Sydney welcomes Spoons – a Kosher pop-up food venture

November 8, 2016 by Sophie Deutsch
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It was in the historic Jerusalem neighbourhood of Yemin Moshe that Hila Solomon’s kosher food business, Spoons, began.


Hila Solomon

Following Israel’s recapture of Jerusalem in 1967, wealthy residents from abroad came to comprise the majority of the neighbourhood’s population. Many of the original artisan families from Yemin Moshe were expelled from their homes. With kindness and generosity, Hila listened to the stories of families who had been evicted, hearing their triumphs and their woes. She began bringing people together from different walks of life and different faiths, dining with them over home-cooked delectable kosher meals in her Yemin Moshe home.

From there, word of mouth about an authentic dining experience enabled Hila’s venture to grow. In 1998 for a year, and then in 2005 until January of this year, Hila ran Spoons in the historic neighbourhood of Yemin, Jerusalem.

When interviewed by J-Wire, Hila commented “in Jewish life, the table is the centre of the home… it is considered the centre for family get togethers, eating, arguing, coming together. This centrality could bring in people with all different ideas to meet around food.”

At her kosher pop-ups, people “might come as a group of strangers but in the end they leave as new friends.”

But it is not just the locals that have enjoyed the privilege of dining at Spoons.

Hila has engaged in discussions with United States Congressmen and Senators around her Israeli kitchen table. David Rubinger, the Israeli photographer and Bashar Masir, a Palestinian entrepreneur and real estate magnate, have also experienced the authentic, healthy and fresh food at Spoons.

Hila’s kosher pop-up lunches, dinners and events have become an international legend in Jerusalem and Jaffa. After The Australian Friends of Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Shalom encouraged Hila to bring her kosher cuisine to Australia, the renowned chef decided to open Spoons Sydney.

hila2The kosher pop-up lunches and dinners will be held in Hila’s Woollahra apartment, a home filled with delicious kosher meals and an impressive collection of Israeli art. She also hopes to encourage business lunches and Jewish organisations to dine at her kosher pop-up in Woollahra.

Hila says that she cares about “healthy, natural, clean solutions to food. A Mediterranean diet is so important.”

“This is an opportunity for good, kosher food at affordable prices… aesthetically presented without all the stuffiness and formality”. Spoons is under supervision of the Community Kashrut Authority.

Hila’s background in design and her keen eye for creativity have assisted in her kosher food venture. Hila commented that, “the whole aesthetic of food is important. The environment you eat in, the way the food is touched, prepared, the way the food is placed on the plate… it is all part of the ethos of what I do”.

hila3But pop-ups are not all that Hila has on the agenda for SPOONS. She offers cooking classes in Sydney for groups of 10, and will be taking group and individual culinary tours with a difference to Israel. The next group tour will run after Passover in 2017.

“The food tour will hopefully allow people from Australia and other countries to come to Israel and enjoy that. Not just sampling the fine food and wine we have, but also understanding the people behind it and experiencing their stories”.

Spoons dinners will be held on Tuesday 15th November and 22nd November, with the profits going to JewishCare’s White Ribbon Day to assist in the prevention of violence against women.

These intimate gatherings are available to just 16 guests at $98 per guest including aperitif, cocktail and dinner. There is also the option for wine tasting of Castel wines during dinner. Email for menus and further details about the pop-up events, cooking classes and Israeli culinary tours.

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