Home Features BONJ Series Acclaimed Chef Brings Diverse Mediterranean Cuisine to NJ

Acclaimed Chef Brings Diverse Mediterranean Cuisine to NJ

New Jersey is one of the most cosmopolitan states in the country. It encompasses a number of vastly different living locations, from farms to cities, as well as varying demographics. This melting pot of different cultures and backgrounds allows the state to produce some of the most delicious dishes around; including a modern focus on Mediterranean food.

One acclaimed chef from Israel is bringing his expertise to NJ to expand the area’s mouthwatering selection of cuisine.

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Meny Vaknin, owner and Executive Chef of MishMish Restaurant in Montclair, sat down for an episode of Life & Living with Joanna Gagis to talk about his experience on Food Network’s Chopped, as well as why he feels it is important that his restaurant brings traditional Mediterranean foods and flavors to the tri-state area.

Chef Vaknin explains that he grew up in Israel, eating a mixture of cultural cuisines introduced by his parents. “So I wanted to bring all that into a small, casual eatery and mix all that with everything I learned in my years in New York as a chef, as a cook in culinary school,” he says.

This video was made possible thanks to Gary's Wine & Marketplace.
This video was made possible thanks to Gary’s Wine & Marketplace.

Through his years working in the field, Chef Vaknin developed a passion for cooking and food; which is something you will find in his menu at Mishmish.

“I feel like, by cooking, I’m kind of keeping my legacy alive a little bit; because this is, in a way, my way to keep connected to my grandma that passed away (and) to my great-grandparents that passed their cuisine to my grandma,” Chef Vaknin explains. “And by telling that story, I connect to other people, which is something that I love to do.”

For more stories that impact New Jersey residents, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series.

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