Cel­e­brate Jew­ish Book Month with #30days30authors! JBC invit­ed an author to share thoughts on #Jew­Lit for each day of Jew­ish Book Month. Watch, read, enjoy, and dis­cov­er! 

Today, Israeli celebri­ty chef Gil Hov­av, author of Can­dies From Heav­en, tells us about grow­ing up in Jerusalem and shares a bore­ka recipe. 


Bourekas Recipe

Excerpt­ed from Can­dies from Heaven

By Gil Hov­av, Toad Pub­lish­ing (2017)


  • 4 cups flour
  • 200 g margarine
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 yogurt
  • 1 tbsp salt


  • 2 large eggplants
  • 8 oz crum­bled feta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper


  • beat­en egg yolk with 2 tbsp water
  • sesame
  • Pre­pare the dough a day ear­li­er: Place all the ingre­di­ents in a food proces­sor and mix to a uni­form dough. Roll into a big ball, place on a flat dish, cov­er with plas­tic wrap and leave in the refrig­er­a­tor overnight.
  • The next day, remove from the refrig­er­a­tor and let the dough reach room tem­per­a­ture (oth­er­wise, it will be impos­si­ble to roll).
  • Mean­while, roast the egg­plants on the stove or in an oven until their peel black­ens. Peel and crush with a fork (woe be to any­one who crush­es in a food proces­sor!) togeth­er with the cheese. Beat the egg and add it to the fill­ing, togeth­er with salt and pep­per. Mix.
  • Divide the dough into three balls. Roll each ball into a thin sheet, and use a glass to cut cir­cles in the dough. Col­lect what remains of the dough, roll it again and cut addi­tion­al cir­cles. Repeat until all the dough is used.
  • Take a cir­cle of dough and place a heap­ing tea­spoon of fill­ing in the cen­ter. Dip a fin­ger in a cup of water and wet the edges of the cir­cle. Fold into the shape of a cres­cent and pinch to close well. Place on a bak­ing sheet lined with bak­ing paper. Do the same for the rest of the cir­cles. (One bak­ing pan will not be enough.)
  • Brush the bourekas with egg wash and sprin­kle a bit of sesame. Bake at 350 degrees for about half an hour, until the bourekas are golden.

Gil Hov­av is Israel’s lead­ing culi­nary jour­nal­ist and a pop­u­lar TV per­son­al­i­ty. Gil has played a major role in the remak­ing of Israeli cui­sine and the trans­for­ma­tion of Israel from a coun­try of basic tra­di­tion­al foods into a gourmet nation”. Gil has pro­duced some of Israel’s most pop­u­lar TV cook­ing shows and writ­ten a num­ber of best­selling cook­books and novels.

As an author, Gil has pub­lished three best-sell­ing nov­els, all relat­ed in dif­fer­ent ways, to his fam­i­ly’s col­or­ful his­to­ry, expos­ing with humor and emo­tion a Jerusalem of his child­hood that no longer exists. The fourth, titled Twen­ty Four Doors, was pub­lished in April 2015 and hit the top of the nation­al best­seller list. The first Eng­lish edi­tion, Can­dies from Heav­en was released in Novem­ber 2017

Nowa­days, Gil is busy with his pub­lish­ing and pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny — Toad Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and with his week­ly radio show about restau­rants in Israel. His lat­est 20 episode TV series, Food for Thought’ includ­ed 20 inter­views with Nobel lau­re­ates, includ­ing John Nash, Elie Wiesel, Daniel Kah­ne­man, Eric Kan­del and many others.Gil lives with his part­ner Dan, whom he met dur­ing their army ser­vice, and togeth­er they raise their daugh­ter, Naomi.