We had the opportunity to sit down with chef Ayelet Perry for an exclusive interview to discuss Cassis, her journey, her career, and her love for Jaffa. Here are five things you probably didn't know about the acclaimed Israeli chef.
1. "I originally opened Cassis in the San Francisco Bay Area and ran it for over 20 years. Steve Jobs used to eat my food every weekend. I miss California, and a part of me still wishes I was there."
2. "My husband is American, and he was the one who convinced the whole family to move back to Israel. Honestly, I didn’t want to move back. But my husband comes from a strong Zionist background and had always wanted to make Aliyah. So, we packed our bags and headed back to Israel with our two children, and here we are."
3. "The menu is a blend of California specialties and local Jaffa styles as well. My favorite item on the menu, in fact, is the Jaffa flat bread. It’s a mix of California and Israel, which in turn is a mixture of my past and my future. Whenever we take it off the menu, customers complain. It's a community favorite.”
4. "Jaffa is a symbol of unity and peace to me. I feel that Jaffa is the most unique space to not only run a restaurant, but to live within such rich diversity and culinary inspiration."
5. "Surprisingly, my background isn’t in cooking. I have a degree in Genetics from the Weizmann Institute in Israel, and only got into cooking after moving to Nova Scotia, where I first began cooking seafood for friends. Then, after they encouraged me to pursue it more, I decided to experiment in the culinary world."
Contributed by Lena Elkins