Inside Shaul Ben-Aderet’s Kitchen

26th October 2017

Interview: Josh Barrie
Photographs: Steven Winston

The Blue Rooster chef on fish from the Sea of Galilee, his grandmother’s knife (which needs sharpening), and a British cookbook author he respects and admires


Grey mullet »
Kifon burri, or grey mullet, fished out of the Sea of Galilee. “I do not buy this often, as stocks are low, it is very expensive. But it is a versatile and flavoursome fish that lends itself to spicing here. I like it in stews or steamed with rice.” – Shaul

A big wheel of Parmesan »
“I adore Parmesan. It is one of my favourite cheeses. It lifts dishes, adds flavour and settles things down while also enlivening foods. Years ago, you couldn’t get Parmesan here in Israel. Now you can, which is a very good thing. I love risotto, and I love it in that.”

In bowls and hanging from hooks are great bunches of coriander, parsley, and mint. Shaul has a particular penchant for herbs: “Herbs are so important to my food and the food of Israel. I could not be without my herbs. They require a lot of chopping though!”

Cream cheese
“We eat a lot of cheese here. Soft cheese is vital, it helps lighten up the mood. I love it with crackers. We have it at breakfast, or lunch, or dinner. Any time. It’s always in the fridge.”

Shaul puts out a bowl of unpitted green and black olives from the market, studded with small fragments of garlic and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. They are salty though actually quite calm in flavour.

The eggs Shaul uses for our shakshuka are small with faint blue shells and a fiercely orange yolk. “They are delicious eggs.”


Countless wooden spoons
There are stacks of wooden spoons and stirring apparatus in Shaul’s kitchen. Many look worn but are entirely workable. Shaul peers at the closest pot before picking one out with which to stir our lunch.

Wooden rooster
“We have these roosters in the restaurant. They’re just ornamental. I like them. I like the rustic style of French Provence. They’re sort of just, I don’t know, countryside-style.”

Gold pineapple »
Shaul doesn’t know where it’s from, but you can get very similar gold pineapples at Urban Outfitters.

Grandmother’s knife
“It’s 35 years old. My grandmother gave it to me. It needs sharpening! [laughs]” – Shaul


Jerusalem, Yotam Ottelenghi »
“Of course I have his books.” – Shaul

Frugal Food, Delia Smith »
“I have Delia Smith books, I think they’re a good foundations.”

Great Escape Southeast Asia, Gordon Ramsay »
“I like his food. There’s a lot to respect and admire.”

Posted 26th October 2017

In Things


Interview: Josh Barrie
Photographs: Steven Winston

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