Someone once coined the phrase, “The Show Must Go On,” and that was certainly the case with Shalva’s annual Silver Spring Celebrity Chef Dinner.

This year’s virtual event took place on Monday, January 25th and featured a six-course dinner which was delivered to our guests homes on the day of event.

This year’s event called Celebrity Chef Destination Israel featured Chef Tom Franz, who won the coveted title of “Master Chef” during the 3rd season of Israel’s version of the culinary hit TV show. Tom continually impressed the judges and viewers alike as he fulfilled his vision and passion to create sumptuous gourmet kosher dishes.

In the final episode, Tom found himself in the middle of an unlikely cross-section of Israeli culture. Salma Fayoumi, the nurse from an Arab village, fused traditional Palestinian dishes with Mediterranean flavors. Jackie Azoulay, the Orthodox woman with Moroccan roots, made north African standards. Halfway through the finale, Jackie was eliminated and Tom and Salma faced off. Tom went on to win the competition and became the first ‘Master Chef’ in the world to win the title based on kosher culinary offerings.

It was Chef Franz’s back story that made his run on Master Chef the all-time highest rated show in Israel television history.

Tom Franz was born in Cologne, Germany into a Catholic family. At 16, through a high school student exchange program, Tom visited Israel and fell in love with the Jewish State. At the age of 30, Tom returned to Israel and converted to Judaism. Soon after he met his wife, Dana, and the rest as they say, is history.

Our 70 guests accessed the live stream event and received preparation instructions for each course during the program. There was also a short 30 minute film featuring a fascinating culinary tour led by Chef Franz, revealing some of Israel’s best kept culinary secrets. The program also included remarks from Shalva’s Founder and President Kalman Samuels along with a special performance of the Beatles hit All You Need is Love by the Shalva Band.

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to Manette Mayberg whose vision and determination made this event possible along with our wonderful Co-Hosts, Dafna and Brain Berman, Debra and Dennis Berman, Chani and Steve Laufer, Manette and Louis Mayberg, Amy and Alan Meltzer and to our Co- Sponsors, Liva and Avi Benus, Chani and Yehuda Neuberger, Laurie and Jordan Slone and Sora and Jerry Wolasky.