The Tish Bakery
My name is Dana Koschitzky, I was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel, and moved to Napa Valley a decade ago.
Even though I graduated in Baking and Pastry at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) at the age of 37, my journey with food started when I was much younger. Throughout my life I have been fortunate to spend significant time at my grandmother’s kitchen. At times, as a child, I liked to lick the beater of a batch of cookies or the leftovers of whipped cream, Other times, as I grew up, I cooked with her, learned from her, followed her cooking and baking patterns or simply enjoyed her company in the kitchen, and while I may not have seen it happening at the time, looking back, it is now clear to me how much of who I am and why I am passionate about baking has been thanks to this remarkable woman.
Moving abroad created a need for home, and when it comes to food, I am constantly trying to recreate the Israeli food that Israeli people, including myself, love. it’s not necessarily Jewish food but is more the recipes that Jews from all over the world, brought with them when immigrating to Israel and the mix of that with the local Palestinian food. No doubt, Jerusalem is recognized as a melting pot of cultures and religions but that is also true for foods.
Over the years, I finally understood that there is no single Jewish/Israeli recipe. Each one is built from memories, with every recipe there is a story, a snapshot of life, history and family that we carry with us, wherever we are. It is the meals our mothers made for us when we were sick or sad and the ones we prepared for celebrations and events that become the collective memories of a family. I started to understand how much of my identity and memories, tradition, history family food can hold. I found myself spending more and more time in the kitchen thinking about our food and what it meant to me. I would call my mother in Israel to ask her cooking questions, my grandmother for her recipes. But if you ever tried to get a recipe from a Jewish grandma, you know how hard it is to get exact measurements. So, I kept trying. I would cook to take me back to my family kitchens. Being far away I found comfort in cooking when I needed a reminder of home. With The Tish, I want to recreate the flavors and smells that are as close as possible to the ones I enjoyed at home. I want people to know what a real Jewish Israeli food is, to experience it the way I did growing up.
The Tish, “The Table” in Yiddish, is about my desire for connection and belonging. Inviting new friends to eat at your table is a very intimate act, an expression of love. You are welcoming them into your life and sharing with them not only a meal, but the history and the stories the meal holds.