Israel is conquering the culinary world. From Moshik Roth’s 2 Michelin star restaurant in Amsterdam to Yotam Ottolenghi’s eponymous “Ottolenghi” and “Nopi” in London, and from celebrity chef Eyal Shani’s branch of his famous “Miznon” in Paris to Einat Admony’s hip establishments in New York – amazing trendy restaurants run by talented Israeli chefs are popping up all over the place.
It’s nice to see Israel’s food output following in the footsteps of wine – one of the pioneering Israeli industries, and one of the first to break through to the international market and challenge the old-school European heavyweights. Wine has become Israel’s first major representative in the international community of gastronomists. To give but one example, Golan Heights Winery’s creations were one of the first to appear at Michelin star restaurants and fanciest food stores across the globe.
But it isn’t only the international market where Israelis are taking center stage. The local food and wine scene within Israel is also experiencing rapid growth, and so is the food and wine tourism. All over the country we see the rise of exciting food related trends like the implementation of advanced technology to grow rich crops in the desert soil; Israeli food tech “disruption” start-ups like lab-grown meat projects and the development of superior plant-based protein; innovative gourmet kosher products by Israel’s leading manufacturers like the dairy giant Tnuva, which offers a wide selection of strictly kosher cheeses. In fact, Tnuva is the largest kosher food manufacturer in the world, and it keeps growing: earlier this year they debuted a new manufacturing facility, and because of its cutting-edge robotics, it’s considered one of the most advanced. The facility currently produces a billion slices of semi-hard cheese a year, and the cheeses are sent to many different suppliers and distributors locally and globally. Impressive, especially for a small country like Israel.
From a tourist’s perspective, however, no place compares to the Golan Heights in its ability to offer beautiful nature, spectacular views, rich history, amazing local produce and the abundance of top quality boutique wineries at the same time. All of this make the Golan Heights a must-visit place for any food and wine connoisseur.
You can visit the picturesque Banias waterfalls and the famous Nimrod Fortress, climb Mount Bental and enjoy breathtaking views, stroll down the streets of the Ancient Katzrin Village and visit its synagogue where every stone has a story to tell, take your children to the fascinating Reptiles Center, and – last but not least – have a drink and a taste of local produce at beautiful local boutique wineries. Perhaps, the best two examples are Kedem wine village and the Golan Heights Winery visitors’ center located in the heart of the Golan.
If you’re looking to have a great meal, try visiting one of the popular local restaurants like the highly praised Gillis if you’re a meat lover, or a low-key Hummus Eliyahu in Katzrin if you’re into casual atmosphere and delicious traditional Israeli foods.
The bottom line is, whatever you choose to eat, drink and do in the Golan Heights, you’re guaranteed to have a great time. And wherever you choose to go in the world, you’re guaranteed to come across an amazing new eatery run by Israelis or an amazing product made by them!