Sources of Inspiration


At a young age growing up in Jerusalem, Galya Sarner developed a keen interest in culinary matters. She was strongly influenced by her mother and grandmother, both of whom were extremely talented in the kitchen. They often took Galya to Jerusalem’s main outdoor food market, Mahane Yehuda, as the first step in preparing the next meal.

Located in the heart of the city near the apartment where Galya and her family lived, the time-honored market figured prominently in her youth. It had a profound impact on her knowledge and appreciation of the ingredients that go into cooking great food, especially Israeli cuisine.

Known to locals as “The Shuk,” it’s home to more than 250 lively vendors who sell a panoply of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, cheeses, nuts, seeds, spices. For anyone interested in food, it’s a delight to the senses.

Here is a brief glimpse of the vibrant reality of Mahane Yehuda and its wide variety of culinary offerings and diverse human presence — and its connection to an upcoming event in Toronto in September.

Whenever Galya is back in Israel, she always make a point to visit Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem or when in Tel Aviv, Carmel Market. Wherever she goes, she naturally gravitates to food markets. It’s part of her insatiable curiosity and passion for culinary matters and the people involved in such pursuits. In Toronto, Galya derives great pleasure — and inspiration — visiting food markets, such as Kensington Market and the weekend farmers market at Wychwood Barns.
Photo: Roman Kriman,

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