'Matte Yehuda Food Festival' Preview: Whiffs of Food and Flowers
This year our preview tour of Matte Yehuda festival (the region lying between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem) took us to some of the prettiest blooming countryside in Israel as well as to some of the local homes and restaurants that will be sharing their culinary talents with the festival guests. Moreover, since March this year is the Women's History Month, each of the participants made a special dish celebrating an important woman in their life. You are welcome to read my previous article for additional information on some of last year's participants.
WHEN: Over four weekends 1 March 2019 - 23 March 2019
Additional details can be found on the OFFICIAL FESTIVAL'S HEBREW WEBSITE. Trip Agenda Options:
Moshav Nehusha: Chez Natalie - a very fine French breakfast-brunch
Givat HaTurmusim - Tel Shocha: A walk up the hill of blooming blue Lupine
Moshav Mata: Nura Cooking - A food tour for gathering some of the edible country greens followed by an exemplary meal
Kibbutz Nativ HaLamed-Heh: The Wonders of Argentinian Grill Restaurant
Moshav Tal Shachar: Iza Pziza - a goat farm tour, cheese making workshop, tasting and dining
Moshav Tal Shachar: Meshek Einy Peer - A boutique wine/beer/olive farm with amazing meals
Moshav Nehusha: Chez Natalie Natalie Fontana Abu is someone you should definitely know about. Of French & Italian descent, she is a Cordon Bleu graduate with 25 years of experience who luckily decided to make her home in Israel. Her brunches are held on the deck of her home overlooking a beautiful view of the region. On Friday you can also purchase Challahs and pastries for Shabbat to take with you and before you ask, she also runs a catering business which serves events of up to 120 people.
Her brunches are served as a buffet inspired by the classic French cuisine including a Brioche Challah, a poached egg with salmon, crusted baked potatoes, crêpes, quiches, fresh and baked vegetables, fine personal desserts, mini patisserie and other delights of the French cuisine.
During the festival you are invited for brunch every Friday between 9:30-15:00.
Givat HaTurmusim - Tel Sokho or Tel Shocha Assuming you want to work up an appetite, one of the prettiest locations this time of year is Givat HaTurmusim also known as 'Tel Sokho or Tel Shocha', which translates into the 'Hill of Lupines' (Lupinos Pilosus) named after the vibrant blue flowers that dominates the scenery. Sokho is mentioned in the bible in a number of places the most familiar of which may be in the book of Samuel 1 where it is mentioned in chapter 17 verse 1 that the Phillistines camped between Sokho and Azekah in the Elah valley just before the battle between David and Goliath. The hilltop is scattered with ancient ruins from various periods and offers a lovely view of the Elah valley beneath it. The almond trees are also still in bloom.
Moshav Mata: Nura Cooking Nurit or Nura as she is called is a vegan chef who offers a unique experience that will fully introduce you to the region. During the festival, Nurit is offering a food tour and meal that takes ~3 hours and combines an explanation about the uses of local greens that grow in the area as well as a 6 course meal accompanied by local boutique wine. Her cooking talents should not be underestimated. In 2015 she won first place in a cooking contest held by the Indian Embassy in Israel. During the rest of the year, you are also welcome to contact her to reserve a private tour and you can even add a cooking workshop. The tour and meal will be held on Saturdays between 12:00-15:00 so hurry up and make your reservations: Phone: 052-8333844
Kibbutz Nativ HaLamed-Heh: The Wonders of Argentinian Grill Restaurant Yael and Avi share 30 years of Avi's experience in the El-Gaucho restaurant chain and Yael's knowledge of excellent local cuisine to serve a hearty meal for festival visitors. For those who are familiar with their home in Srigim Li-On, I have news for you. They have just moved to a new location in Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed-Heh, near the Elah Valley that has a larger capacity. You are invited to enjoy a large buffet of salads, specially seasoned chicken wings and chorizos combined with a main course of grilled meat of your selection from the huge grill station that has choice cuts made in the traditional Argentinian style. All year and during the festival they will be serving their buffet on Saturdays from 12:30-dusk. Phone: 054-4341282 and 054-5987231 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Moshav Tal Shachar: Iza Pziza This goat farm epitomizes the definition of boutique. Iza Pziza is a small family farm, raising a herd of about 50-60 goats, which serve to make a small selection of delicious yoghurts, fresh cheeses and Dolce de Leche sold only on site. Visitors are normally invited to partake of a number of activities including a tour of the farm, a workshop on cheese-making where you will make cheese all by yourself, cheese tasting and full dairy meals. During the festival, there will be free tours of the farm on Fridays at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00 as well as dairy meals. The farm is kosher-mehadrin and is closed on Shabbat. Workshops or additional tours require reservation. Phone: 08-6102876
Moshav Tal Shachar: Meshek Einy Peer The Einy-Peer farm offers a selection of kosher local boutique wines, locally brewed beer and boutique olive oil.
During the festival the farm will be hosting visitors for tours of farm and boutique production sites as well as for two amazing meals in their lovely terrace overlooking the beautiful olive groves.
On Thursday nights between 19:00-23:00, a celebration of smoked meats, freshly baked bread and special salads, all under the culinary direction of chef Eli Mizrahi.
On Fridays noons between 10:30-15:00, a brunch-lunch including Shakshuka, grilled chicken with sour dough breads and special salads.
Both meals will be accompanied with tastes of wine, beer and amazing olive oil. Tours will be conducted at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00.
Food This post is all inclusive.
Accomodation You are welcome to view my 'Best B&B' page.
My Timeline The drive from Tel-Aviv takes about 40 minutes. I spent a day.
This is what it looks like on the map:
Enjoy the festival!
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