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How Three Top Chefs Collaborate to Make Machneyuda One of Jerusalem’s Best Restaurants

Machneyuda, Jerusalem’s award-winning, wildly successful restaurant is definitely unusual. The homey, hodge-podge space is filled with mismatched hand-me-downs, colorful wallpaper embellished with childhood photos of the wait-staff, and stacks of wooden crates full of fresh produce gathered during the chefs’ daily market runs. Even more extraordinary is the fact that it’s owned by three highly accomplished Israeli chefs: Asaf Granit, Yossi Elad and Uri Navon.

In the United States it isn’t uncommon for star chefs to have egos the size of Texas, so it’s pretty hard to imagine three of them working together as a team. From the moment Machneyuda opened in 2009, the chefs not only accomplished their goal of serving seasonal, market-fresh cuisine, but their restaurant has also become one of the hottest tickets in town.  After a delicious lunch of “Doritos sashimi” followed by “I’d like to be under the sea, in an octopus garden with you” (I kid you not—this is straight from their menu), I waylaid Chef Uri Navon who generously took the time to answer my questions. 

Janice Nieder

Janice Nieder could be the love child of Indiana Jones and Julia Child. She was a specialty food consultant for 12 years in New York, with a client list that included Tavern on the Green, Dean & Deluca and Sign of the Dove. After being bitten by the travel bug, her culinary adventures took her to over 90 countries, where she shared a smoked monkey dinner with a generous Shuar Indian family deep...(Read More)

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