Tali Friedman

My love of food began as a child, growing up in the bustle of my grandparent’s guesthouse amid bubbling pots and pans and the heady scent of my grandmother’s cooking. It was here that I enjoyed fresh produce straight from the garden, lush with fig, pomegranate and lemon trees, and overflowing with beets, shatta peppers and tomatoes, chickpeas, vine leaves and peas, all lovingly grown and cared for by my grandmother. As a child, I remember the magic of my grandmother’s kitchen, and in particular the delicious school lunches she’d carefully pack for me; more often than not a succulent fish sandwich I’d quietly unpack and sheepishly devour in a quiet corner

At 19, I began my professional studies at “Hadassah” College in Jerusalem and continued my training at “Lenôtre” cheffing school in Paris. Upon my return, I worked with some of the best chefs in Israel, including Ezra Kedem at Restaurant “Arcadia”, Eyal Shani at “Okyanus” and Rafi Cohen at “La Regence” of “King David Hotel”, each time bringing the simplicity of my grandmother’s cooking into the kitchen. It was very important for me to make sure to maintain the humble, natural flavors of the land throughout my food, using intuition and skill to bring it to the table

During this time, I became very attracted to Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Market. Besides my deep connection to the city and its history, it was its market; unpretentious and bustling with local trade offering abundant, fresh produce that did it. The market soon became my place of work and the main inspiration behind my cooking

Today, I’m a mother of four and owner of The Atelier in the Jerusalem Mahane Yehuda Market. The Atelier is heavily influenced by fresh and seasonal ingredients with a meticulous emphasis on simple Mediterranean
cuisine and the delicious flavors of my youth

The Atelier

Before I opened The Atelier in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Market, I taught cooking in various frameworks around the city. Time after time, I found myself taking my students out of the classroom and into the market. It felt like the right and natural thing to do at the time

That’s how it all started; wandering around the market’s narrow lanes, packed full with fish and meat stalls, and rows of fresh produce and dried fruits, I found the way I love to teach. I found what I wanted to do in life

I opened The Atelier in August 2009 after a 14-year career in the culinary world. I wanted to create a space that would contain my great love of food, combining homeliness and simplicity, with the elegance of hospitality. I wanted it to encompass everything I love about engaging with the healthy, fresh colourful food that comes from the market, and which for me, embodies the beating heart of Jerusalem

Over the years, I was thrilled that The Atelier became the place I envisioned and wished to create. My dedicated staff and wonderful guests have proved to be the most important element of The Atelier. I learned that besides my great love of food and the kitchen, I hold an even greater love for people and the different stories and dynamics that they bring to the table. Every event at The Atelier is made with love and careful attention of the smallest of details. There’s plenty of alcohol and good music, we chop, fillet, roast and caramelize. Together, we create a festivity of flavors of between five and seven courses

The Atelier is tucked away above the enchanted lanes of the Mahane Yehuda Market

Before we enter its hidden door, we stroll through the market together, taste its best produce, hear about the market’s vendors and feel that market type of love; rich with cultures, flavors and stories

And if you wondered, “atelier” in French is an artisan’s workshop. I’m excited and happy to invite you to my atelier, my workshop, my heart. Please come in and make yourself at home