First Shaul Evron, a great connoisseur of Champagnes and Bourgogne wines died (quite suddenly) and if that was not enough than in a most abrupt manner, in fact over night! From here to now…only a few months after “we” all “promised” to keep the legacy going, Yoezer (Shauls restaurant) and my favorite local bistro closed down. A short notice that said it all appeared on the Yoezer Internet site: http://yoezer.com/ : “We were, and now No More, apologies for the abrupt farewell. Thanking all who loved us for almost 18 years, but now we all must GO…” The Yoezer team. Feb. 20th 2013.
You may find it hard to believe (at least I did) that the dissolving Yoezer in its last few hours was rampaged and looted by evil forces of debtors who took anything in sight including of course private wines belonging to customers some of which substantial wines and most of which were privately owned and collected by Shaul throughout the years.
On the 30th day of the surprise closure of Yoezer 20th March 2013, (as is customary in the Jewish tradition) we arranged a meeting to commemorate our “loss” but unlike the somber Jewish tradition this was intended and indeed was, a celebration, a party rather than a mourning gather very much like an Irish “wake”.(a “wake” for the dead derives from the word “watch” or “guard” and is contrary to the thought that people at a wake are waiting in case the deceased should “wake up.”)
The popular 19th century song “The Night Paddy Murphy Died” by Newfoundlander balladeer Johnny Burke is a humorous send-up of the drinking associated with an Irish wake, Here the “Great Big Sea” version:[press play for song]
Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I’ll never forget
Some of the boys got loaded drunk, and they ain’t got sober yet;
As long as a bottle was passed around every man was feelin’ gay
O’Leary came with the bagpipes, some music for to play
That’s how they showed their respect for Paddy Murphy
That’s how they showed their honour and their pride;
They said it was a sin and shame and they winked at one another
And every drink in the place was full the night Pat Murphy died
Some might say this is a sad occasion how can you celebrate but we thought that it calls for a get together over some glasses of good in fact, excellent wines with friends Ben Tidhar , the legendary Yoezer’s chef, and Shlomit Herling , sommelier and Restaurant manager for almost all of it’ s days the “main pillars” of the bistro, Yair Varda and myself (of the restaurant’s devoted followers) at the Chamara bar of Raphael restaurant in Tel-Aviv, a most becoming venue for our needs: eat drink and smoke (legally). http://raphaeltlv.co.il/
We started with a toast on the most delicious and rare Champagne Brut Jacques Selosse Rosé NV accompanied with fresh oysters which complemented one another perfectly, Yair said: “a rare gem to announce a very promising night. Can’t be put better, and so I sipped on this complex 90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir. Oger Chardonnay blended with a small percentage of Ambonnay Pinot Noir, expressing in a simple yet hard to achieve manner Anselme Selosse’s unique style that sets what he does apart from all other champagne producers. What a joy! And the colour a golden peach blush in a bottle. Pitty the Chamara light is so dim but this is the way of most wine bars. A highly appropriate offering from Yair’s collection.
Champagne Selosse Rosé NV Selosse Rose is not just great Champagne; it is a great wine by all counts. You dip into the very essence a great wine can lead you to. It is a sparkling Bourgogne great, revealing new aspects of complexity and freshness with every sip this is not a wine, it is an essence of Oger and Ambonnay soil the taste of the earth and it’s minerality…(this one is at least 10 years in storage) I guess It is beyond the need to verbally describe further, you’re either lucky to taste it or you can just envy me (I guess most of you are envious)
We left some of the Rose aside for our farewell toast and opened the next offering this is from the Yoezer salvaged collection:
Domaine d’Auvenay Auxey Duresses Blanc Les Boutonniers 2000
A wine from the private Domain of Madam Lalou Bize Leroy, considered as one of the most elegant Bourgogne whites, with amazing complexity or as Yair summed it up: Ocean in a bottle! and how well it complemented the Oysters or vice versa. It also accompanied the “blue crab open ravioli” and the fresh shrimp pasta both of which was excellent.
For the Lamb chops and a bite of the Foie Gras we opened the:
Thank god Parker Jr. started it out by giving it a relatively low score 88 (another miss scored wine) and that after stating it was: “fresh wine of outstanding depth… ” never mind all that after all wine is a matter of personal preferences at least in my case.
My offering for the “party” was a Shaul’s favorite Berthaut’s EPOISSES de Bourgogne.
We could not depart before the Rosé nectar laid yet again upon our tongue and palate, sending us home with it’s long finish, elated. good food, great company, Great wines, what else should we aspire to from a reunion? (I was content)
If Shaul would have participated in this gathering I assume the 3 above bottles consumed (by 5 of us) would prove insufficient in quantity but this is an example to the saying that less is more. Three perfect bottles are more than enough for one perfect get together.
