Chaim Cohen: Culinary Expert, Restaurateur, Television Host, and Cookbook Author
Chaim Cohen, born on March 21, 1960, is a prominent Israeli chef, restaurateur, television presenter, and cookbook author. He also serves as a culinary consultant for a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Chaim Cohen was born, raised, and educated in the Kiryat Shalom neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Israel. He comes from a Kurdish heritage, with his father, Eliezer, hailing from the community of Nash Didan, and his mother, Miriam, belonging to an Orphali family from Turkey.
At the age of seventeen, Cohen started working in a small restaurant called "Little Tel Aviv" after responding to a job ad for assistant waitstaff. Following that, he worked at "The Kiosk," owned by Shaul Avron, in Neve Tzedek, where he was introduced to classic French cuisine, including dishes like coq au vin and pot-au-feu. This exposure ignited his passion for cooking, leading him to decide to open his own restaurant.
Afterward, he worked for about three years at "Efrafa," where he served as a bartender and kitchen manager.
Cohen furthered his culinary skills in France under the tutelage of Chef Roger Verge, the owner of a Michelin three-star restaurant. This experience deepened his knowledge of French cuisine and culinary techniques. Upon returning to Israel, he blended his newfound French culinary expertise with locally sourced Mediterranean ingredients, creating what is known as "fusion cuisine." This approach involved combining European and Asian elements with local flavors to craft unique dishes.
In 1985, at the age of just 24, Cohen co-founded the restaurant "Keren" on Ibn Gabirol Street in Tel Aviv, which began as a classic French eatery. Over time, it evolved to offer a blend of French and Mediterranean cuisine, gaining a dedicated following of diners seeking authentic French dishes in Israel. The restaurant's success allowed it to relocate to a historic building in the American-German Colony in Jaffa, where it continued to flourish until its closure in 2002.
Many renowned Israeli chefs, such as Golan Gur-Finkel (of "Dalal" restaurant) and chefs Tamar Blay and Ezra Kadim (co-founders of "Arkadia" in Jerusalem), received their culinary training at "Keren."
Chaim Cohen's popularity grew steadily. In 1999, he started hosting the cooking show "Shum, Pilpel veShemen Zait" (Garlic, Pepper, and Olive Oil) alongside fellow chef Uri Buri. The show aired until 2017 on Channel 1 and was later rebroadcast on Channel 33 before the channel's closure.
Cohen also worked as a culinary consultant for various restaurants around the world, including "Taboon" in New York, "Club Hotel Loutraki" in Greece, "Isidora" in Rishon LeZion, and "The Duchess" in Amsterdam.
In addition to his television career, Cohen authored several cookbooks, sharing his innovative recipes and culinary insights.
In 2011, Cohen opened the restaurant "Dixie Express" in Rishon LeZion, in partnership with basketball player Aron Baynes. In the same year, he launched another branch of "Dixie" and "Dixie Express" in collaboration with Michael Zadik in Tel Aviv and the Herzliya Pituach area.
Chaim Cohen continued to explore the intersection of food and entertainment. In 2010, he began hosting the cooking and music show "Mo'adon Erev" (Dinner Club) in partnership with singer Marina Blumin on Channel 2. The same year, he also hosted the shows "Rishyon Lihenot" (License to Enjoy) and "MasterChef" on Channel 2.
In November 2011, Cohen opened the restaurant "Jaffa Tel Aviv" on Yigal Alon Street in Tel Aviv, together with Eli Landau.
In 2017, "The Duchess" restaurant at the W Hotel in Amsterdam, where Chaim Cohen serves as a culinary consultant, won a Michelin star.
In 2018, Chaim Cohen joined the reality show "MKR: HaMatbach HaMentzach" (MKR: The Eternal Kitchen) as a host and judge alongside restaurateur Rotem Amitzur. The show aired on Channel 12.
In 2020, he appeared in the youth series "HaTaḥana" (The Station).
In 2021, Chaim Cohen participated in the second season of "HaZamar BeMasḥa" (The Singer in Disguise) in a hilarious tangerine costume but was eliminated in the semifinals.
Chaim Cohen is married to Sigal, a practicing attorney who manages their business. The couple has two daughters and a son and resides in Savyon.
Television Shows Hosted by Chaim Cohen:
Chaim Cohen has hosted several successful cooking shows, including:
1. "Shum, Pilpel veShemen Zait" (Garlic, Pepper, and Olive Oil)
2. "Mo'adon Erev" (Dinner Club)
3. "Rishyon Lihenot" (License to Enjoy)
5. "MKR: HaMatbach HaMentzach" (MKR: The Eternal Kitchen)
6. "HaZamar BeMasḥa" (The Singer in Disguise)
Chaim Cohen's culinary expertise, combined with his engaging television presence, has made him a beloved figure in the Israeli culinary scene and a household name in the country.
- חיים כהן (שף)he.wikipedia.org
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