I decided to tell you about the secret called: Raziel Dinner.
An eclectic place that is very difficult to define, its private chef meals in the most magical loft in Jaffa, they also do outdoor event productions, all in a precise atmosphere that combines both homely and boutique feeling. Yes, it is a very strange combination, but the combination happens because of the two people who make Raziel, Yaakov and Ran.
Yaakov Bahrav, artist and producer, founder of “Taltalistim”, host at heart, ‘Bezalel Acadamy of Arts and Design’ graduate, studied culinary at ‘Muna’ restaurant. Yaakov will receive you with cocktails made by him, will host you in his loft that he lives in, and make sure you feel at home, that is why the atmosphere is homely, Yaakov makes every person feel comfortable, this is the magic of Yaakov.
But the boutique atmosphere comes through the chef and food researcher Ran Weiss, a ‘Cordon Bleu’ & ‘Bishulim’ graduate, worked in the restaurants: ‘Glass House London’, ‘Muna’, ‘Florentine House’ and more. Ran cooks in the loft from seasonal ingredients straight from local growers.
The two met years ago at the Jerusalem restaurant ‘Muna’, about two and a half years ago they made the first event together and saw that the connection between them was good and that is how the partnership between the two began. After several more successful events, the two abandoned their side job and decided to invest in renovating the loft and then also called it “Raziel”.
The main work and activity are in the field of home hospitality and boutique events, it ranges from small events in the loft up to 20 people to large outdoor events up to 200 people (following the corona there is a focus on small boutique events but after the corona outdoor events will be even more relevant).
Beyond the overall Raziel atmosphere, what gives the unforgettable experience is a harmonious union with what is called our sense of taste. Ran’s food gives a different, interesting, and unique experience. To understand it a little more, I decided to do a short interview with Ran to give you a wider perspective on Raziel Dinner and on Chef Ran Weiss.
How it all began?
“I started cooking as a child, all in all, I was a normal child, my father was a Head of the council, my mother a kindergarten teacher. The truth is my mother does not know but her cooking is very creative, she is Persian, so she brought with her a culture with lots of good food. I got a lot of inspiration from my grandmother; she is a Holocaust survivor and cooked a lot of Hungarian-Czechoslovak food and everything around gave me inspiration from food programs to good restaurants and much more.”
“In the army, I was a Nahal fighter, and only then did I really realize that I wanted to be a cook. In the army I felt they had taken my freedom and then I realized I was in prison and could not do what I really wanted, all I wanted was to cook, the kitchen seemed to be a kind of freedom.”
Ran and I both agree on this sentence that says, “the more you feel like you know something about a certain subject the more you realize how much you know nothing about this subject really.” The truth is, I heard this sentence in the army and since then this sentence has made me overly curious, and mostly, I feel like I do not know enough. When I see this attitude in other people, it makes me be even more fascinated, this attitude gives a lot of modesty and passion to continue to know and learn something new every day. Ran told me that he gained his confidence in the kitchen in a pub in Modi’in, where he would cook simple dishes and decided that he wanted to challenge himself even more and continued his way to the “Bishulim” school.
How do you define your food?
“I would call it local cooking, I try to get my hands on the highest quality ingredients that have an emphasis on local and of course seasonal ingredients, then it’s a mix of all the things I’ve seen in recent years and what I feel like at the moment.”
What are your inspirations?
“Mostly ingredients and appetite. Ingredients that have a story behind them, either I pick them myself or there is a specific farmer who brings them to me. I like to know exactly where the ingredients come from or who I buy from knows where they come from.”
What did you do in London and Berlin?
“In Berlin, I worked in a restaurant of an Israeli guy, this was the first restaurant I worked at because before that I worked in a pub, I fell in love with Berlin, the atmosphere, the summer, and also in the situation I was in at that stage in life.
After Berlin I moved to London to study at ‘Cordon Bleu’ while studying I worked at a more serious restaurant and the truth is, I felt lucky to get a chance to work at a Michelin restaurant because there are no opportunities like that in Israel, I started working at a restaurant called “GLASS HOUSE”, I worked there for almost a year. I studied at Cordon Bleu three days a week and for the other four, I would work double shifts in the restaurant. There I really learned what it means to work in a restaurant with high standards, all the theoretical study reflected in the practical, real world.”
What is your tip for a beginner cook?
“Do not rush, ignore background noises, if you chose this profession then I would recommend going after your passion and curiosity. The kitchen is full of ego and one must find the balance within the kitchen and with his inner silence. Listen to experienced people but mostly rely on your inner senses and intuition.”
I hope you got an interesting perspective on Raziel Dinner whether you know it or not, I wanted to give you a little zoom in on the places and the people with the stories behind them, because in the end, that’s what drives us in my life, a good story, an interesting experience, and the right energy. For sure you can find it in Raziel, whether under the guidelines of the corona or under the open air.