And as the Irish song goes: “That’s how we showed our respect for Shaul and Yoezer, That’s how we showed our honour and our pride”
There are still some salvaged bottles, about 15 such wine bottles which were saved by the devoted Shlomit and Ben, into an old Sassicaia wooden wine box that always laid (empty) on the bar top shelve. Those are left for now (with Ben) I guess Shaul would say they are resting in the right hands. I think I should propose to keep them in my cellar (better storage conditions) for future meetings, each and everyone a celebration of Shaul and Yoezer taste that lingers on in my memories.
By the way, my Salvaged wines (the 2 bottles from the case that I claimed as mine… were brought to the occasion, both too young to drink and will improve immensely, in my humble cellar, with time, were:
Chapelle Chambertin 2004 Domaine Jean-Marie (Laurent) Ponsot, Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France.
Krug Champagne Brut 1996
The Chapelle-Chambertin 2004 comes from a 0.7 hectares lot of 18 year-old vines, whose first bottling was in 1970. The vines are relatively young, and produce a wine of structure that needs some bottle age, by “order” of the domain and we will comply!
Krug Champagne Brut 1996 an almost perfect wine (I had it once before) and will not tempt to open it for quitw some time the seductive roasted almond and hazelnuts yeasty flavour with peach and apricot notes never leaning to the sweet side, remaining brut and fresh with multilayered aromas, engulf you after a 20 minutes breathing in the glass (use a large flute!) than you will be very close to perfection which is what this wine will achieve in due course.
I will leave you with the last verse of the wake song The Night Pat Murphy Died.
Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I’ll never forget
Some of the boys got loaded drunk and they ain’t been sober yet;
As long as a bottle was passed around every man was feelin’ gay
O’Leary came with the bagpipes, some music for to play
The first true big restaurants in Paris, worthy of the name restaurant as we know it, was ‘Le Beauvilliers’ . It was opened in1782 on the eve of French Revolution in Palais-Royal district, by Antoine Beauvilliers, a famous French restaurateur, once cook of King Louis XIV and later owner of the first real restaurant in Paris, served many soufflés in his career, although his L’Art du Cuisinier containing the first printed soufflé recipes wasn’t published until 1814. The restaurant, ‘Le Beauvilliers’, under his own name, was one of the nicest restaurants of the capital. In fact, Antoine Beauvilliers, is considered to be one of the top “culinary artists” of his century, and is also known as the “inventor of Soufflé”
The first hot air balloon was created on December 14, 1782 by the Montgolfier brothers, shortly after a visit to Restaurants ‘Le Beauvilliers’ in Paris. The Montgolfier’s, while enjoying their dish of ” Soufflé du jour” noticed that the baked, fluffy, light, airy dish was puffed up by expending hot air bubbles trapped in egg protein of the whisked eggs in the mixture. Soon they borrowed the idea to heat up air in a large balloon shaped envelope that would expand fill up with hot gas and pick up their balloon and the basket attached to it up in the air. This is not really how things happened but you must admit it is a nice story (the “connection” was inevitable).
During the time Political changes and persecutions that made Antoine Beauvilliers leave his beloved trade, he composed, one of the best works known in the culinary arts, the famous, 2 volumes cookbook: the “Art du Cuisinier”, published in 1814; This cookbook was translates into English under the title of The Art of French Cookery, in London, in 1825. Antoine Beauvilliers, (1754-1817), is buried in Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris possibly near Jim Morrison’s grave??
The physical law that explains the rising of souffle as it is baked was described a few decades after its “invention”, also by the French scientist and balloonist, J.A.C. Charles. It describes how gases tend to expand when heated. Charles’s law says that: the volume occupied by a given weight of gas is proportional to its temperature.
If you heat air into a balloon the balloon expands (fills up with more air), and lifts up. So if you put a soufflé mixture in the oven the air bubbles trapped in the mixture will heat up, swell, and expand out beyond the top of the dish. Since there is also evaporation of water from the whisked egg bubble walls inwards, the bubbles expand even more when they reach the boiling point and turn into gas, as more liquid water becomes gas, the quantity of gas in the bubbles increases applying pressure on the bubble walls, which causes the bubbles to expand even more, thus our Soufflé rises more and more. If the Soufflé bubbles cool, the air they contain contracts in volume, the vapor condenses to form heavy drops of water and the Soufflé falls, but only as it begins to cool. So Soufflé’s tend to “fall” as they cool down which is why they have to be served immediately from the oven.
