Tzfon Abrexas צפון אברקסס - homage to Eyal Shani #1
There are no two ways about it. Eyal Shani, for all his kookiness and quirk, פשוט יש לו את זה (he just has it). I have now eaten at both Miznon (on numerous occasions) and Tzfon Abrexas, and even - perhaps especially - as a vegetarian, I am bowled over every time. He just knows what to do with vegetables. I maintain that it is less a chochma (that means “less telling” for non-yiddish/hebrew speakers) to prepare meat and fish, but if you know what to do with vegetables - you clearly know what it means to work with food.
Eyal Shani’s tomato thing (sorry no translation) may have made people laugh, but seriously - there is something to it. Anyone who can serve me a plate of standard looking spaghetti as seen above yet still win the table over (it was a six-tomato sauce), has my heart and my belly. I am even willing to forgive him (and his establishment) for the ridiculous sprinkling of coarse sea salt on the tabletop, delivered with the meal.
I have written about him before - he is a key influence on my approach to food photography, and when I heard him speak on the topic I shared this quote with him (which he rather liked) because it was so fitting: The day is coming when a single carrot freshly observed will set off a revolution (Paul Cezanne). This man is good quality!