Middle East/Africa News

Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Compete in Global Culinary Competition Taste of Waldorf Astoria

Executive Chef, Itzik Barak will compete in this prestigious contest with five other international chefs to create a new iconic dish

November 22, 2015  |  This information originated in U.K. English.

JERUSALEM - Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is pleased to announce participation in the second year of Taste of Waldorf Astoria, a global culinary program from Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and the James Beard Foundation (JBF), the United States' foremost culinary arts organization. This year, Itzik Barak, Executive Chef of the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, will compete in this prestigious contest with five other international chefs to create a new iconic dish

The luxury brand Waldorf Astoria in New York has a timeless reputation for creating world-renowned culinary masterpieces such as eggs benedict, red velvet cake and the "Waldorf Salad," which bears the name of the brand. Last year, Taste of Waldorf Astoria winners Heinz Beck, Waldorf Astoria Master Chef, at La Pergola at Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, and David Posey, formerly Executive Chef at Blackbird in Chicago, were awarded top honors with their Celery Root Risotto alla Waldorf. The dish was a reinvention of the iconic Waldorf Salad, using an innovative technique replacing the traditional rice base of risotto with celery root.

Chef Itzik Barak combines traditional Israeli cuisine with a luxury global culinary experience to create a modern Middle Eastern menu at Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem's two restaurants. He will be joined by Chef Joseph JJ Johnson from The Cecil restaurant in New York. Chef Johnson of The Cecil and Minton's in Harlem, one of the hottest areas in New York culinary life, is featured on Forbes list of most promising chefs under the age of 30. In addition, Chef Barak will also work with four other master chefs of Waldorf Astoria brand in New Orleans, Orlando, Beijing and Amsterdam this year.

JJ will be hosted in Jerusalem just a short time after the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem was named seventh best hotel in the world by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. For five days, the two chefs will visit restaurants and local markets, restaurants or off-the-beaten-path locations for inspiration, and film an interactive video diary for social media. The event will culminate in a gourmet tasting of five dishes.

Guy Klaiman, General Manager of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem: "I am proud that chef Barak was elected to be one of the five master chefs to compete in the prestigious Taste of Waldorf Astoria competition. It is a great honor for Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. This nomination, along with being awarded the best hotel in the Middle East and seventh best hotel in the world, is very exciting. We will continue to strive for service and quality of the highest levels."

John Vanderslice, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts: "We are thrilled to continue our Taste of Waldorf Astoria program into its second year and feature Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem as one of our five competing hotels. Master Chef Itzik Barak brings a wealth of culinary talent and expertise to the competition and we can't wait to see what he invents with the visiting JamesBeard Foundation Chef this fall."

Participating dishes will be judged according to four main criteria, including: level of innovation, simplicity of preparation, taste, and presentation. Moreover, it is important that the dish can be prepared in hotels around the world, so it is better not to use special tools and cooking techniques.

Taste of Waldorf Astoria will host four additional chef experiences at the following properties:

The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
September 28 - October 1, 2015
Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Mark A. Majorie, Jr., Chef de Cuisine at Fountain Lounge Restaurant
JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist Chef: Jeremy Wayne, Chef de Cuisine at La Folie (San Francisco, CA)

Waldorf Astoria Orlando
November 1 - 4, 2015
Waldorf Astoria Chef: Bernard Fiemeyer, Executive Chef at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist: Jamilka Borges, Chef de Cuisine at Bar Marco and Founder of Swing Truck (Pittsburgh, PA)

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
November 9 - 12, 2015
Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Sidney Schutte, Executive Chef at Restaurant Librije's Zusje Amsterdam (two Michelin Stars)
JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist Chef: Grae Nonas, Co-Executive Chef at Olamaie

Waldorf Astoria Beijing
December 14 - 18, 2015
Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Benoit Chargy, Executive Chef at Waldorf Astoria Beijing
JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist Chef: Erik Bruner-Yang of Toki Underground, Maketto and Honeycomb (Washington, D.C.)

Each participating chef will prepare their recipes in New York on February 24, 2016, for a panel of culinary luminaries, who will ultimately decide the winning dish. The final Taste of Waldorf Astoria will be featured at each of the brand's 25 hotels and resorts worldwide, joining its storied culinary legacy with a modern classic for today's luxury traveler.

Each Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Resort now offers a curated 3-course dinner for guests to enjoy their own Taste of Waldorf Astoria, served in a distinct location on property. Guests may book this experience now by visiting www.tasteofwaldorfastoria.com.

Track each chef's on-property journey and dish creation by following @WaldorfAstoria on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #TasteofWaldorf. For more information about the participating chefs and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.waldorfastoria.com or news.waldorfastoria.com.

Motti Verses
For Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem

John Walls
Hilton Worldwide
+1 703 883 5232

About the James Beard Foundation (JBF)
Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City's Greenwich Village as a "performance space" for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org. Get food news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation's blog. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is a portfolio of nearly 30 iconic properties that create a unique sense of place with a relentless commitment to personal service and culinary expertise in landmark locations around the world. Unified by their inspirational environments and True Waldorf Service, Waldorf Astoria hotels deliver graceful service from the moment a guest books through checkout. Waldorf Astoria is a part of Hilton, a leading global hospitality company. Experience Waldorf Astoria by booking at www.waldorfastoria.com or through the Hilton Honors mobile app. Learn about the brand by visiting news.waldorfastoria.com, and follow Waldorf Astoria on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.