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A table that’s not all-white

When the AV team meets Tali Dugma, only good things can come of it.

We met on a spring morning, Tali, Michal – manager of AV Design Studioand I, with the aim of presenting you with two of our great loves – table décor design and food. Table décor design is one of my loves. It connects me with hospitality, with family. I believe that a good table décor design can provide a relaxed and festive atmosphere for the diners.

So, just before Shavuot is upon us, I approached Tali Dugma, who is an interior architect and designer, and the owner of Materials House in Moshav Regba, a color expert and a first-rate photographer, who also happens to be a friend of mine. The connection with Tali always brings good things out of us. So, between all our projects, we sat down to create our Shavuot table.

Each of us scattered on the table a pinch of her experience, a generous amount of her creativity, and an abundance of her love for design. Tali also took pictures, of course…

And this is how it came out…

Design inspirations and principles that guided us:

  • Designing décor for a table in a garden, in a fruit orchard, letting the outdoors blend into the table.

  • A romantic and relaxed style – the choice of a white embroidered tablecloth, which strongly connects with the custom of wearing white clothes and flower crowns on Shavuot.

  • Placing flowers on the table in their natural form – using wildflowers, the kind you might find on the roadside. Flowers of the Land of Israel. A connection with the land and nature.

  • The dominant color that led all the other design choices – mustard yellow. A warm, sunny, arousing, earthy color. A color that connects with the land of milk and honey – Tali’s idea – genius, you must admit!

  • We chose to use two types of tableware from two different worlds – glass, crystal-like dishes, and lustrous gilded brass trays. The combination between them goes beautifully with the festive, pure-white lace cloth.

  • The pastel-colored candleholders and KANs radiated a pleasant atmosphere, and points of light when dusk began to fall.

A few emphases and tips from us:

  1. Use accessories that have a clean appearance so they will suite whichever style you choose.

  2. Choose a soft, balanced color palette. Remember: strong/dominant colors should come in small doses.

  3. Choose one color to play the lead, and add supporting colors to it.

  4. Combine materials and textures – ceramic/porcelain dishes with glass, with Corian, wood, and brass. Together they create harmony.

  5. Food – of course! After all, it is for this purpose that we have gathered! To partake of the festive Shavuot feast, the produce of this land, the fruit of our labor.

On our festive table we hosted goat cheeses from "Galilee Dairy" in Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra, and sourdough breads from "Saar Bread Bakery" in Regba.

Galilee Dairy – Cheese from Abirim Forest

The Regev family from Mitzpe Abirim owns the dairy, and has been raising a herd of goats for many years in Abirim on the northern slopes of Nahal Kziv, in oak woodlands overlooking the Akhziv Coast.

As a result of the balanced diet provided by the woodlands, and the herd’s optimal living conditions, coupled with crossbreeding between Damascus and Alpine goats, the milk they produce is of very high quality, healthy, rich, and has a unique flavor and aroma, all of which ultimately manifests in better and more flavorful cheeses.

The goats are milked twice a day, and their milk is processed into varied and diverse cheeses, developed following extensive study in France and Italy, and adapted to the Israeli palate.

The wedges of cheese fit our various brass dishes like a glove.

Adding nuts, grapes, or dried figs amplified both the festive presentation, and the tasting experience.

Some of the cheeses we presented on our table:

Sainte-Maure de Touraine is a French cheese produced in the province of Touraine, and comes in the form of a small log in varying diameters. It is covered in white mold, and its flavor intensifies the longer it is left to ripen.

It can be served as it is, as part of a cheese platter, as an addition to soups, it can be roasted or fried, or used to fill pastries, and added to salads.

We chose the 250 g log, and the small, individual Sainte-Maure fingers.

Bordo is a hard, aromatic cheese, whose flavor increasingly deepens as it ages. It is a kind of Tomme cheese that has been aged in wine, hence the reddish-purple color of its rind. The texture of the cheese is hard and crumbly.

The wine adds the fruity flavors of sweet red raisins, which complement and intensify the cheese’s flavor.

Truffle Camembert. Camembert is a ripe, creamy, white mold cheese.

It is named after the village of Camembert in Normandy, France, and is one of the best-known cheeses in the world.

When it is young, its texture is hard, but as it matures and ripens, it softens, and its flavor becomes stronger. The ripening process, with the aid of Penicillium camemberti and Penicillium candidum fungi, lasts about three weeks.

It is suitable for breakfast, entertaining, and for serving with fruit at the end of a meal.

We chose Truffle Camembert – if we’re going French, then all the way.

Saar Bread Bakery, Handcrafted Sourdough Bread

Saar Bread Bakery produces sourdough breads and pastries, with emphasis on quality, freshness, and combining different types of flour, such as rye, spelt, whole-wheat flour, white flour, with grains and other ingredients, without preservatives or industrial additives.

At Saar Bakery they love bread, they love baking bread, and this love – combined with their open-mindedness in developing unique flavors – ensures a delicious, special, fine-quality result.

The sourdough breads are handcrafted using a special technique and baked in a stone oven, which gives each and every loaf its unique flavor.

The bakery is run by Yuval Saar, who graduated from the Pastry and Baking Program at Bishulim – The Israeli Institute of Culinary Arts, and Danon School of Culinary Excellence.

The loaves of bread we hosted on our table:

White sourdough bread with preserved lemon and Kalamata olives

Whole-wheat sourdough bread

100% spelt sourdough bread

80% whole-wheat sourdough bread with pumpkin, sunflower, flax, and sesame seeds, and oats

Half-whole-wheat sourdough bread with dried figs, walnuts, and date honey

Happy Shavuot and Chag Sameach!

The table décor was designed by the AV Design team in collaboration with Tali Dugma

Credits for the festive table décor design:

Tali Dugma, Materials House, Regba

Contact: 054-9980331

Sarit Regev, Galilee Dairy, Rosh Hanikra

Contact: 050-7331237

Yuval Saar, Saar Bread Bakery, Regba

Contact: 050-2000104

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