Michelin-Starred Prism Chef Gal Ben Moshe's Top 5 Traditional Levantine Dishes to Make at Home
Throughout Chef Gal Ben Moshe's culinary journey, the ocean has played a crucial role, its endless depths symbolising the vast potential of his talents. Hailing from the bustling coastal city of Tel Aviv, Chef Moshe's love affair with seafood began during his formative years. At the tender age of 15, he found solace in cooking when his grandfather fell ill, and he saw it as a means of achieving self-sufficiency while remaining true to his values and passions.
Determined to hone his skills, he embarked on a quest for knowledge, training at various esteemed restaurants across London. It was during this time that he met the talented sommelier, Jacqueline Lorenz, who would later become his partner. Together, they opened their first venture, GLASS, which garnered much praise and success.
However, Chef Moshe's curiosity for the historical Levant recipes and cooking methods continued to grow over the years. This passion eventually led him to take the next step in his culinary journey, culminating in the opening of his latest masterpiece, Prism, in 2018. With its innovative take on Levantine cuisine, Prism has captured the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts worldwide.
Prism, nestled amidst the vibrant streets of Berlin, is an eccentric gem that embodies the dynamic essence of Chef Gal Ben Moshe's childhood. With its contemporary spin on Levantine cuisines, the restaurant serves up a delectable theatrical performance that features an ensemble cast of seafood, smoky scents, and historic recipes. And at the helm of it all is none other than Chef Moshe himself, the masterful director who brings each dish to life on the restaurant's grand stage.
Not content with merely impressing diners with its innovative culinary creations, Prism has also garnered critical acclaim. In 2020, the restaurant was bestowed with the prestigious one Michelin Star, a testament to its unwavering commitment to excellence. With its sophisticated and refined dining experience, Prism has undoubtedly become a beacon of culinary ingenuity and artistry in the heart of Berlin.
Here, Chef Moshe shares with us his top 5 traditional Levantine dishes to make at home.
The Levantine breakfast combination of Tomatoes and Eggs is for me the ultimate comforting breakfast. It is all about the depth of flavours; one of the important parts is the strong peppers taste to enrich the tomatoes and integrate the spices. I make my own chilli paste, which is quite mild but packs a lot of fruitiness, a sort of a Harissa, but made from Aleppo and Urfa chilis from Syria and Turkey.
Fatteh is the more rich, complex version of hummus. It is basically Arabic bread or Pita, soaked in the cooking liquids of the chickpeas, with tahini, garlic and lemon, with crispy Pita, pine nuts, Samna (Levantine Ghee) and pomegranate seeds on top. There are over-the-top versions with aubergines, shrimp, braised beef or lamb. If you like hummus, you are going to love fatteh.
There are so many versions of what is; it is basically a meat dumpling made from Semolina. The classical version is fried dumpling stuffed with ground meat seasoned with a lot of allspice with pine nuts. You dose it with pomegranate molasses and deep it in tahini, and it is just so delicious. My personal favourite one is the Iraqi version, which is cooking the dumpling in Beetroot sweet and sour soup.
The queen dish of Levantine cuisine; the national dish of the Palestinians. Lamb cooked in yogurt, served with rice with nuts and samna on top. Usually this dish is reserved for important guests, holidays and celebrations. The yogurt sauce is made from jameed, a dried yogurt that is double fermented and has a very unique taste. We grate the jameed in my restaurant Prism over various dishes to give it a cheesy-umami flair.
This family of nutty-doughy confectionaries is known throughout the Levante. Everyone has their own recipes, their own unique shapes, but the rules are mostly the same, dough, nuts, syrup and so so tasty. For me the best Baklavas come from Syria, where the nuts are of unbelievable quality and the patisseries make the best of not making the syrup too sweet.
All imagery is provided by Lotus International.