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Israel: Start-Up Nation Central turns to chefs and urban farming

Start-Up Nation Central, the non-profit organization that grew out of the bestselling 2009 book by Saul Singer and Dan Senor, has done much in the last five years to connect the globe with Israeli innovation.

Now it’s turning to the culinary world.

The high-tech matchmaker recently opened L28, a chic Tel Aviv restaurant that offers a platform for emerging chefs to establish themselves.

The rooftop kitchen farm is a challenge the culinary incubator took on when it opened L28, and one that’s more complicated than it looks, said Amir Mizroch, director of communications for Start-Up Nation Central. There’s a towering building next door that cuts off a lot of sunlight, and the Ritz Carlton will soon begin construction on a 27-floor hotel across the street.

“Urban agronomy is hard, there’s chemistry, micro-climates, lots of insects and pollution,” he said. “We use the stuff in the restaurant, so it’s gotta be good.”

There’s also a wet wall at the entrance to the restaurant, utilizing the method of hydroponics to grow some of the greens used on the menu. Many of the other vegetables, lettuces and herbs served are grown in the carefully groomed beds of soil built on the roof, handled by an urban agronomist.

Read more at The Times of Israel (Jessica Steinberg)

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