(partially from “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of The Kitchen” by Harold McGee [Scribner:New York] 2004, (p. 109-113)
My friend Judy sent me this wonderful Video: Il Carciofo di Aimo e Nadia by Elisia Menduni that “speaks” for itself from
Last New Year’s Eve I made a wonderful soufflé: soufflé of French goat cheeses and fresh porcini mushrooms, as one of the dishes that comprised the meal as described in one of my early posts: https://wine4soul.com/2012/05/08/a-new-years-eve-dinner-2/, a few days later, my friend Shaul Evron, after looking at the photos, as I was describing to him the meal, surprised me in saying: “I really miss souffle’s I have not had one in ages”. I’ll make you some I replied, they are real easy to make and I get them right each time. He said “maybe you should come one day to Yoezer and make some with the kitchen stuff”. They were not enthusiastic about the idea cause it would engage one of the ovens at all times, just for that dish, in case Shaul would decide he would like one on the menu. So the idea was “kept on ice” for the time being and now Shaul is gone… and this post is dedicated to HIM.
A soufflé is a light, fluffy, baked preparation made basically with a good Béchamel sauce, egg yolks combined with other ingredients that give it the specific flavor, fluffed with stiff beaten/whisked egg whites, baked in a special dish and served directly from the Oven while it is still well risen above the rim of the Soufflé dish. It can be as a savory starter, main dish or sweetened as a dessert.
The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means “to blow up” or more loosely “puff up” which is exactly what happens to this combination of custard/ Béchamel and egg whites.
Beauvilliers was making soufflés, possibly as early as 1782 (though he did not publish his L’Art du cusinier until 1814). Mentions of recipes for various kinds of soufflé appear in Louis Ude’s (a French Cook) cookbook 1813, and later, in 1841, Careme’s Patissier Royal Parisien, goes into great detail on the technique of making s soufflé, which acquired an undeserved reputation for being difficult to prepare and deserving special care and “silence” in the kitchen while making it, (from: Oxford Compantion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p.735).
In fact, souffles are reliable and easy to prepare as long as there is sufficient air in the mix, the laws of physics will take over your culinary expertise and cause it to rise in the oven, all legends concerning special care and no opening of the oven door are quite false and usually do no harm. As long as a soufflé is in the oven it will be well risen Just don’t over bake it or let the top burn. It is when the soufflé comes out of the oven that it will start to fall after a few minutes depending on the room temperature, (as any other baked dough)
The traditional dish to make soufflé in is a ramekin.
Basic Béchamel sauce
4 hipped tablespoons of plain flour
2 cups milk (400ml)
75g parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch ground nutmeg
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour. Mix well into a smooth paste constantly stirring, about 1 minute over low heat, until slightly bubbling. Remove from heat!!. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth. Return to heat. Cook, stirring with a spoon or whisk, until the sauce starts to the boil, starts to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat. (You don’t want it too thick keep it nice and cearmy). Stir in parmesan, salt and nutmeg, set aside to cool.
Sometimes I flavour the Béchamel sauce by using the stock of the flavouring part instead of half the liquids added (milk), langoustine or crab stock for instance will give the Béchamel sauce colour and flavour and will concentrate the character of the main ingredient
Now comes the flavouring part, of turning the Béchamel and turn it to the “soufflé base”, for cheese and mushroom soufflé, fry a few shallots and several kinds of mushrooms, fresh thyme, oregano, salt and pepper, add to the Béchamel sauce , mix well and add to the mixture 4 egg yolks, keep aside, next fold in the whisked 4-5 egg whites (the heavier the base you will require more egg whites to fluff it up, when you fold the egg whites in keep some “islands” of pure egg whites whisk in the mix). start with about a third of the beaten stiff egg whites to lighten up the flavoured Béchamel sauce than add the rest by carefully folding in the rest. One last tip all ramekins have to be well oiled/buttered and than dusted either with Parmesan cheese or fine bread crumbs or a mixture of both and for sweet soufflé granulated sugar, all are good for making the inner side of the ramekin coarse and rough enough to ease the soufflé in climbing up and beyond the rim without “slipping down”.
Larousse Gastronomique lists a long list of both savoury and sweet soufflé, any flavourings of the base for savoury goes, from brain soufflé, cheese, liver, crab, langoustine, fish, game or any poultry, any vegetable : potato, endive, asparagus, tomato, spinach mushrooms, truffles (“à la Royale”) cheese of all kinds be creative but keep the combinations in context with each other, don’t just mix ingredients off your sleeve !
For sweet: from chocolate to coffee, all berries, (pureed) all fruits some sweet liquors, fruits of your choice etc. of these the most delicate recipe is of course Freddy Girardet recipe (below)
Famous soufflé Recipes
Michel Roux’s soufflé Suisesse (swiss cheese soufflé as Served at Le Gavroche)
45g plain flour
5 egg yolks
salt and freshly ground white pepper
6 egg whites
600ml double cream
200g gruyère or emmental, grated
Heat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6. Melt the butter in a thick-based saucepan, whisk in the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and boil for 3 minutes, whisking all the time to prevent any lumps from forming. Beat in the yolks and remove from the heat, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a piece of buttered greaseproof paper to prevent a skin from forming.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form firm, not stiff, peaks. Add a third of the egg whites to the yolk mixture and beat with a whisk until evenly mixed, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Spoon the mixture into four well-buttered 8cm-diameter tartlet moulds and place in the oven for 3 minutes, until the tops begin to turn golden.
