Round Tables by American Express, a prestigious international culinary festival, is returning to Israel for the third time. Renowned chefs from 11 countries are ready to serve up innovative dishes for local foodies through November 17.
The chefs come from restaurants in Belgium (L’Air du Temps), Denmark (Geist and Kadeau), United Kingdom (Little Social and The Elephant), Ireland (Aniar), Italy (Il Desco), Mexico (El Sud 777), Peru (Maido), Scotland (Lochbay), Spain (Xemei, Ricard Camarena and Andreu Genestra), Switzerland (7132 Silver) and the United States (Pok Pok).
Three of the eateries appear on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, six hold 1 Michelin star, and two boast 2 Michelin stars.
Each visiting head chef brings along his team to spend a whole week in the kitchen of a leading restaurant in Israel (all in Tel Aviv except for one in Jerusalem).
Every hosting restaurant will offer diners a tasting menu featuring the signature dishes of the guest restaurant, seasoned with a pinch of local flavors and ingredients inspired by the host restaurant’s Israeli chef.
Reservations must be made online in advance, at a fixed price of ₪269/299/399 per meal or ₪209/239/339 for American Express cardholders, who may also order a Grey Goose cocktail for a special price of ₪25. The price includes entrées and dessert but not beverages.
The hosting restaurants that took on the challenge of learning and implementing the international menus are Coffee Bar, Nithan Thai, Pastel, Chloelys, Quattro, Hotel Montefiore, Blue Rooster, Ya Pan, Garrigue, Ciccheti, Jonathan Food Club, Thai at Har Sinai and Hayarkon 99 at the Dan Hotel (with a special kosher pop-up, the only kosher restaurant on the Round Tables itinerary) in Tel Aviv, and Mona in Jerusalem.
American Express describes Round Tables as a cultural project of the “gastro-diplomacy movement,” which advocates cultural, economic and political dialogue through the sharing of fine food.
The concept was cooked up by restaurateur Yair Bekier, an entrepreneur and former partner in Israeli restaurants, in cooperation with Nirit Weiss and Maya Karvat from a communications and content agency specializing in hospitality, culinary and premium brands.
Participating chefs and staff members will be flown to Israel by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will stay at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv.