(Includes several days with departure from Tel Aviv, a break in Eilat, and back to Tel Aviv)
The tour begins in the early morning hours: destination – the Arava, the Arad region of Israel, south of Beersheba. The objective: to study desert agriculture whose produce is regarded as a major source of Israel’s finest exports and supplies both local and international markets. This excursion provides us with a remarkable opportunity to understand and appreciate the huge range of unique species developed in the Negev Research and Development Center and includes visitations to giant hothouses where discoveries are translated into field products.
To top off the day’s activities the Chef d’Hotel at the Dan Eilat has planned, especially for the group, an exclusive gourmet dinner highlighting fresh ingredients from the Arava and the Red Sea. The following day, for those interested in additional agricultural experiences, we provide visits to a giant date grove, an exotic fruit orchard, a hydroponic vegetable farm and even demonstrate how molecular biology is applied in generating natural food coloring for salmon. Anyone who is partial to the idea of a supplementary culinary tour in the south, can drive back to Tel Aviv via the Negev and enjoy breath-taking landscapes while learning about organic and boutique agriculture. A third option is to take a return flight to Tel Aviv from Eilat airport.
Jerusalem Region-Departure from Jerusalem
Cheese and Wine
This tour begins on the plains of Judah and the Jerusalem hills. It includes a visit to a boutique dairy where distinctive cheese making processes will be detailed and tour participants will learn about the extensive variety of local cheeses. A tasting session offering several samples of the finest cheeses produced by the dairies will complete this part of the tour.
Continuing, a visit to one of the region’s premium wineries will provide an explanation of how red and white wines are produced, including, of course, an instructive tasting session. The tour ends with a personalized tasting meal prepared by David Biton, the King David’s Executive Chef d’Hotel. The bill of fare includes Mediterranean-style dairy options supplemented by a choice of local wines. The meal will be served on the romantic King David terrace famous for its unforgettable views of the Old City.
The touring itinerary on the plains of Judah and Jerusalem hills includes a stopover at several of Israel’s leading wineries where the wine-making process from vine to bottle will be described. A guided tasting session of prize-winning vintages will follow, crowned by an exclusive gourmet menu at La Regence – the King David Hotel’s prestige fine-dining restaurant headed by Executive Chef David Biton. Each of the ten courses will be accompanied by a carefully selected wine.
Dan Gourmet Tours and Workshops for Cookery and Baking
Departure from Tel Aviv hotels.
Duration: approximately 5 hours.
Limited to small groups – 18 participants maximum.
The workshop begins with a visit to the Levinsky Market, teeming with the flavors and aromas of exotic markets. The Levinsky Market is steeped in history and famous for its spice shops selling a dazzling choice of nuts, dried fruits and a profusion of legumes and grains, in addition to a diverse number of delicatessens specializing in the Balkan kitchen. A Mediterranean fare of olives, cheese, fish, burekas, marzipan cookies and more, are all on sale in delectable abundance.
At the Dan Gourmet bakery workshop, participants are shown how to prepare some of the salty and sweet delicacies they viewed at the Levinsky Market. The workshop is under the guidance of Maya Revivo, previously the Pastry Chef of the King David Hotel and now Director of the Dan Gourmet School’s Bakery Department. A dairy meal featuring salads and sweet desserts will be the workshop’s finale.
A Market Feast
For small groups only –15 people maximum.
Visiting the open-air Carmel Market is a delightful experience and a true insight into local life. This vast food emporium in central Tel Aviv, piled up with fresh vegetables and fruits, meat, poultry and fish stalls, olive vendors and green grocers, showcases an array of colors, flavors and aromatic herbs and spices. The noisy calls of the merchants invite all visitors to explore and savor their wares.
The Dan Gourmet market workshop is under the direction of Daniel Zach, the Chef and Owner of the prestigious “Carmel B’Nachala.” Restaurant. The eatery is in the heart of the open market and offers excellent cuisine based on the market’s delicious, fresh products that are always delivered daily.
Food and Wine
After a visit to one of Israel’s select wineries where a guided wine tasting session is provided, it’s time to return to the Dan Gourmet’s Mediterranean cookery workshop. Following the expert guidance of Chef Amir Ilan, Head of the School’s Culinary Department, participants will work under his supervision. The session will culminate in a festive lunch featuring dishes created by the group while imbibing fine Mediterranean wines.
Sabbath Challah Bread (Plaited Bread)
This visit to a bakery will introduce the participants to a variety of flours and specialty breads and will enable them to learn about the preparation of dough and baking. Returning to the Dan Gourmet workshop, the group will work with Pastry Chef Arnon Cohen who will instruct them on the preparation of a Shabbat Challah, Jerusalem bagels and flat breads, all of which will be included in a delicious and varied brunch.
Large groups travel by bus while smaller parties have the choice of touring in a minibus or making self-drive arrangements.
A small number of outings are seasonal and are not available during certain periods of the year, whereas other tours are dependent on suitable weather conditions.
Most sites we visit are family-run or managed by a small staff that, when necessary, can make changes to the itinerary.