Israeli chef Assaf Granit has earned a Michelin star for his Paris restaurant, Shabour, getting praise for his “creative cuisine” and his “trademark features” of an “unbridled atmosphere, rough and ready decoration.” Fun fact, Granit’s father has served us as a tour guide for our groups in the past.
Granit has a series of popular restaurants in Jerusalem including the famous Machneyuda which has waits of two months (one of favorite restaurants!), Yudele and HaSadna — all of which have been closed for months due to COVID closures in Israel. His Jerusalem-based cuisine has been exported to the award-winning The Palomar in London and two restaurant in Paris, Balagan and Shabour.
The gruff, tattooed, now celebrity chef on Israeli cooking shows was overwhelmed by the news.
“This isn’t normal. I can’t get over it. It’s great,” Granit said. “For me the biggest thing here is that four Israeli partners from Jerusalem decided to open a restaurant in Paris and did it with their money and their vision.”
“The guide wisely kept up to date with the world. The guide realized that excellent meals do not have to be in lavish palaces with tablecloths and waiters. Impeccable experiences can come in all sorts of places,” Granit said.
Shabour’s menu is classic Israeli with a focus on Jerusalem specialties such as tehina, baba ghanoush and horseradish.
Granit said the closures due to the COVID pandemic have created a “weird and unclear” atmosphere for his restaurants, but he is hoping for a swift recovery afterwards — buoyed by a Michelin star, no doubt.
“If I just focus on today — we got one star today? The next focus will be at the second star,” he said looking forward.
Shabour (which means “broken” in Hebrew), opened in 2019, and was named best restaurant in Paris just a few months later by Le Figaroscope, a cultural and gastronomical guide.