Hi. My name is Paul Nirens. I have lived in the rural Galilee region for over 30 years. In that time I have cultivated relationships with many people living in the area. These relationships allow me to offer true grass-roots cultural experiences, based around food, working in co-operation with those that live in the area. I believe that in order to eat properly in the Galilee , to encounter the authentic, real-life atmosphere of Israel's green North, it has be done with and by locals.
There are some people who are just born into food. I am one such person. Amongst my earliest memories are those of my father, owner/chef in the family restaurant, spending his one day off a week in the kitchen, trying out new and wonderful experiments on his family. We were a foodie family in the pre-foodie 70's.
Upon moving to Israel, after a short stint working in kibbutz agriculture, I followed in my father's footsteps. I trained at one of Israel's leading culinary schools, managed commercial kitchens, worked as a chef in a vegetarian restaurant, and then opened my own business, wholesaling locally crafted gourmet foods. Showing others what the Galilee has to offer seems like a natural progression.
If it's edible and from the Galiee, then I know about it. I want to share that experience with you.
So what's so special about the Galilee that would make you want to join us on a Galileat experience? Sure, there's the Sea of Galilee, Akko, Rosh Haniqra, Nazareth and lots more to see. But the Galilee is also Israel's lung, with the most forested areas in the country and Mt Meron, Israel's highest mountain. Amongst these beautiful country surroundings, there is an ethnic distribution unlike the rest of the country. There are Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze living in this tiny 1400 sq. km area (540 sq. miles) and I haven't even started to list the varied backgrounds of the Galilee's Jewish population.
The Galilee is often described as Israel's Provence or Tuscany. Each region has its own particular characteristics, but certainly our region is rural, green and has top quality, locally grown agricultural produce. Olives, olive oil, fruit and vegetables have been staples since biblical days. In addition, we have seen in the last few years an abundance of small boutique artisans, producing gourmet products ranging from cheeses, meats, breads and conserves, to beers, wines and liqueurs.
A trip to Israel usually includes metropolitan Tel Aviv, the holy city of Jerusalem and numerous world renowned sites. It doesn't always include an opportunity to meet Israelis in their homes in the Galilee and learn a little about their food and culture, how they've lived for hundreds of years and how they live today. Galileat will show you a slice of Israel that is authentic, interesting and different to what most tourists see. A Galileat adventure allows an in-depth view of the real Israel.
We have started writing “the Galilean Kitchen” cookbook, bringing all our hosts’ recipes into print. Help us produce this special book by supporting our crowdfunding campaign