“In the last year or so, my oldest daughter joins me on various adventures like challah shaping, live fire grilling and sweets decorations!”

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Gal’s a dad from Israel who loves baking and exploring new cuisines 🥖

Get to know Gal in this Q&A and get his “Baked chicken and rice,” TUESDAY (11/26) from 3:30-5PM in Lakeview!

Q: How did you first learn to cook?

Gal: I first started cooking 20+ years ago, when I basically needed to feed myself, takeaway was expensive and I was broke. It was the pre-internet era (yes, there was a time like this), and I relied on a few cookbooks and my mom’s and aunt’s guidance. Soon, the necessity became a hobby, and I was eager to learn and try as much as I could.

Gal’s “Baked chicken and rice,” TUESDAY from 3:30-5PM in Lakeview! Chicken legs, marinated with yummy spices (paprika, garlic, baharat, EVOO), baked over yellow ginger-turmeric rice. Crunchy crispy rice at the bottom, soft baked rice in the middle, baked chicken on top! Can’t go wrong…

After graduating from university, and finally having enough money to afford it, I attended a cooking school in Israel where I learned and practiced many classic techniques. Since then (2005), I’ve never stopped cooking and exploring new areas like BBQ, baking and more. And in the last year or so, my oldest daughter (and on occasion my younger son and daughter too) joins me on various adventures like challah shaping, live fire grilling and sweets decorations!

Gal’s “Challah!”

Q: What do you like to cook?

Gal: I like to cook the dishes of my family throughout the years, as well as Israeli food and a multitude of other cuisines, especially Middle-Eastern, Italian, French, Thai, BBQ and more. Many of my dishes are inspired by good old home cooking (roast chicken, baked cream potatoes…hmmm), sometimes with my own twist on them (tuna salad with crunchy almonds, spicy beet salad with yogurt, and chicken shawarma and rice one pot wonder).


Other times I like to try new tastes and techniques, and combine them with old (and new) traditions. My beef stew with red wine and dried fruits is a Passover staple, and one of my favorite eats of all times. And my kids will eat our home made (buttermilk marinated) schnitzels every day given the opportunity (dunked in ketchup, of-course!!)

Q: Where did you grow up and what kind of food did you grow up with?

Gal: I was raised in Israel, and my mom, aunt and grandma were phenomenal cooks who mostly cooked a vast repertoire of Jewish-Ashkenazi food. As a kid I was a horrible eater who ate nothing (with the occasional exception of my mom’s latkes and sour-cream), and only late in my teen years have I started eating (and appreciating) the excellent food around me. Street food is one of my faves, especially lamb shawarma, loaded with tahini, hot sauce and amba – the one “fast food” I ALWAYS have when visiting Israel.


Get Gal’s “Baked chicken and rice,” TUESDAY (11/26) from 3:30-5PM in Lakeview! ❤

By Shmeal

The Shmeal Team. 🐖💻
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