Sometime last year, a national media channel contacted me, asking if I, as a well-known chef in Israel, would be willing to participate in an anonymous survey and share my opinion on what the top three best restaurants are in the country.
Every time I was contacted regarding this matter (four times in all) my reply was that I had no opinion and no say in the matter!
I believe that I do not possess the right (being a professional chef) to provide an opinion and here is why:
Most people have no time to check out every restaurant, especially us chefs who work so many hours doing what we do. There are so many restaurants scattered about the country that I have not visited, whose food I have no tasted and whose concept I have not had the pleasure of experiencing.
So the list of restaurants I enjoy going to when I do have some time on my hands is quite short.
Furthermore, a restaurant is comprised of so many “ingredients” that the question “What is the best restaurant?” begs all restaurants to be given the same chance. I have heard of incredible restaurants all over Israel, some of which I follow on social media but have never actually seen myself for the same reason many other social media followers didn’t visit the restaurant yet – even good restaurants aren’t always situated in the most convenient locations and not everyone is able to find the time to visit restaurants, no matter how many good reviews they receive.
In addition to that, today, there exist so many different culinary styles and categories – and so much is based simply on personal preference and taste, so what is somebody’s favorite restaurant could be someone else’s second choice.
The point I am getting to is that I think that the title or theme of “best restaurants” is passé and to make that point I might as well mention that my own personal favorite restaurants were included in a top ten list on very few occasions.
When it comes to building a list of top restaurants several other categories come to mind for me that have much more relevance and importance, such as:
- most influential restaurants in the culinary world (or restaurants that have impacted the industry)
- restaurants that inspire
- restaurants with great financial success
- restaurants that are lead by an outstanding figure
The era of food bloggers, web exposure, social media, and our ability to travel easily and have to conform less to specific routines brought the end of another era – that of the “best restaurant”. There are lots of good restaurants around the country and all over the world, with no regard to how much they are recognized and well-known. I have had the privilege to live in large cities such as London, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, and Brussels where one may find thousands of amazing restaurants – so how do we decide?
Since the era of the “best restaurant” is behind us, the new era of exposure is the answer in my opinion. With social media focused on different places, the people behind the pots came into view. I can give a list of chefs that have greatly influenced and inspired both myself and colleagues of mine, whose restaurants I always gladly return to, dream of visiting – restaurants with vision, inspiration and more… but the best is just not there.
In the following photos are some of the best known to be the est:
Thank you for reading,