Meanwhile, season the cream with a little salt, warm it gently and pour into a gratin dish. Turn the soufflés out into the cream, sprinkle the grated cheese over the soufflés, and then return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Fredy Girardet’s passionfruit soufflé– In my book, the most delicate and the lightest ever soufflé, sublime!
4 eggs, separate to 2 yolks and all 4 whites (keep the other 2 yolks aside)
100g caster sugar
3/4 cup of seedless passion fruit juice
1. Whisk the yolks furiously with half the sugar, added bit by bit, until the mix thickens, then becomes light and fluffy and lighter in colour. Incorporate as much air as you can into the yolks. You can’t have too much air, the more the merrier with any soufflé.
2. Whisk 4 egg whites with the remaining half of the sugar until you reach a soft but firm peaks consistency.
3. Lightly butter individual soufflé bowls- ramekins and coat the buttered container with granulated sugar, just the amount that sticks to the oily surface. Pour 1 tea spoon of passion fruit juice into the bottom of each of the buttered bowls.
4. Add the 2 spoonful of the remaining passion fruit juice, a little at a time to the egg yolk mix, whisking it in as you go. Fold 1/3 of the whisked egg white into the mixture than daa the rest and fold with a spatula. Leave Islands of egg whites whisk. Fold gently, trying to keep the mix the light. Continue drizzling the rest of the juice into the mix as you fold. It should have a strong smell and taste of passion fruit.
5. Fill each bowl, and bake in a pre-heated, 190°C oven for somewhere around 15 minutes .
Dust with caster sugar and serve immedeiately.
The souffle should be firm on the outside, soft and creamy and just warm in the middle. The top should be raised above the rim and brownish in colour.
Girardet’s souffle turns out so light because it is basically air, held together by sugar, egg yolks and whites flavoured by passionfruit juice, NO FLOUR!!!
Some old soufflé recipes
Marie Antonin Carême (1783-1833), often called the father of French “Grande Cuisine” and known as “The King of chefs and the chef of Kings” was not the inventor of the soufflé. He was certainly one of the best and the most inventive pastry chefs of all times and was one of the first to publish a detailed recipe for soufflé.
To Carême the soufflé was “la reine de la pâtisserie chaude, ancienne et moderne” (the queen of hot pastry, ancient or modern). In his days soufflés were baked in a pastry case, called a croustade prepared in the “Pâtisserie de la rue de la Paix”, his Parisian pastry shop.
The original recipe for strawberry soufflé (Soufflés Parisiens aux fraises), as written in one of his many cookbooks: (Le Patissier Royal Parisien ou Traité Elementaire et Pratique de la Patisserie Ancienne et Moderne, 1828, pp. 364-365. )
“After picking over a large basket of good strawberries and fruit, crush them. Strain them to a purée through a fine-meshed sieve. Temper with one and a half pound of powdered sugar, than fold with eighteen stiffly beaten egg whites. When everything is well mixed, you mix in the strawberry purée until it is perfectly absorbed. Pour the preparation in a pastry crust as usual and bake. You can proceed in this manner to make soufflé with raspberries, red currants, or any other pureed fruit“.
For me Champagne is the most appropriate wine to go with any soufflé, some go with Blanc de blancs some with blends, some soufflés call for a blanc de Noirs or even Rosé, just use your judgment and preferences the rest will fit in…
About Marie Antonin Carême, and his amazing unique 127 dish The Regency Banquet – 18 January 1817 at The Royal Pavilion, Brighton Staged by the prince regent for the state visit of Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia on one of my next Post.
Till then, lift you spirits, rise over your own little ramekin rim and stay warm.
The story of the man who did not try to cheat the Angel of Death and finally succeeded
Vintners and winemakers of Bourgogne from Chablis in the north, all the way south to the Rhone, be ware, there will be a sharp fall in demand for your products. A great Bourgogne wine consumer, wine lover and expert have deceased.
We take our close friends for granted and when they go, a great void opens within us. Shaul is just gone and I already miss him. But memories are such a great consolation, they give us comfort at times of need and in times of grief and this is just one of these occasions.
For everyone in the small community of wine and food professionals in Israel He was the Grand Priest, a legend… the man, Shaul Evron, was a great culinary and wine sage, For me, he was a good friend, from whom I have learned and whose company I enjoyed since the early 1990’s.
