Meet Our Chef
Chef Nir Zook is an award-winning Israeli chef who has opened multiple restaurants, authored numerous cookbooks, and starred in various television programs. He was selected by the Foreign Ministry of Israel as a featured chef in the book “Face of Israel” representing the vibrancy of Israeli culinary traditions.
Chef Zook discovered his love of cooking at the age of 13 in his family home, located in a small village in southern Israel. When he was 16, he moved to Tel Aviv and worked with Chef Avner
Avraham, a pioneer of Italian cuisine in Israel. Two years later he began working at the restaurant “Al HaMayim” in Herzliya, where his appreciation for seafood grew strong.
Chef Zook wanted to hone his skills further and travelled to San Francisco and Paris to learn from top global chefs. In Paris, he worked at the two Michelin starred restaurant, La Dybelyak, and also worked under the famous confectioner Gerard Mulot.
Upon his return to Israel, he opened the doors to his home kitchen in Jaffa for people to experience tasting menus inspired by his time in Paris. In 1999, he opened the highly acclaimed Cordelia Restaurant in Jaffa. A couple years later, Chef Zook opened Noa Bistro next door, and soon thereafter, he opened Jaffa Bar across the road, and almost without noticing, the charming alley in old Jaffa became the culinary hub of Chef Nir Zook.
After many years of success, the operations in Jaffa were closed after being unable to secure attractive future leases, leading to new culinary ventures with Chef Zook serving as owner, executive chef, creative director, or brand ambassador, and in some cases, all four! Chef Zook published multiple cookbooks including a top selling cookbook titled “Vegetables” in 2011.
In addition, Chef Zook has represented Israel at various foreign dinners, traveling to Spain, Japan, Austria, and Croatia to showcase Israeli cuisine for official diplomatic events. Perhaps most impressively, he conceived and starred in the successful television series “A Chef by Surprise” where he would show up to people’s homes and cook a meal for them from only the items in their kitchen. Chef Zook is eager to share his unique culinary experience and talents with you at Arba.