For the love of thahini

"We believe in an experience that begins in the way we do business; in how we cultivate our relationships with the people surrounding us; through our shared passions for fresh food, the environment, art and the space we work in. This culminates in an atmosphere that embraces passion and innovation in the food we create. Because, just like we learned at our grandparents’ home all those years ago – there’s nothing like good food to bring people together."

It all started around the Ozery’s Sabbath table back in Jerusalem. In the kitchen, pots and pans would boil and dance on the stove, raising intoxicating scents from the Arab cuisine within. Grandpa Haim, inspired by the aromas in the house, would break into Jewish Yemenite psalms, enrapturing the entire family. Among the abundance of dishes proudly stood a humble bowl of Tahini: a sesame paste that went back generations, crafted and refined by artisans in the narrow, ancient streets of Jerusalem. The Ozery grandchildren, Alon, Guy and Aharon, when they weren’t crawling under the table untying everyone’s shoes, loved to dip everything they ate into Tahini.

As they grew older, the Ozery brothers went their own ways: Guy and Alon moved to Toronto and founded Ozery Bakery in 1996; Aharon, an installation artist, lived in Berlin for years before rejoining his brothers in Toronto. “Now what?” they wondered. The Tahini bowl from their grandparents’ table emerged in their minds, and it hit them: they would make an original, authentic, high-quality Thaini. At the time, Tahini manufacturers in Israel had been modernizing their processes and were beginning to dispose of their old Basalt stone mills. One of those stone mills was found in Jerusalem; it was bought and brought to Canada, where it was lovingly restored to its Tahini-producing glory.

Since then, a lot of Sesame seeds have passed through that stone mill, and the dream to create Thaini transformed into Parallel, a restaurant that serves modern twists on Mediterranean classics. Soon another brother joined the team: Chef George Grabsky, an Israeli Chef and baker who’s worked for over a decade as the righthand chef of Erez Komarovsky, described as one of the originators of modern Israeli cooking. George has worked as a chef around the world, honing his skills for creating unique tastes.