The wait is over and Israel’s new Master Chef has been named: Tom Franz, a 34-year-old attorney and religiously observant German convert from Tel Aviv.
“Thank you to my wife, thanks to the creator of the world,” said Franz, on hearing that he’d won.
Franz had been up against Salma Fiyumi, an Arab nurse and Alzheimer’s researcher from Kafr Kassem, and Jackie Azoulay, a 29-year-old housewife from Elad, in the final episode of the show, which aired Tuesday night. All three contestants prepared main dishes using kadaif — an Arab pastry of fine, thin noodles — to enclose and cover either mushroom, chicken or chicken liver sautes. Franz also prepared deboned spring chicken rolled with spinach and camehin (desert truffles currently in season), while Fiyumi offered maklouba, an Arab baked chicken dish served on a base of bulgur wheat.
Once Azoulay was ousted from Tuesday’s first round for her slightly sloppy kadaif nests, Franz and Fiyumi were up against each other.
But, there can be “only one Master Chef,” said judge and chef Yonatan Roshfeld — and that was Franz, by a slight margin.