Raphi Cohen

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Raphi Cohen, 2011
Appetizers in Rafael restaurant
Calamari a la plancha in Rafael restaurant
Assortment of handmade Petits Fours in Rafael restaurant

Raphi Cohen (Hebrew: רפי כהן‎, born 1975 Jerusalem) is an Israeli chef.

Raphi Cohen raised in the German Colony, Jerusalem, he started his apprenticeship at age 13 in King David Hotel pastry. As a teenager he worked in Grappa restaurant. When Arcadia restaurant in Jerusalen opened in 1995, he started working there during his military service.[1]

When Cohen finished his military service he went abroad for three years. He worked with Alain Passard and Pierre Gagnaire in Paris, France, with Marco Pierre White in London, Britain, and at the hotel restaurant Don Alfonso in Sant'Agata sui due Golfi near Naples Italy. All the four hold at that time in three stars in Michelin Guide.[1]

When Cohen came back to Israel, he was appointed as chef in large of La Regence at the King David hotel, Jerusalem. In 2001, at age 25, he opened Raphael restaurant in King David hotel, Tel Aviv.[1]

Cohen combined in the restaurant menu the Haute cuisine with strong influence from the Moroccan cuisine which he learned from his grandmother, with dishes like Moroccan Cigars and Couscous.[2]

Frommer's Guide wrote that "Chef Raphi Cohen is among Israel's best, and his ever-changing menu reflects a feel for French/Mediterranean cuisine heavily touched with the flavors of Israel.".[3]

Your way site wrote: "Chef Raphi Cohen that is considered to be one the top chefs and one of the most surprising chefs in Israeli cuisine...The Rafael restaurant is definitely one of the good restaurants of Tel Aviv. "[4]

Telavivme writes "considered as a one of the top-chef's restaurants in Tel Aviv."[5]

It's chosen as one of the ten best restaurants in Israel by Sagi Cohen, Maariv's Food critic.[6][7] And chosen as one of the best restaurants in Israel by Daniel Rogov, Haaretz food and wine critic[8] And as one of the ten best restaurants by Al Hashulchan magazine [9]

Since 2015 Cohen had been involved in legal battles with former employees from one of his restaurants, which he accused of embezzlement. At the climax of the ordeal Cohen broke down and was hospitalized.

In April 2017 his famous restaurant "Raphael" was shut down after many workers have not been paid in months, and Cohen could not be reached.

In September 7 of 2017, Cohen was arrested at the Ben-Gurion international airport upon his return to Israel, for failing to appear in court hearings regarding charges of assault that he was facing.

In November 6 of 2017 he was arrested again for suspicion of delivering death threats to a former business partner.

In April 2018 Cohen officially filed for bankruptcy.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hilik Gyrfinkel, Mapa's Good Food Guide to Israel, Mapa Publisher House, page 153.


  1. ^ a b c Tali Friedman and Elinoar Rabin, Jerusalem: The Culinary Journey, Korim Publisher House, p. 100
  2. ^ Raphael's Menu
  3. ^ Review of Raphael restaurant Archived 2012-06-05 at the Wayback Machine, Frommer's Guide
  4. ^ Raphel's restaurant review, Your way
  5. ^ Restaurant review
  6. ^ Sagi Cohen, The Ten Best Israeli restaurants, Maariv,
  7. ^ Ruti Ruso and Sagi Cohen (April 9th 2009), The Ten Best restaurants in Israel, Maariv
  8. ^ Daniel Rogov (December 18th 2004), The Ten Best restaurants in Israel, Haaretz
  9. ^ The Ten Best restaurants in Israel, Al Hashulchan magazine 2009.

External links[edit]