Chef Nir Sarig’s delicate and artistic hand in the kitchen gives Mediterranean flavors a whole new interpretation.
Words by Shahar Kramer
Nir Sarig’s culinary language works in parallel to his visual language and the result is an unexpected, holistic dining experience. Sarig’s pop up, Eti, is named for his mother, who he credits with instilling him with a love of food and cooking. The project is a tribute to her, and to the idea that food is more than just sustenance - it is a way to connect with people and create memories.
Eti’s menu is also a reflection of his experiences working for renowned restaurants in Israel, combined with his own intuitive and creative approach to food. With an emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients, each dish is carefully crafted to surprise and delight diners. Sarig sources his ingredients from sustainable and organic farms on the east coast, in the New York state area. Learning from the land, ocean, and seasons, he processes his research with his Levantine sensory memory, applying Mediterranean tastes to his local harvests.
Sarig’s journey in the culinary field began in Israel and its melting pot of people pulling from their versatile kitchens has informed his richness of flavors and textures. While cooking for leading chef restaurants, such as Yossi Shitrit and Erez Komarovsky, Sarig developed his own voice; a philosophy that provides a laid-back, yet still upscale dining experience. While living in Tel Aviv, Sarig was also an accomplished visual artist, with a background in fashion photography. That artistic sensibility is fully revived in his food concepts; a minimalist aesthetic that strike unexpectedly with bold accents and flavors. Eti’s menu highlights Mediterranean cuisine but also reimagines the dining experience all together. One of Eti’s specialities is creating dishes that complement a pictorial space - even occasionally a full on art installation. With Eti, Sarig seeks to bring playfulness to the high-end table.
Alongside fresh seasonal ingredients blending traditional flavors with modern techniques and presentation, diners can expect dishes like the Yemenite staple malawach, here served with Jonah crab, fenugreek, pumpkin, and chilli oil, or aged duck with garum, radicchio, pomegranate, and aged sherry. The family fish cake is served on a large Moroccan metal platter with home-cooked style fish cakes glittering in yellow tomato saffron sauce and served with squash blossoms that double-down as functional utensils for feeding your face. The diners are invited to pull on a petal from this floral installation and grab a bite. For special occasions, Eti puts on a real show. For a recent beauty event, he displayed a large canvas of harrisa served alongside Yemenite pita bread. Every bite served as a brush stroke on a deep burgundy expressionist-abstract painting.
- Tags: ISSUE 7