His taste was so sharp that even the slightest of hint of sweetness in a wine was thumbs down for him, he shied when people used to commend his accuracy in tasting mainly because he knew his likes and dislikes, he could dislike a “great wine” just because it was not within his taste scope: “It’s a good wine but I do not like it”. He did not give a damn to label or pedigree beyond the cork. When his sharp taste detects a hint of corkiness, in a great bottle just opened he would rarely try to “taste it beyond the fault” and get to the bottom of what is “on paper” a great wine. At times after half an hour of breathing as the wine fault evaporated he would taste the wine again, a rare occasion!
He used to call me at times saying: “we just got this amazing Calf, if you pass by Yoezer we’ll have some stuff prepared for us from the best cuts plus some inner organs (brain, sweetbreads, liver, kidneys)” sometimes I would and at time I would regret missing the expression of joy from a good cut of meat in his eyes, if I could not make it. What a unique and enviable expressiopn.
Maybe the fact that he used to rinse his mouth (at the dentist’s – me), not with water god forbid, but with Perrier can shed a light on his peculiar but thoughtful actions . He used to bring a bottle with him, to the practice, each time he would come for an appointment. This may sharpen your understanding of his ways, which basically were Shaul’s way! S. Pellegrinno or Plain Water will JUST NOT DO!!!!!!!!
Being the owner of one of THE best restaurants “around”, Yoezer (my favorite Bistro in Israel https://wine4soul.com/2012/08/30/meat-of-lust-eating-in-yoezer-wine-bar ), he followed a dream to have his very own Bistro in 1995, (it is a cave in Old Jaffa) arranged to his very own taste, along the way and from day one his old friend from primary school days, Zipora decided to get on with him on a personal rollercoaster car, the most unlikely partnerships that worked for 17 years.
Yoezer Wine Bar offers a wide variety of wines, all chosen personally by Shaul and Shlomit (Sommelier, Maitre D. and personal care taker), with an emphasis on the wines of Bourgogne, Shauls Favorites.
Yes he was a conservative Pinot Noir / Chardonnay kind of guy; he loved wine-dungeons and bars, a lonely guy with hundreds of “friends”, he had no family but they were “all his sons”, a lone wolf at the head of a wine guzzling pack.
He loved French cheeses I think his favorite was Époisses de Bourgogne, from the village Époisses, in Côte-d’Or. Commonly referred to as Époisses, it is a pungent unpasteurized cows-milk cheese, washed daily in marc de Bourgogne until ripened.
He used to say that I am a “wine necrophiliac”, I like wine corps (too old) and I say he was a wine pedophile (He loves them young), I think he just could not resist his urge to taste a wine even when it is too young to enjoy (for me). But through the years we’ve managed to prove each other wrong on many occasions.
He liked to feel the harsh kick of wine, the storm of fresh tannins and took them in as if they were all rounded and smooth.
He was an excellent journalist and excelled in food writing, this short tale describes it all, in his very own words: “When I got to Paris once, I tried a 1983 Echezeaux at La tour D’argent it was harsh (trop dur as the French say) but beautiful, exactly the way I like them, so when I got a table for lunch at L’Ambroisie, the “grande dame” of Haute Cuisine, “discreetly situated” on the Place des Vosges (9 Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris, Phone: 01 42 78 51 45), which was then freshly awarded its third Michelin star, I have ordered the 83 Echezeaux The house sommelier said as expected: “trop dur” (too harsh) I told him: “no I don’t care”. He said that he could give me the 1984 Grand Echezeaux, which is ready for drinking, for the same price or something like that. I said to him: “Don’t like 84” he said to me: “Try it, what do you care, if you won’t like it, we will replace the wine, he opened a bottle for me, I tasted, I didn’t like it, I gave it back, I took the-83 “, it was ‘hash’ but again, sublime. A Japanese couple sitting at the next table pointed at my bottle when they were asked to choose a wine he tried his “Trop dur” exercise on them as well to no avail “. Shaul always knew what he wanted, his choice was hard to sway (I am sure he enjoyed that bottle more than the Japanese couple…)
At Yoezer, the Bar and kitchen stuff hold his culinary and wine views and understanding in such reverence and respect, that it feels they cook to please him personally with each dish that comes out of the kitchen, and we the diners are benefited by getting almost always the best according to Shaul, what more can one expect from a meal?
