Babaloosta's Einat Admony Talks NYCWFF Dinner Inspiration

For chef Admony, cooking family-style Mediterranean meals is about sharing and togetherness

"I want the diners to come away with more positive feelings about the sharing and togetherness that goes along with family-style plates."

Israeli-American chef Einat Admony (Babaloosta, Bar Bolonat, Taim) will be one of three chefs hosting the Mediterranean Exploration dinner on Saturday, October 18 at the International Culinary Center as part of the New York City Wine & Food Festival. Along with chefs Michael Solomonov and Sara Kramer, chef Admony will guide guests through contemporary Israeli cuisine, influenced by both Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking traditions.

In advance of the Mediterranean Exploration dinner, which is part of the Bank of America dinner series, we spoke with chef Admony about her involvement in the festival.

This interview is part of a series of interviews highlighting the chefs of the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival.

What’s the inspiration behind the menu that you are preparing for your NYCWFF dinner?

 This menu doesn't really have a single inspiration, but I knew I wanted to use seasonal ingredients where possible to celebrate the fall. Couscous is also something I've always loved to make since childhood. It's on the menu at my restaurant Bar Bolonat and I wanted to recreate it for this dinner as well.

What's the one thing you want people to take away from your dinner?

I'm a big advocate for family style plates and that's the style I will be serving my entree for the dinner. I want the diners to come away with more positive feelings about the sharing and togetherness that goes along with family-style plates. I also want people to finish the dinner more open to Middle Eastern cuisine.

What do you consider to be your best creation ever? What’s the best thing you’ve ever cooked? I'm very proud of my falafel at Taïm. It's so simple and so satisfying and has made my small restaurants into their own little institutions.

What's your favorite kitchen tool (beyond your knife)?

I love my Kish Kash, which is like a tammy but specifically for couscous.

The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival benefits hunger-relief organizations – do you think that chefs have a social responsibility beyond simply feeding people honestly and well?

I don't think that just because I am a chef, that title comes with an obligation in and of itself. I think it's more important simply on an individual level to treat everyone, from my customers to my purveyors to my staff, the way I would treat my family and closest friends. These people support me, they eat my food, and we are part of the same community. Because of all of this I want to give back to them as many good things as possible.


Tickets are available now for Mediterranean Exploration with Michael Solomonov, Einat Admony and Sara Kramer: Part of the Bank of America Dinner Series.