As a gastronomic society for the advancement of the culinary arts PLAZA DEL TORO is, first and foremost, a place for chefs to study and play. To that end we invite chefs to take over our kitchens and work with our teams to create unique culinary experiences and events.



Our May 2018 Chef in Residence series features culinary events with three renowned chefs from Tel Aviv at PLAZA DEL TORO and Shalom Y’all Restaurant: Jonathan Borowitz of M25, Bentzi Arbel of Mifgash Osher, and Ron Gibori formerly of Jeremiah in Tel Aviv. The chefs will offer dishes on Shalom Y’all Restaurant’s menus May 9-13th, at a Happy Hour Welcome Party May 9th, and present a Dim Sum Tapas Menu at PLAZA DEL TORO on May 11.

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May 9-13
 Shalom Y’all Restaurant

The Israeli Chefs in Residence offer dishes on Shalom Y’all Restaurant’s menu daily throughout the week of May 9-13th at 117 SE Taylor.

May 9
Welcome to Portland Happy Hour Party

Meet our Israeli Chefs in Residence at Shalom Y’all Restaurant with passed slushies, appetizers, and live Middle Eastern music from the Brothers of Baladi at Shalom Y'all Restaurant from 3PM-5PM at 117 Se Taylor. 

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May 11

PLAZA DEL TORO’s fifth edition of our Dim Sum Tapas dinner series features Israeli Chefs present a menu served in the style of Dim Sum with tapas inspired by Israeli cuisine at 105 SE Taylor. Guest bartender Jamal Hassan of Shalom Y’all, Mediterranean Exploration Company, and BYH Burgers will design a specialty cocktail menu to complement the cuisine. 


Jonathan Borowitz

Jonathan Borowitz graduated from the French Culinary Institute in Soho, NYC in 2003. He was the chef/owner of Cafe 48 in Tel Aviv (featured in the documentary "In Search of Israeli Cuisine"). He then joined the Meatmarket group, which started as a butcher shop and later morphed into the famed M25 restaurant in Tel Aviv's Carmel Market, hailed as the best meat-centric restaurant in Tel Aviv. (The group also operates a fast food place by the same name,  near Tel-Aviv University.)

Me and my good friend Bentzi cook what people call ‘Israeli food’ - the fusion of all the migrants who came to establish Israel in the course of the last 70 years. We are influenced by North African flavors as well as Eastern European; from pita with cauliflower and tahini, to beef tongue and horseradish. Our aim is first and foremost to have fun and spread our ideas. We don’t take ourselves (to some extent) too seriously, and that’s part of our charm, or at least, Bentzi’s. He’s a real charm.
— Jonothan Borowitz

Bentzi Arbel

Bentzi graduated from the ICI- Italian Culinary Institute in Calabria, Italy. Following his first cooking job at Ron Gibori's Jeremiah restaurant, Bentzi worked his way up the cook chain at various high end restaurants, and then in 2013 he opened his own new school falafel shop "Mifgash Osher" (Happiness Joint) in central Tel Aviv, making contemporary Israeli street food. Bentzi was also the chef-owner of "Suramare Drinks & Happy Food" - one of Tel Aviv's best culinary bars, located on a roof top and serving innovative fusion of Israeli-Italian-Asian fun food & cocktails, and of "Esperanto Drinks & Summer Bites" - a summer culinary bar located on the roof of Tel Aviv Marina Yachts Club, serving Mediterranean small plates. Bentzi also owns  "CÖÖKU", a high end private events venue.

“Life is getting harder every day, but we can make people happier with our hospitality... Give them 30 minute break from their hard life, and they will be your guests forever.”
— Bentzi Arbel

Ron Gibori

Ron Gibori is Toro Bravo Inc Co-Owner Ron Avni's nephew and has been our main Israeli restaurants coordinator during our own chefs’ visits in Israel. Gibori opened his own restaurant, Jeremiah, in Tel Aviv in the same month we opened our first restaurant, Toro Bravo. Ron studied at the culinary school in Israel, won top sommelier at Israel's wine expo, and managed some of the leading restaurants in Israel, such as Roshfeld, Catit and Seatara. Gibori grew up in Vered Haglil, the charming guest ranch that was founded by his grandfather, Yehuda Avni, and has been a source of inspiration for some of the dishes and themes at both Mediterranean Exploration Company and at Shalom Y’All.



Juanjo Canals

Chef Juanjo Canals / Spain

Chef Juanjo Canals of Madrid’s Con Amor and Despecho restaurants returned to Portland to kick of PLAZA DEL TORO's premiere Dim Sum Tapas Dinner Series. Juanjo, a veteran of PLAZA’s Chef in Residence series and Portland’s La Ruta PDX gastronomic festival, collaborated with PLAZA Chef Michael Kessler and Toro Bravo Chef Pat Manning on a Spanish tapas menu served in the style of Dim Sum.

The Portland Meat Collective

The Portland Meat Collective is a one-of-a-kind meat school and community resource that offers hands-on classes in slaughter, butchery, meat cookery, and charcuterie. As a gastronomic society for the advancement of the culinary arts,  PLAZA DEL TORO was proud to host PMC founder Camas Davis as a Chef in Residence in 2017.

Yaron Amar, Adam Barzilay & Ron Gibori / Israel

Our January 2017 Chef in Residence series featured five Israeli dinner events with three renowned chefs from Tel Aviv. Yaron Amar of Shila, Adam Barzilay of Shile Restaurant Group, and Ron Gibori of Jeremiah in Tel Aviv prepared a Moroccan-influenced feast at PLAZA DEL TORO, offer dishes on Shalom Y’all, Tasty n Sons and Mediterranean Exploration Company's menus, and cooked a collaborative Yemenite-influenced dinner with Toro Bravo Inc’s John Gorham and MEC/Shalom Y’all’s Kasey Mills at PLAZA DEL TORO.


We welcomed the renowned Chef Pascal Sauton as our second Chef in Residence. Pascal is a close friend to our restaurants - he even married John and Renee! He returned from retirement in France to cook at two PLAZA DEL TORO events. The first was a special dinner in remembrance of Pascal's downtown Portland institution, Carafe Bistro. Then Pascal squared off against St. Jack's Aaron Barnett at our 19th edition of VERSUS


Our first Chef in Residence was Juanjo Canals, chef/owner of Con Amor in Madrid, Spain. He joined us to cook a series of La Ruta del Toro events bridging the cultures of Spain and Portland through food and entertainment.