Our memorable wines together are numerous, they all started in my garden whilst photographing a BBQ article I was co writing for the food Magazine CHEF (April 1994) with the late Cheni Farber (a food writer and talented chef) we prepared a FEAST for the article photo shoot, a huge meal just for the magazine photographer, but there was tons of great food and I invited a friend to help with the consumption of the fare, who brought a friend with him, SHAUL. We spent a lovely spring afternoon on the lawn eating and drinking, drinking and eating, having a wine cellar at home was a novelty those days but I was fairly fresh from 10 years in London and the cellar was full of gems and surprises rarely seen in Israel, but the bottle that opened the door to his heart and started our friendship was a perfect Champagne 1978 Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon Rose. With almost perfect score of 19.5 from my wine mentor and teacher, Jancis Robinson. Never mind the score that wine which would “melt” anyone’s heart, initiated a friendship that lasted 18 years (aren’t we getting old?), that was my first intimate meeting with Shaul and “the beginning of a beautiful friendship”
Other Champagnes that come to my mind:
1995 Bollinger Grande Annee , so open, expressive, and forceful in character that these qualities carry through onto the palate where there are notes of honey, brazil nuts and dried mushrooms, even hints of truffles and caramelized dried orange peel.
Many 1990 Bollinger Grande Annee (one of my Favorite years) with its mature aromas, of roasted almonds, toffee, even creamed coffee with burnt caramel or honey, than wet mushrooms (it’s the alluring “rotting” mushrooms aroma which is so compeling to both of us)
Many Bourgogne whites, he did not like Meursault and preferred Montrachet especially Chassagne-Montrachet, 1996 and 1990’s
Bourgogne reds – Aloxe Corton and Corton these Grand crus have to mature at least 10 years he would drink and enjoy them young (Trop dur), 1983 Echezeaux a year you could hardly get your hands on…Vougeot and Vougeot Premier Cru, The wine around Vosne Romanée with its grands crus such as Grands-Echezeaux and Richebourg which make of Vosne Romanée terroirs the best of Burgundy red wines. (he had an expensive taste, and was generous sharing with others.
Red Bordeaux – He did not like bordeaux’s as a general rule still I can recall several moments of success (a great challenge when you open a bottle of good Bordeaux for Shaul) not only it has to be excellent it must NOT have any traces of “sweetness” hint (even oaky vanilla touch would make a great wine too “sweet” for him), but a bottle Chateau La Mission Haut Brion (Graves) 1976 melted us both after opening 5 bottles of other great bordeaux’s one night between the two of us until I was successful in getting the satisfaction glitter in his eyes and the certain verbal expression concerning the wine to put me at ease regarding my guests satisfaction.
Without a doubt the most memorable and the very last bottle of the case was the near perfect 1982 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses Domaine G. Roumier. A reference 1982 great by any standard. I’m so happy we had that last bottle together just between the two of us, we squeezed the very last drop from that bottle with unsurpassed JOY.
Shaul had an enormous heart and even greater stomach capacity he could eat a bull for lunch and have a full dinner a few hours later, he would drink alcoholic drinks from spirits to his favorite wines from dawn to dawn (not dusk) without ever becoming obnoxious or behave as if under the influence, as a matter of fact he quit resented people around him who did…
He was an Olympiad of wine and food with no match (that I know of, and I know some serious drinkers), I guess he believed his body could take any such sort of abuse forever, he never had regrets or remorse regarding the accumulating effect of such abuse to his health and went on as if there is no tomorrow. But tomorrow came yesterday and left him defenseless, but I guess he “greeted” the angel of death as an old friend and equal not with fear or regrets. We had a “sort of” WAKE in his memory at Yoezer, after the funeral. A wake is a ceremony that takes place in the house of the deceased (and Yoezer was his home), it is often a social rite which highlights the idea that the loss is one of a group: friends or family and affects that group as a whole. All the chefs and restaurateurs of the land came to pay respect each with his own memories of Shaul, we all raised a glass maybe in his memory but mainly to console ourselves. We humans are such a selfish breed…I guess Shaul would have done the same. Farewell dear friend and thanks for the memories, they last forever.
Naama Abramovitz, Shaul’s ex wife and best friend to the very last day (she knew him best I think) said that everyone talks about Shaul in relation to wine and food but: “his greatness were words, (his expression ability to write or converse or convey), we all learned to write and speak in Shaul’s language which was extremely personal, most of us eat drink and speak in Shaul’s tongue”. I guess she’s right, what an excellent teacher we had!
Maoz Alonim owner of the BASTA (Bisrto in tel-Aviv main Fuit & Veg. market – Shuk HaCarmel said: “Shaul, in your way, you taught us to aspire for the better things, Thanks”
Shaul is gone the legacy goes on, Yoezer is open for business as usual with enough good people, Zipora, Shlomit and Ben to carry on his aspirations and vision. The bar is certainly orphaned without Shaul in his usual left corner spot but his spirit is there and will continue for the foreseeable future and beyond.
