Have you wanted to try authentic Israeli dishes without actually having to travel to Israel? Alon Shaya’s restaurant is the one to try. Located in New Orleans and featuring some delicious Israeli dishes, this chef’s hard work has paid off.
He was just honored Monday night at the James Beard Foundation awards – one of the most prestigious award ceremonies for US chefs – winning the Best New Restaurant award.
“Who would have thought – hummus in New Orleans?!” said Shaya as he accepted the honor at the event, known as the “Oscars of food” in the culinary world. “What was everyone thinking?” The restaurant, which opened in February 2015, serves traditional Israeli dishes from shakshuka to falafel, hummus, sabich and lamb kebab, with Shaya’s own original twists and takes. The chicken schnitzel is served on sesame halla with harissa mayonnaise and shaved pickles; and the matzo ball soup includes slow-cooked duck, escarole and tender herbs.
The eatery has been pretty much booked solid since it opened its doors last year, and was named as one of the 50 best new restaurants in America by Bon Appétit magazine in August.
“Israeli food is finally coming across as something that people are excited about,” Shaya told JTA last year. “I think social media has played a big role in this, along with chefs like [Yotam] Ottolenghi who produce beautiful cookbooks.