Chef Einat Admony Announces New Restaurant Focused On Couscous
Einat Admony at Balaboosta. Courtesy Balaboosta
Israeli chef Einat Admony is perhaps most responsible for the rise in popularity of Israeli food in New York. Her Soho restaurant Balaboosta opened six years ago to much critical and popular acclaim. Since, she has published a Balaboosta cookbook and has opened two other Israeli eateries, Taim, a falafel spot, and Bar Bolonat; she also recently opened and closed Combina. Admony recently announced that by year end she will debut a couscous restaurant called Kish-Kash.
In a wide-ranging interview with Grubstreet, she discussed her vision for the new restaurant, the failure and disappointment of Combina (an Israeli-Spanish tapas joint), and interestingly, her frustration over the hype around the Israeli food from chefs Alon Shaya and Michael Solomonov. ("all these chefs used to make fun of me making falafel 11 years ago, and now, since it’s trendy, they’re all jumping on the horse, you know? I’m getting old and the [expletive] only tired me, so I’m trying really to concentrate on myself.")
Kish-Kash will feature what Admony describes as "real couscous," rather than the more popular instant couscous. This couscous preparation is labor intensive, and requires special equipment. Going for a North African concept, Admony will offer the couscous with chicken tagine, mafrum (potatoes stuffed with ground beef), and fish. Her vision is for the restaurant to have long, communal tables, so that the dining experience will resemble her memories of Shabbat dinner in Israel. She is even considering using kosher meat.
Citing Danny Meyer as her idol, Admony also discussed expanding Taim, her two-location falafel mini-chain, outside of New York to Los Angeles, Chicago, Japan, and Australia. Taim will also begin collaborating with other chefs (such as Mario Batali and Bobby Flay) this fall who will introduce a new falafel flavor each month.