For me, a home is not only the four walls surrounding it, but also the rich life contained within, made from matter, spirit and emotions. Therefore, it was it was important for me to present next to each of the eleven houses shown in my book “conversations” about the changing seasons, colors, scents and tastes that makes up the day-to-day lives of all of us, and in my mind are inseparable from designing homes.
One of the most exciting experiences working on the book was meeting the amazing people that I hosted throughout its pages. People whose creations fit my own, and fulfill the concept of “Mediterranean Life”.
In each of the four seasons, I hosted another chef who cooked us a new terrific seasonal meal, and described his own lifestyle and worldview. Each one enriched the book with excellent recipes, colors and delicious tastes.
Miri Haber prepared the spring meal with her own produce. In her Cooking and Hosting Studio, which sits on a small piece of paradise, surrounded by varied plots of vegetables, fruits and seasonal flowers. The studio, located in Rishpon, attracts people that appreciate the beauty of simplicity, like moths to a flame. When Miri, a blond energy-filled bomb, welcome your face with a sun-lit smile, you cannot help but join her in a one-of-a-kind experience of taste and color.
Our spring meal consisted of:
A whole sea bream on roasted fennel.
Cherry tomatoes with fresh oregano and pepper sauce.
Lettuce salad with roasted beets, baked pears and blue cheese.
Roasted cauliflower in sumac.
And for dessert, a fruit salad.
Avner Laskin cooked the summer meal and hosted us with a fresh meal on the pool’s edge. It was a perfect meal, light chilled and varied. With the finest fruits and vegetables the summer has to offer.
Avner is a busy chef at the head of the culinary staff at the Bulthaup Cooking Academy, hosting meals at his home as part of the Eatwith project and owner of the “Only today” food stand in Shuk Tzafon, where they cook an ever changing seasonal and daily menu with the freshest ingredients the market has to offer that day. He wrote and published more than 20 cooking and baking books both locally and globally.
Our summer meal consisted of:
Roasted tomatoes and Greek yogurt salad.
Quinoa and roasted vegetables salad.
Roasted eggplants with mint.
And for dessert, plums and almonds cake.
Michal Koren cooked the autumn meal in her garden. If simplicity is the highest level of sophistication, then everything Michal makes has this enchanting quality. Her beautiful garden reflect this naturalistic approach to nature and her great affection for hosting. She creates delicious food with smiting nonchalant, and her Outdoor Kitchens are wonderful. The connection between the functional and material to her great expertise in cooking outdoors and the kindness in which she teaches her clients is charming.
Our autumn meal consisted of:
Beets, turnips, zucchini, fennel and eggplants, roasted on an open flame with a bit of fresh olive oil and Atlantic salt.
Many different kinds of pizzas, and a wonderful tart for dessert.
Michal will use her amazing skills to cook and host our Winter Event at her beautiful house and garden. You should hurry and order a ticket!
Irit Biran cooked our winter meal. I first met her through her beautiful ceramics that she makes in her studio Now Pottery. The first time I saw them I fell in love and ordered a complete and perfect set. The clay shows everything about the man who worked it, and just as the pottery showed honesty, dedication and beauty, so did Irit when I finally met her in person. In her studio, she has a whole line of different events: gatherings, dinners, workshops, and meetings. All of which revolve around the dinner table, the kitchen and the ceramics.
Our winter meal consisted of:
Beef roast in white wine, mushrooms and tarragon.
Roasted fennel in butter and parmesan cheese.
Baked beet with peppergrass and lemon and a touch of crème fresh.
Potatoes in various colors, ripped and baked in butter and sage.
A fresh salad of winter vegetables.
And for dessert: vanilla, salted caramel and winter fruit ice cream with white wine.
Ilana Stein is a graphic designer that manage to combine her greatest passions, illustration, agriculture, foraging and education. Every year she releases her “Garden Calendar”, an illustrated calendar that is also a guide for home gardening and foraging. Every season in the book is filled with her gorgeous illustrations, which represent the “seasonal garden” next to informative texts.
The winter chapter enjoyed a special guest, Shay Golan, a skilled confectioner, winner of the first season of the Israeli Bake-Off. He is responsible for countless calories which I consumed over the years with no guilt and with endless joy, and therefore there was no one happier than I was (well, and the kids) when we had him bake at our very own kitchen. He baked us cinnamon rolls that filled the house with wonderful scents, and disappeared before they even cooled down.
In our Winter Event, he will indulge the guests with Artisan Crembos, as only he can make.
One of my favorite parts of the book is about collectors and collections. The attraction to a family of objects that take time and money to collect and the correct way to care for them and present them.
If there is one collector who knows her stuff, collector of objects and stories, which can create a collection, that is greater than the sum of its parts, it is Keren Shavit.
Keren is a unique Lifestyle Entrepreneur with an amazing store at the flea market. A woman that turned her passion into a career. Therefore, when she invited me to her home in Kibbutz Gvat for a fascinating discussion about objects, stories and collecting, I caught a glimpse into her world of inspiration and creation.
Those wonderful connections, with some people I knew more about and some that I knew less about, and some I only knew through their work, made me realize how wonderful the age we live in is.
How important it is to be brave and “knock on the door”, approaching interesting and talented people and offer to work together. How joyous it is to discover people with big hearts and honest intentions. Amazing people who will remain close to my heart with their contribution to my book.
The talented Ifat Golan took the photographs.
Some more memories for the Instagram:
When three Instagram-ers work together.
When Ifat and me are pleased.
At Keren’s, lemons are always turned to limoncello.
“Working days” which legitimize drinking before 11 AM, and always end up fun.
After I took a picture of Ifat taking a picture, she took a picture of me uploading photographs to Instagram in an iconic pose.
The art of the simple and good life.