"In Israel, every time there was chaos, some kind of crisis in the country, there was a security conflict that made it clear to everyone who was against whom, who we were really fighting against, from the outside, and with whom we should unite, embrace, talk. It's sad, very sad, we need a war now to to understand?"
For all the recipes for Passover,
the Seder night of Aviv Moshe this year will be happy as usual.
His last count is more than thirty guests who will enter his home, and the menu is already forming - in his head, stomach and heart - into a celebration, but he can't keep the anguish in his stomach.
He means to cook of course - you don't go to Aviv Moshe's to eat something that Aviv Moshe didn't prepare - but every sentence about food carries with it a corresponding sentence about "the situation".
It's very hard to catch chefs and foodies like that.
They usually keep very strict boundaries, avoiding leaving the kitchen.
He doesn't talk politics either.
It's not left and right.
For him it's coming home at night, turning on the TV and not believing what the screen is broadcasting to him.
Aviv Moshe's Seder night this year will be happy as usual.
almost as usual.
This is what he prepares for you.
Moshe (Photo: Assaf Carla)
It's both a deli and a buffet, both a restaurant and a diner, both To-Go and Parliament - and above all an island of *real* food, at a time when many, many places feel a bit engineered
The Netanyat "Happicerie" is an old dream of Moshe, which was kept deep in his head for at least a decade or two.
"I come from a home of stews. I grew up on this food and always tried to incorporate it, or parts of it, into the menus of my restaurants," he explained, "with Corona, the opportunity finally arose, and we were able to put it all together in one place."
This place is both a deli and a buffet, both a restaurant and a diner, both to-go and parliament - and above all an island of *real* food, at a time when many, many places feel a bit engineered.
"The idea was to reach everyone, and offer those who come in here something a little different every day," described Matan Levi, Moshe's partner, "People are looking for freshness, they are looking for taste and they are looking for comfort in their pocket, but they are also looking for interest."
All the secrets, all the tricks
There were the great recipes of Passover
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Ingathering of the exiles.
The Passover meal of the epicurean (photo: Assaf Karla)
This matter can be Greek, Moroccan, Asian, and in any case simply converge to "Israeli".
This means a long-long display case, with many flavors and many colors, and a generous hand that loads them onto plates and into boxes ("We built the food in advance knowing that it would probably be heated at home," Moshe explained).
There is a tabbouleh salad and several bowls of eggplant, a "sweet from the kitchen" and an egg salad, Mashvea and spicy, stuffed vegetables with presence, and also carpelach with meat and caramelized onions or with potatoes and the same caramelized onions.
Then there are "cheeky" chicken meatballs in lemon, which are probably exactly what this genre needed, beef meatballs in red sauce and macaroni that matched colors, pieces of chicken on the bone, couscous with vegetable soup, a hot pot of thick bean soup, eggplant parm And Asian salmon, rice with many things and more and more.
Halat Friday of the Episri (photo: Assaf Karla)
"I grew up in a house where every afternoon there was food, pots, a meal. Even when I no longer lived there, I would return home to my parents at the end of each day or at noon, and eat with them"
All of these connect to the back box of the couriers' motorcycles, of course, but also for sitting on the spot - at a huge and colorful communal table, on bar stools overlooking the large square of the piano complex, or in the square itself, under umbrellas that are already ready for the sun.
They also connect to a satisfying business and daily tasting meal, led by chef Esti Gross, which is more of a feast than a "tasting", and which moves in large lines on the map - a Turkish table with simit and bureks and kebab, a Persian table with vegetable horsht and Berber flat bread, an Ashkenazi table with latex and Tshulant and also Yerushalayim table with beet cube, malfof and sofrito.
A postcard kibbutz, as defined by Moshe, if only we stop fighting and start eating.
"It's a kitchen that cooks every day, people come at four in the morning and start working to get it all out," he described, "It's food with a lot of soul. I grew up in a house where every afternoon there was food, pots, a meal. Even when I no longer lived there, I would come home , to the parents, at the end of each day or at noon, and I eat with them."
"A kitchen that cooks every day".
Moshe Vagros (Photo: Assaf Carla)
"I asked my mother to prepare something small for me, to taste, and she opened a table with fish meatballs, pretzels from the oven, from Kluba on the side. I fainted"
Levi came here about a year and a half ago, and conducted a small "entry test" to know what it was all about.
"I asked my mother to prepare something small for me to taste," he repeated, "and she opened a table with fish meatballs, pretzels from the oven, baked on the side. I fainted. I realized that there was a diamond here, and that together with Aviv's criminal head, everything would come together."
He went in, arranged, improved and refined, while adhering to one basic rule - "What we don't know we don't do, but what we know we do best".
That is, not bought, not from the outside, everything is here.
Including challah from the kitchen and eggplants on Friday, for example, onion and chestnut pastry, maschan and countless molds and pots that launch Shabbat celebrations here long before Shabbat comes.
"I have customers who eat here every day, I already know them and know what their crazy things are," he said, "they come, sit, talk, enjoy themselves. For me, this is the biggest confirmation that we are doing something right here."
"Food with a lot of soul".
The epic (photo: Assaf Karla)
These customers, and that confirmation, naturally expand to the holiday weekdays, and to the Seder night itself, with a special menu, which tries very hard to meet Moshe's hope - again a postcard kibbutz, on one table, united.
There are, among other things, starters such as chopped liver and gefilte fish, stuffed beetroot and coated cauliflower, horseradish and fresh soup, mains such as head meat or asado "in Mother Shoshana sauce", roast beef in mushroom sauce and chickens stuffed with pasta rice, rotisserie chicken and fillet steak with an Italian passport , and also Druze rice and potatoes and Akuda and we're full, thank you.
Come, sit, talk, enjoy.
Halat Friday of the Episri (photo: Assaf Karla)
The entrance to the Hafisri unfolds before you quite a few plates, bowls and options.
The food of course, but also complementary shell products, bottles that raise the smile a little more and the same arrangement of tables as if created to bring people together.
This is not Moshe's most famous and flashiest place, obviously, but it is definitely the place closest to home, and he wants to see a house that remains standing, based on foundations that are as stable as possible.
"All our lives we survived here thanks to being one. We fought together and died together. We are friends and married, and suddenly you see many children and Shabbat tables with arguments. I am sad."
From the ceiling hangs a huge painting, the food version of Michelangelo's "Creation of Man", which replaces Adam and his God with a pair of bent, hungry forks.
I guess there are no big creative pretensions here beyond "let's start with food, and go from there".
On days like this, it's a perfect starting point.
Happicerie, Shoshana Demari 10 (Piano Center complex), Netanya,
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