Atalya, a very talented Israeli chef, welcomes her guests in her parents’ house in Ein Kerem, an ancient and picturesque village in southwest Jerusalem. Ein Kerem is the birthplace of John the Baptist. If you visit Israel and want to know more about Israeli cuisine, why not book a cooking workshop with Atalya in Jerusalem?
She offers a series of interesting culinary events: Friday brunch, meals, workshops and culinary tours that reveal the deepest secrets of Jerusalem and special culinary corners around the world. Looking out onto the olive tree-covered hills, visitors enjoy a taste of Mediterranean, Arab and Jewish cuisine.
We had the chance to taste one of Atalya’s great aperos during our short stay in Ein Kerem. Everything she had cooked was very delicious and we could have spent the whole day in her house eating, listening to her stories and enjoying the view of the biblical village. What a magical place! And what a passionate, warm-hearted and joyful chef!
COOKING WORKSHOP WITH ATALYA IN JERUSALEM
After the two-year military service, at the age of 21, Atalya travelled to India for one year. “I had a great time,” she says. “In the last ten years, I returned to India many times and I even met my husband there. Needless to say that we also spent our honeymoon in India.” She enjoyed travelling so much that she continued her world tour for another three years visiting New Zealand, Fiji, Burma, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and many other countries.
When she was in Burma, she visited a simple family’s house where a woman was cooking. When Atalya sat down at the table to eat with the family, she had the impression to be part of it, although she didn’t speak their language.
A few years later, when she returned to live to Jerusalem in her parents’ house, her mother, who used to work as a tour guide, said: “Remember the hosting family in Burma and the meal? Why don’t you offer meals at our place just once a week, e. g. on Friday? Bed and breakfast guests could be your clients.”
In 2010, after her second trip to India, Atalya organized her first professional meal at her parents’ home. She was already a chef and had worked in restaurants since she was 16. “The first time, I invited people for free, because nobody knew me as a cook,” she tells us laughing. “The beginning was really hard, it was difficult to get clients.” But she had faith and continued to work hard. Today, her workshops and friday brunches are fully booked out three months in advance.
(Above) 32-year old Atalya Ein Mor loves cooking in the small kitchen of her parents’ home in Ein Kerem. In 2017, Atalya, her mum, Pnina Ein Mor, and their friend Michal Fattal, a very talented photojournalist, published their first cooking book in Hebrew by financing it with a Headstart crowdfunding in less than a month. They even won an award for it in the category culinary tourism (a special award for non-English books). They were invited to the awards ceremony which took place in China.
Curious to find out more about Atalya? Visit her website in English.
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Copyright photos: VERTIGO Magazine