July 17, 2024


Taste the Home & Environment

Within the kitchen area of Tomer Markovitz, the proprietor of Romi’s

Within the kitchen area of Tomer Markovitz, the proprietor of Romi’s

Tomer with his wife and daughter, standing in their home kitchen

Tomer Markovitz, the owner of Romi’s, a popular midtown bakery and hummus-ery, was not a kid who harboured desires of getting a chef—and he surely didn’t anticipate ending up in Toronto. But, when his more mature brother, Dude Markovitz, opened a sushi restaurant again household in Tel Aviv, he instantly had a entrance-row seat to the ups and downs of everyday living in the kitchen area. He quickly fell in like. “I often realized I beloved to eat,” says Markovitz, “but doing work at my brother’s restaurant produced me recognize I wanted to open up my have location. Normally, I grew to become obsessed with mastering how to cook dinner.”

Linked: Inside the kitchen area of Kyle Rindinella, co-executive chef at Enoteca Sociale

In his early twenties, circa 2011, Markovitz commenced bouncing amongst kitchens in Tel Aviv, seeking to understand the craft from the floor up. “I did not have the patience to go to culinary faculty, so I labored anywhere that would choose me. I wished to master from scratch—dishwashing, prep, buying components, functioning the line. As very long as I was able to broaden and ideal my abilities, I was video game. I was on change like 20 hrs a day.”

Tomer's kitchen, which is open and white with steel accents

In 2013, one particular distraction managed to crack in. Markovitz’s now wife, Elysse Danson, arrived in Tel Aviv from Toronto for an internship. “We achieved by means of mutual buddies. Thankfully, I was the only a person who spoke English nicely plenty of to appeal her,” suggests Markovitz. The two coupled up swiftly, but the partnership did not stop the budding chef from next his aspiration. “The hours drove me insane,” suggests Danson.

Immediately after finishing a prestigious apprenticeship at Les Bacchanales, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the South of France, Markovitz visited Danson in Toronto. “She took me to Kensington Current market in the summer. It blew my intellect.” He seen a large amount of vegan bakeries but felt like there was a lack of savoury selections for plant-based mostly eaters. “In Israel, 11 for every cent of the populace is vegan. I made a decision ideal then and there that I was going to go to Toronto and open a hummus shop.”

Tomer with his daughter, Romi, who's eating challah bread

Markovitz finally became the opening government chef at Parallel on Geary Avenue, operating all-around the clock to elevate hummus—and all of its attainable accoutrements—into one thing that transcended the grocery aisle. In 2023, he struck out on his possess and opened Romi’s, a bakery and geared up food items shop on St. Clair West that’s named soon after his two-year-previous daughter. It’s a labour of like, but the thought is to invest much less time on the labour element of the equation. “I am not created for 20-hour workdays anymore,” suggests Markovitz. “Everything about Romi’s is meant to be simple and family-oriented, and the menu comprises the points my family and I want to try to eat. My daughter will down a tub of my tahini and a challah like it’s absolutely nothing.”

A wide shot of Tomer's fridge

In addition to said tahini, Markovitz’s fridge is stocked with the full hit-checklist of Romi’s snacks, like his labneh (a creamy pressed yogurt with za’atar, olive oil and confit garlic) and Moroccan matbucha (sluggish-stewed tomatoes and red peppers with spices). “Often, we’ll fortunately munch on takeout from the cafe for dinners,” suggests Danson. “I grew up taking in a protein, a carb and a vegetable at just about every meal. I’ve been pretty happy moving absent from that primary North American cliché.” Other go-to meals include things like roast rooster from FreshCo (which Romi devours), pizza from Badiali or North of Brooklyn, and Thai foods from Maya Bay.

Tomer holding up labneh, tahini and matbucha

Tomer's dips stacked on a shelf in his fridge

It’s a really relaxed family, but they make a habit of getting shabbat supper every Friday night time. “I am partly a Sephardic Jew, so substantially of my cooking incorporates Libyan recipes,” says Markovitz. “Every Friday I make chraimeh—a Libyan-model fish poached in tomato paste—that I prepare dinner with Romi’s pilpelchuma, a garlic-chili sauce with caraway, paprika and other spices.”

Linked: Within the kitchen area of Julian Bentivegna, the chef and operator of 10

Markovitz and his daughter also like an great slice of meat. “I by no means skimp on steak. I obtain it from superior-end places like Di Liso’s Fine Meats in St. Lawrence Market, Butchers of Distinction and Eataly. I do the dry ageing myself at the cafe.” New York strip is Romi’s lower of option, but Markovitz steps up his activity when his father comes in from Israel to go to. “He loves correct meat even far more than I do. He’s traveling to up coming week, so I bought this rib-eye from The Butcher Shoppe.”

A ribeye steak in Tomer's freezer An inside look at Tomer's freezer

As considerably as the seasoning goes, Markovitz enjoys viewing his daughter sprinkle the forged iron pan with salt and only salt. It is a trick he passed on after discovering it from renowned Italian butcher Dario Cecchini.

Tomer's cast iron pan, which has green handles

The kitchen area counter is generally property to new bread or pita, all set to scoop up whatever is in the fridge. “This is a ragu we make at Romi’s out of carrots, celery, spices, tomato and floor beef. We plate it with hummus and then lap it up with pita.”

Tomer ripping apart a loaf of challah bread

Romi's vac-packed ragu

Markovitz’s schug—a paste of Anaheim chilies, lemon, garlic, olive oil and spices—is 1 of a wide range of warm sauces in major rotation. “I like scorching sauce on almost everything. Additional flavour always.”

Tomer's hot sauce collection, with schug at the front

For a tiny bit of sweet right after the spicy, the freezer is stocked with Romi’s prepared-to-bake treats. “It’s nice throwing some rugelach or cookies in the oven and smelling them when they cook dinner,” claims Markovitz. “I can get that below with out all the work and the mess. I conserve that things for the cafe kitchen area.”

Tomer's frozen rugelach, which is stored in his freezer

Tomer tearing apart a chocolate cookie

The chef strongly believes that no weekday meal must consider more than fifty percent an hour. The pantry is stocked with time-saving fundamentals like canned items, pastas and sauces. He also has an spectacular stash of goodies imported directly form Israel, which includes olives, cocoa unfold and couscous.

Tomer's two pantry shelves

Tomer's coucous, flown in directly from Isreal

Markovitz does not think of himself as a fancy dude, but he does like to amp up his dinnerware recreation from time to time. “He has a full assortment of clay dishes,” says Danson. “He’s incredibly individual about them.”

Tomer's clay plate collection, which is housed on a blue shelving unit

“I do have some cookbooks—some have been items, or I’ll decide on them up for inspiration,” suggests Markovitz. “But I never like making use of recipes when I cook dinner, especially at house. I started off examining The Noma Manual to Fermentation. I bought by about 15 pages ahead of I gave up. Who has the time?”

Tomer's cookbook collection, which he rarely references

“I’m not a large drinker,” claims Markovitz, “but I appreciate bourbon, and I often have some in the property. I’ll either drink it neat or make anything like an outdated fashioned.” His most up-to-date find is a bourbon from Brother’s Bond. “I purchased it at a cafe in Miami. I appreciated it so considerably that I picked up a bottle.”

Tomer's collection of bourbon