The Cheese Collection
Signature goat cheese series that combine traditional Yemenite embroidery patterns
As part as "The Matchmaker" project, for Jerusalem Design Week 2021
The “Matchmaker” project, wishes to tell the story of this city and revive its ancient crafts by bringing together local contemporary designers and traditional craftspeople – an intergenerational, interdisciplinary connection that breeds new products.
The heart of the project os the story of the encounter between designers and local craftsmen. while the resulting products are important, the extraordinary connection between people of defferent generations and diciplines takes center stage.
Efrat, the wife of Zion Giat, a native from Ein Karem, is a tour guide, shepherd and cheesemaker. She raises a herd of 11 goats, milking them, producing cheese, and making jam from the surrounding mountain fruits. In addition, she conducts workshops revealing her unique way of life.
The milk embtoidery project has been generated in the magical Yemenite Valley in Ein Karem, where the Giat family’s goat farm is located. The family’s origins are in Yemen, and after immigrating to Israel where they settled in Ein Karem and raised goats for a living.
Efrat and I met each other through the “Matchmaker” project, during which I took the goats out to pasture, milked, made cheese, gathered, and, mainly, absorbed the shared experience.
Along with the wish to preserve the authenticity and simplicity of Efrat’s products, arose the desire to distinguish them and create a series of signature cheeses representing the local terroir in two ways: First, through connection to the Ein Karem creative environment as well as local raw materials. Second, through connection to Yemenite roots and tradition – mainly the Yemenite embroidery, the Giat family dealt in.
Tatriz el-Halib presents a material and cultural encounter between traditional cheesemaking and the personal story of the Giat family. The cheeses form a hybrid of rooted and local – combining on the one hand local raw materials such as fruit preserves and herbs as coloring and culinary textures, and on the other hand Yemenite archetypes and traditional samples of Yemenite embroidery.
Local jam coocking
Jerusalem is a city of multiple ethnicities, religions and communities. For thousands of years, the culinary map of Jerusalem has been influenced by many different culinary traditions, and its unique character and history have preserved cooking and baking techniques for generations. Even today, Jerusalem offers delicacies that cannot be found anywhere.
For its third edition, and under the design week theme of “Runaway Circus”, the “Matchmaker” project connects contemporary designers with culinary crafts to relate to the Circus’ food court, and to create a culinary theme which invites visitors to experience the city through all of their senses.
The seven participating designers in this year’s edition tell the story of food-makers through design interpretation. Thus, other facets of the city are exposed: a goatherd in the Yemenite valley of the Ein Karem neighbourhood, an 800-year-old oven situated in the Old City, a boutique vineyard and an authentic beer brewery are some of the discoveries proving that Jerusalem never ceases to surprise.”