Let’s go back to the past for a moment.
When I was 21, I flew to the United States, South Carolina. My ex was an American who studied in Charleston and I found myself landing in a town I had never heard of. After a few months in Charleston, I decided that I wanted a change. We broke and I moved to a city called Columbia in South Carolina. In Colombia, I was very sad. I do not know if it’s because of the break-up or I was just homesick, but all this has a point and it comes right away – in Colombia I met Shami.
Shami, or in its full name – Elishama from the depth of an innocent heart (yes, that’s his name) – Shami heard me and listened from his innocent heart to all my fears and desires. He felt me but not only, he also fed me.
Every Friday he would think for hours, about what to cook for us for Friday dinner. I understood that Shami loves cooking and he is already dying to return to Israel. I was a very simple version of myself and all I needed at the end of the day was to see some Channel E! and go to sleep.
Shami is a legendary, optimistic and sensitive person. Our friendship is so good and long. Without explanations, without mistakes, without hurting, simply loving. And what can I tell you? Shami also took me to see Pearl Jem in a live concert, after this performance many things happened that caused the two of us leave to other places.
The distance did not separate us. From North Dakota to Jerusalem, to Migdal Ha’Emek and to Tel Aviv, we maintained our special connection. I finished a degree in cinema since then, I stopped watching E! Of course, I began to write, photograph, live, document. And Shami – Shami is the chef of Beit Kandinoff and this is the topic for this post!
Let’s go back a little further.
Beit Kandinoff was established by Joseph Bey Kandinoff, one of the wealthiest Jews in Jerusalem, who moved to Jaffa in the early 20th century. The house was built in a style that characterized the construction of the rich Arab houses that were built at the end of the 19th century along Gaza Street (today Yefet Street): a two-story stone building, facades with arched openings, protruding balconies, and protruding high ceilings. On the ground floor, which was commercial, there were dozens of small shops around a central patio that served as a passage; and the upper floor was divided into three spacious apartments.
This historic house became a restaurant two years ago, a restaurant with a space for artists. Shami was part of the establishment of the kitchen of the place. I remember that he was looking for refrigerators and stoves in order to equip the kitchen in the most professional way. Anyone who knows Shami knows he likes to work and work hard. Most of the day, he is at work. So I decided that I’m going to write about Beit Kandinoff and visit Shami at work.
Shami’s inspirations are from his home. His mother is from New Jersey and his Father Alabama. The two met with Rabbi Carlebach in New York. Fell in love, and moved to Israel to Moshav Mevo Modi’in. His home is the most important thing to him. His food comes with a lot of emotion and interpretation to his Moshav. The inspiration comes from there because they cook with the heart, with quality materials they raise themselves or came from farms from the area.
Another inspiration is Chef Massimo Botura, an Italian chef who makes authentic Italian food. His restaurant is located in the province of Modena in Italy and called – this restaurant won the best restaurant in the world for 2018.
The kitchen of the Beit Kandinoff is a Jaffa-Mediterranean cuisine that brings exciting flavors. Everything is accurate, tasty and authentic. The place is designed according to the spaces of the artists to provide a platform for artists to exhibit their work. The entire place is a terrific hipster stage.
I wanted to create new content, brought with me Kesem – the local sardine. I’m wearing a new dress I bought from my favorite shop PLAZMA of the designer Marina or named her brand MOLEKULA. This dress is gorgeous, because of its asymmetry, because Marina painted the dress hand-made and I decided to purchase it. Marina has a store in Bograshov 15.
I also bought those sunglasses (I maintain my addiction to shopping mainly on plasma or in second-hand stores). The glasses are of the SPITFIRE brand and are very cool and fit into my Matrix look. Kesem wore a dress from the time I used to celebrate in the malls in the United States – a dress of the BEBE brand that many people know.
Time to go back to the food. So, we ordered focaccia sesame seeds, warm cauliflower, bruschetta, and a tartar. The focaccia is a hit. The cauliflower flowers were served with something purple that looked like beets but it was actually a sour onion that added to the cauliflower. The first time I ate bruschetta was in Colombia, which Shami prepared for me for one of our meals. The bruschetta of the Babaganush is amazing! And the Tartar? Refreshing. Sour. Tasty. (And I’m not eating fish at all).
We did not reach the main curse because we exploded from the first. I love appetizers.
At the end of our meal, we got a dessert called “Beirut Nights” – cream cake with soft whipped cream and gum syrup, saffron, walnuts, pistachio, and coconut. I’m not so enthusiastic about semolina cakes but it was really good.
The food was fascinating, interesting, and especially exciting!
The address is Hazorfim 19,
Every day from 17:00 in the evening.
Go get pampered, go get excited
Go to Beit Kandinoff