Chef Alon Shaya is having quite a year. Just a few months after opening Shaya, New Orleans’ first modern Israeli restaurant with John Besh, he was named Best Chef: South in the James Beard Awards.
The Israeli-born chef opened his namesake eatery as an ode to the cuisine of his upbringing. In July, he embarks on another research trip to Tel Aviv to inspire Shaya’s menu, a modern take on Israeli food that is influenced by flavors from North Africa, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.
“Tel Aviv is one of my favorite places on earth,” he says. “I’m always blown away by the way people live there. There is so much young energy, a sense of breaking the mold from a typical city. So much of it revolves around being outdoors, spending time on the beach and enjoying life. The outdoor cafes are bustling, there’s always awesome music playing somewhere and no lack of beautiful people roaming the streets. The feeling of entrepreneurship is everywhere.”
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