To Ron and Leetal Arazi, the market – "shuk" in Hebrew – is where culture and commerce collide, to delicious effect. The shuk is the community gathering place, the central hub from which you can take pieces of your homeland wherever you journey. They started NYSHUK as a way to bring the shuk to New York, and share their Jewish middle eastern heritage through delicious traditional food.
Ron grew up in Israel in a Jewish Moroccan-Lebanese home, where his journey into professional cooking began. After traveling through France and working with mentor chefs like Yuhi Fujinaga and Susur Lee in New York City, he decided he needed to stake out a space for himself on the culinary scene with his own version of Mediterranean-Middle Eastern cuisine.
Meanwhile, Leetal's pastry love affair was forged at a young age, from her maternal eastern European grandfather (a professional bread baker) and her paternal Turkish grandmother, who taught her to make superb homemade Middle Eastern dishes. Leetal's love of pastry coincided with an affection for aesthetics that lead her to study Visual Design and Display in London. She ultimately combined her two passions to become a food stylist and photographer, as well as one half of the NYSHUK duo.
Ron and Leetal's authentic, traditional Jewish middle eastern sauces and food products are the result of a fusion of heritage, passion, culture, art and artisanship. In a modern world where shuks seem to be growing fewer and farther between, they've found a delicious way to revive lost culinary artistry rituals and keep tradition alive.