Israeli chefs to fight it out in Milwaukee | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Israeli chefs to fight it out in Milwaukee


You’ve seen cooking shows where chefs get down and dirty. Now see it live in Milwaukee.

This month, Israeli chefs Gili Altman and Yehuda Ninniyo will go head-to-head during a “Shakshuka Shakedown” and will be cooking and meeting people during other local appearances.

The men are visiting from Milwaukee and Madison’s partnership region in Israel, the Sovev Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) area. Their visit is a project of the Israel Center of Milwaukee Jewish Federation and Partnership2Gether of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Gili Altman co-owns an Israeli culinary business with his brother. He’ll be appearing locally at congregations Sinai, Shalom and Beth Israel Ner Tamid.

Altman has nearly 30 years of culinary experience, in boutique hotels as well as in restaurants in both northern Israel and Manhattan. He co-owns an Israeli culinary business.

That’s one side of this big shakshuka bout.

In the opposite corner of the ring is Ninniyo, a Tiberias native who has worked in gourmet restaurants in Tel Aviv. He opened a hamburger restaurant in northern Israel, called “Ninyyo’s.”

The big fight will have the men facing off during their Tuesday, Jan. 8 Shakshuka Shakedown. They’ll compete at Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid, 6880 N. Green Bay Ave., Glendale, at 7 p.m. The event is free, but RSVP  to or contact Allison Hayden at or 414-390-5724.

“This is going to be a contest between the two chefs where they will be battling to be crowned the shakshuka king,” said Susie Rosengarten, P2G coordinator with Milwaukee Jewish Federation. Shakshuka is a dish of eggs, tomato sauce and spices that’s popular in Israel.

“It’s going to be a really fun event,” predicted Rosengarten. ‘There’s going to be live audience participation.”

Yehuda Ninniyo is a chef from Tiberias, a city on the Sea of Galilee in Milwaukee’s Sovev Kinneret partnership region.

The chefs will also be doing things that are not open to the public during their early-to-mid January visit. They’ll tour the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center and visit with Milwaukee Jewish Day School and Bader Hillel Academy. They’ll also visit The Spice House of Downtown Milwaukee and other culinary destinations.

Congregation Shalom’s Women of Shalom is hosting an event on Monday, Jan. 7.  The 7 p.m. event is $10 for members or $15 for non-members. For more information contact Sarah Acker at

Congregation Sinai is hosting a “Taste of Israel” event with the chefs on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. It will be an evening of tasting of current Israeli cuisine with small plates or tapas. The chefs will share their thoughts on cultural influences on the latest food trends in Israel. The event is being sponsored by the Sinai Israel Connection, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Women of Sinai, B’rit Nashim and The Spice House. The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Contact Judy Schneider at