Franz in high places

German cooks up ‘Master Chef’ win

Cologne native bests Arab nurse in finale of season three of popular reality show

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

Unscripted Keshet programs like 'Master Chef' have made Keshet a global TV force. (Courtesy Master Chef Israel)
Unscripted Keshet programs like 'Master Chef' have made Keshet a global TV force. (Courtesy Master Chef Israel)
Salma Fiyumi applauds Tom Franz, this year's Master Chef winner (Courtesy Master Chef)
Salma Fiyumi applauds Tom Franz, this year’s Master Chef winner (Courtesy Master Chef)

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.

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