Israeli-born Eran Tibi is Head Chef and Co-Founder of Bala Baya, celebrated alumnus of Le Cordon Bleu London and one of today’s most exciting new Chefs.
Eran’s earliest memories revolve around food – trimming okra tips with his mother and helping his father in the family bakery. Food wasn’t just part of the Tibi family’s daily routine, it was an all-encompassing way of life, but after seeing his father's bakery close after 18 years he took a break from the culinary world. After studying engineering at university Eran developed a successful career in marketing, but something was missing. It took until he turned 30 before he made the decision to take a year out to pursue what he realised had been his dream career all along.
Eran took the decision to undertake formal training at Le Cordon Bleu London, at which point he felt that a lifelong dream was beginning to take shape. His training at the esteemed culinary school opened his eyes to a plethora of different flavours and gave him the ability to merge his native foods with classical techniques. To this day, Eran enthuses that Bouillabaise is by far his favourite dish!
On completion of his Le Cordon Bleu Diplôme de Cuisine and with a finely tuned skillset, Eran secured work under the tutelage of Sami Tamimi at Ottolenghi where he spent four years enriching his knowledge of Middle Eastern cuisine. From there Eran expanded his portfolio working with the likes of Ramael Scully at Ottolenghi's other restaurant Nopi, before working with Josh Katz to set up Made in Camden at the Roundhouse, which was named by AA Gill as one of his top restaurants in 2011.
With his new canvas Bala Baya, Eran will bring his family's cuisine to a culinary experience that has yet to be tasted in London. Inspired by the raw creativity and fast-paced atmosphere of Tel Aviv’s hip all-day eateries, Eran’s vibrantly progressive cooking has found its home in Southwark’s Union Street Arches.
Although happiest in the kitchen, on his days off Eran can be found first through the door at all of London’s hottest restaurant launches, as is a fervent music lover.