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  • Marty Gold

Chef Sergei Scores Hit With Israeli Night At Piazza De Nardi

Food connoisseurs were raving on Friday evening at the authentic fresh meal offered up at a special Israeli Night event at Piazza De Nardi on Taylor Avenue. About  14 different families bought tickets and turned out in joyous fellowship to the background of Israeli music and a festive atmosphere, to sample the buffet prepared by Chef Sergei Didenko.

Chef Sergei Didenko carving the AAAA Beef for his special shawarma

An effusive character, "Israeli with Russian blood", Chef Sergei developed the event with the intention of bringing the established Jewish community and new immigrants together .

“Food is the hub of the Jewish experience. The mosaic of spices and flavours from Yemen, Egypt , Turk, Moroccan and other lands all around Israel provide a burst for the senses that’s unmatched. My plan was to bring the community together so folks could just pull up a chair and join a table. We had complimentary wine so I could pour everyone a glass and meet with them.”

Sergei made a particular point to thank Maria and Tom De Nardi for their support of this event. 

"Maria heard my idea and gave the permission to do an event with a free hand as she trusts me. That's not the usual in this industry and her confidence allows me to try new concepts and engage the community."

As they say, the patrons provide the most accurate reviews:

"The salads were outstanding!" Yolanda Pippini-Pollock, Friends of Israel

"As an experienced Israeli eater, the food was absolutely authentic. I felt at home”

Tahl East

"My favorite? The Phenomenal AAAA beef shawarma!" Bradley Pollock

"The company was fantastic, a great evening!" Martin Krawitz

  Sergei has plans for to create more events to add to his cooking classes at De Nardi which are basically international cuisine. In the past, groups including nurses from Health Sciences Centre, students from Grant Park High School, and University of Manitoba professors have taken part.

"I teach an educational fun night, it's not a school, it’s the best, a hands-on experience. Once a month I do chefs tables of my childhood memories, and I am planning for further community meals like Israeli night."

"This was a wonderful way to bring people together and establish a sense of community! More to come!"

To contact Chef Sergei about his offerings at Piazza De Nardi or to arrange a private function, email him at

Shawarma, fellafel, fries, hot peppers and more

From top left: Tahl East, Gary McGhee, Eileen O'Donnell, Robb Mitchell, Marty Gold, Graeme Mitchell covers community news and lifestyle, from food to arts to education.

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We thank Chef Sergei and Maria De Nardi

for inviting us to take part in Israeli Night and meet with the community!