Chef Joseph Asfour
A Master Chef for Peace
Whenever our instincts perform impulsively or compulsively to impress others, we take extreme measures to fulfill that task. In ten words or less: “Through good food and drink you can impress almost everyone.”
I was born in Jerusalem in 1965 and have been a member of Chefs for Peace since 1999. Raised and educated in Jerusalem, I gained my knowledge through training courses that range from quality management for hotels and restaurants to marketing management, human resource development, and courses in food and beverage, where I developed my own style. Currently, I am executive chef at the Legacy Hotel in Nazareth.
Having gained knowledge of Irish, German, French, Palestinian, and other cuisines and developed a special style in the preparation and delivery of food, I treat cooking as an art. This has paved the road for me to be an executive chef who has cooked for many world leaders, including the late President Yasser Arafat, current President Mahmoud Abbas, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pope John Paul II, and a countless number of dignitaries and VIPs.
My expertise helped me to found Darna Restaurant in Ramallah, work for Angelo’s Restaurant, the Red Crescent Society, Ashtar theater in Ramallah, the French restaurant at Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, and Rossini’s Restaurant near Jaffa Gate before I moved on to seek a more challenging environment and train cooks. I have taught the art of cooking at Notre Dame for more than two decades, and also work at King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The cooks whom I trained are a diverse group that range from those who served the president to former prisoners from Israeli prisons.
My travels in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Australia, and Canada have shaped my many unique means and methods of preparation and delivery of food and beverage. I hope to leave a stamp of my own and be recognized as a chef who made a difference in the food industry and improved the standards of both cooks and food preparation.
My favorite dish is beit-al-kila (loin and filet of lamb), stuffed with minced meat and a variety of herbs.