Yo’ezer Wine Bar / Bistro ( Yo’ezer Ish Habira 2 Jaffa) Tel: 03-683-9115
Sweet dreams my friend, missing you, Amir
Yo’ezer Wine Bar / Bistro, is without a doubt the Best wine bar / bistro in Israel. This is a posh little place, wine and food wise, But lately on Mondays ONLY they have a weekly occasion at the restaurant, they call it: Bloody Monday, when they serve amongst other Monday specials, a YBurger; Yoezer own version of the famous and infamous American Burger. It comes Yoezer style: chopped or roughly minced entrecote of beef with beef bone marrow (the marrow is scooped out of the bones, than frozen, cut into cubes and mixed in its frozen state, with the minced meat to make the basic Patties.
For those who like Great Burgers American style, this is as close as you can get to the best of the best (maybe better) no sauces BBQ or Worcestershire sauce are added to the meat mixture Just Meat, Marrow, salt and pepper (I think) and being a once a week novelty everyone is flocking to get a bite, so do I.
Entering the “cave” I see Shaul Evron the owner sitting on the left side of the Bar (his usual place) beside him, Chef Rafi Cohen (one of the 5 best chefs in Israel & owner of “Rafael” Restaurant in Tel-Aviv)…:”Hey what are you doing here? I’ve come for a Burger… imagine, so did I and 10 minutes later, Chef Jonathan Roshfeld (yet another top chef from the same top 5 list) tapping on my shoulder to say hallo he’s here also for the Burger… in fact the place is packed with diners and culinary personalities all here for the YBurger. Now most of these people have dined in the last 20-25 years with the best chefs of France some of them worked in 3 star Michelin Restaurants and they saw it all from High to Haute cuisine still they flock for THE YBURGER (isn’t that something?). So why are they flocking? What is the alluring magic that pulls people in magic strings to eat Hamburgers? I don’t know the answer there must be more than one… I’m sure you know how sometimes you just feel like a sandwich. Well not just A sandwich but one that has it all, and it tastes so delicious you start thinking, no wonder people around the globe of all different races like it so much (It comes in slightly different forms from place to place but basically it’s all the same). According to Author Linda Stradley who wrote: History and Legends of hamburgers, started ages ago during the times of – Temugin – Genghis Khan (1167-1227), http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/HamburgerHistory.htm check it out it is quite fascinating.
Here at Yoezer you can have it Complete (egg bacon and cheese) or with whichever topping you prefer of course with great Dijon mustard and ketchup in separate dishes (spice it as you like) pickles and chips. The Y is a real Bliss, simply delightful! We wash it down with Givry 1er Cru Clos de la Servoisine Rouge 2002 Domaine Joblot, which was the proper wine for a super burger not a grand Bourgogne but had all the qualities of freshness and fruit to accompany our Munch. We moved on to the more serious Gevrey Chambartin cuvee’ vielles vignes 1999 Domaine Esmonin Sylvie, this is a more serious wine which started with all the expected earthy aromas of a good Côte de Nuits, rich fruit flavors with rounded but present tannins well balanced with the fruit Perfect.
Being one of THE best restaurants “around” and my favorite Bistro, Yoezer was a one man’s dream that came true, the man is Shaul Evron. He is a culinary sage and is considered by many as the Hight Priest of Israeli culinaria.
When Shaul opened his first restaurant in Nave Tzedek on the border between Tel-Aviv and Jaffa (1970’s) very few even knew what is a good juicy steak is and how to prepare it shame on us 45 years ago!!! I guess the problem was availability of ingredients, treatment of cattle and meat, and ill effects of religious beliefs and practices:
“Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh”. The Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 12, 20-23 and there goes your juicy “bloody” steak!
Between us this is quite a nice proposition if read on its own but in the next verse, Verse 21, reads : 21 “If the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the LORD hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.”
This is where the debate on the idea of MEAT of LUST , starts: This is exactly the place and reason of the prohibition of the Torah. Nothing is totally forbidden in absolute terms, as there is nothing being allowed in absolute terms. The purpose of the prohibition is to keep us away from things in which we cannot “taste” the spiritual taste in our current state. Indeed when we ascend to a higher level of spirituality the Lord will allow us of the forbidden fruits. After all, there would no longer be any reason for the prohibition, and we praise the Lord for allowing the prohibitions.
I do not look at Shaul as a priest or an oracle but rather as a friend, with a great taste, A great taste in food, in fact a lover of good food, one of the few who can find a woman’s voluptuousness in food, he loves for instance oysters, He’s a great lover of both rustic and fine French cuisine, Bourgogne cuisine and wines in particular. For all of these he opened 17 years ago his “baby” Yoezer.
