with Israeli food writer Janna Gur, editor and cook book author and an expert on Israeli and Jewish cuisine.

 

Free afternoon in Tel Aviv

 

Optional touring: Telling the story of Tel Aviv. How did this amazing city get it’s start? Discover the early beginnings from the Yemenite neighborhood to the neighborhoods of Nachalat Benyamin, Bialik and Rothchild. How did she grow not only in physical space but culturally? How did Tel Aviv get to be the melting pot it is today?

 

Dinner in Tel Aviv

 

Overnight: Isrotel Royal Beach hotel , Tel Aviv

 

 

 

Day 10: Sunday, February 24

Seven Species of Tel Aviv

 

Breakfast in your hotel

 

Indulge in seven iconic Tel Aviv dishes throughout the day.

 

Stop by at the historical water tower on Maze Street in the city center and learn about the wonderful project the city of Tel Aviv/Jaffa and Ichpat are doing together to help Tel Aviv teens in need.

 

Lunch at Guetta, Jaffa, a place where old-world manners prevail, imagining what life might have been like in faraway Libya once upon a time. A Libyan restaurant, specializing in Tripoli food, and special it is, indeed.

 

Tour of the Carmel Market with Adeena Sussman, cookbook author, food writer, recipe and product developer, and consultant. An (almost) full-time resident of Tel Aviv. When she is not roaming the shuk in Tel Aviv, you can find her in her kitchen cooking up a delicious storm. Her Israeli cookbook, Sababa, will be released in the spring, 2019.

 

Depart for the States

 

 

* 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: $9600


Supplement for a single room: $1600

 

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Payment terms

Deposit is immediate to secure your space: $1000 per person (non refundable)

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

 

Click HERE for the registration form

 

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

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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