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Hanukkah and Israeli food in Belfast: Enjoying culinary comforts which can be hard to find

Orders are coming in thick and fast for Reut Levitas’s traditional holiday food, writes Olivia Fletcher

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Cooking: Reut Levitas whose meals to celebrate Hanukkah are very popular

Cooking: Reut Levitas whose meals to celebrate Hanukkah are very popular

Reut’s hummus, which she says is a meal, not a dip

Reut’s hummus, which she says is a meal, not a dip

Reut's challah

Reut's challah

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Cooking: Reut Levitas whose meals to celebrate Hanukkah are very popular

Hummus is not a dip, it’s a meal,” is Reut Levitas’s motto. And no, she’s not joking. In the Israeli chef’s home in east Belfast, the chickpea-based dish is more than just a spread that people in Northern Ireland have come to know and love. The proper way to serve it is in its own right with pita — Reut’s favourite thing to cook — or falafel.

The chef started out in high-end restaurants in Israel before running a kosher hotel in Denmark and working in a Michelin star kitchen in France. But here in Belfast, where she has lived for six years with her husband and son, she’s established Pita & Co from her own kitchen, where she cooks for Belfast’s Israeli and Jewish communities in her spare time. And with the eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah happening now, orders are coming in.


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