He’s a conservative Pinot Noir Chardonnay kind of guy, he loves wine dungeons and bars, he’s a lonely guy with thousands of friends, a lonely wolf at the head of a wine guzzling pack. He says that I am a wine necrophiliac and I say he, is a wine pedophile. He loves them young, or can’t resist his urge to taste a wine even when it is too young to enjoy (for me) and claims I like wine corps (too old). But through the years we’ve managed to prove each other wrong on many occasions…
The menu at Yoezer is Basically meat orientated, that’s the owner’s favorite food product it comes in all forms and excels in all:
Raw Meat: as in the Steak Tartar or Américain, both on the menu. Américain is the Belgium version of steak tartar served with fries. It is known as “filet américain” – American fillet with onions and more seasoning than a normal steak tartar. Trust me, it is much better here than anywhere in Belgium! I guess Shaul Likes it and the kitchen here cooks for him, his taste, his dreams… The kitchen stuff holds his culinary views and understanding in such reverence and anxiety NOT FEAR, that they cook to please him personally with each dish that comes out of the kitchen, and we the diners are benefited by getting almost always the best according to Shaul, what more can one expect from a meal? Did I forget the Carpaccio??? The name of a typical dish from the Alba region in Piedmont “La carne all’albese” it is named carpaccio after the 15th-century Italian painter Vittore Carpaccio and first served under this name in 1950 at Harry’s Bar Venice. Yoezer make the carpaccio from entrecote heart (rib-eye)
Smoked, Cured, Boiled and Stewed Meats: from smoked meats and poultry to the best Pastrami in town Corned Beef and Weissbraten cooked in clarified butter and injected with butter occasionally, to the French style luscious confit de canard, or Porchetta which is a fatty boneless pork roast (fat and skin rolled over) Italian Style. Porchetta is usually heavily salted in addition to being stuffed with herbs rosemary, garlic, thyme oregano etc. Smoked sausage with warm Sauerkraut “sour cabbage”, Jambon de Paris Comme il Faut!! And Bulls tail stew to name but a few on this section… They used to make here great homemade Boudin Noir (blood sausage) and Pied de Cochon these are off the menu due to lack in demand they are great but do not conform to the Israeli taste (unfortunately)…
Pasta and Pastry : the most distinguished dishes in this section are the “infamous” 40 egg yolks Homemade pasta cut in different styles as Fettuccine or pappardelle with a variety of meat based sauces or just truffles… and of course the double amazing truffle in puff pastry (yes one whole truffle), on the most delicious thickened almost toffee like beef stock with truffle’s oil Sublime!!!
Fried and Grilled meats: You have your basic Steaks from the best cuts available from the local beef, made to perfection around rare to medium rear depending on the cut. A giant côte de boeuf always served with lightly fried crispy greens and potatoes.
Now beef in Israel is not the best in the world… compared with Italy’s Bistecca alla fiorentina from the Toscana’s Chianina breed of cattle, France, or England/Scotland with such as Aberdeen-Angus, bred in Scotland, and often called doddies, Galloway, from Scotland, Shorthorn, an English breed of cattle. and Montana beef in the USA why Montana? I don’t know I just have this memory stuck in my mind as I exited the Billings, Montana airport heading toward Yellowstone Park a Huge Road sign Welcome to Montana EAT BEEF! Greeted me and got stuck in my mind…This is cowboy country and I Love Wild West cowboy’s myths and legends, and the way they make use of beef meat in the open fire rolling on a spit.
photo by Eliya Melinkov
From the present menu my favorite dish by far and in danger of extinction (again not enough people order it), is the Milk Calf’s Liver on a bed of fresh corn and dried Porcini mushrooms polenta topped with fried fresh porcinis (Ceps more likely) This dish is so well balanced with a slight sweetness that compliment the liver with the aroma of fresh porcini delicately flavoring the dish. PERFECT!! and the butter fried calf’s brain or sweetbreads served with an egg-yolk and rounded Pretzel buns . My Thanks to the young, innovative, shy and extremely talented chef BEN TIDHAR.
Yo’ezer Wine Bar / Bistro ( Yo’ezer Ish Habira 2 Jaffa) Tel: 03-683-9115
Oh the wines we had through the years while dining at yoezer are special and plentiful. There were downs as well as ups but the ups are on the winning side for me, for I can enjoy a near perfect wine if all around is perfect: food, company, spirit and atmosphere, Shaul is different if the wine is not totally amazing a new bottle has to be opened immediately, lately he is mellowing down this attitude to a more sensible approach still it is an admirable quality.
We had so many mainly Bourgogne’s and Champagnes but also some great Bordeaux’s. But the occasion is always more important than the list.
Our memorable wines together are numerous but some that come to mind are without a doubt from the “Necrophilia” to me the most memorable and the last bottle of the case is without a doubt the near perfect Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses Domaine G. Roumier 1982.
The other wine will be mentioned in the right context in the future