Seasonal, fresh and authentic Israeli flavors are to be expected at Banzo’s Pop-up on October 26th at The Robin Room (821 E. Johnson St. Madison, Wisconsin) from 6-9 p.m.

They’ll be showcasing recipes that will be special for this occasion. Stephan May, the head chef at Banzo gushes about this upcoming collaboration as it gives him “a little more freedom” in expanding their menu, by “being able to to do something a little more fun and exciting, not only for people but for [himself] as well.” 

He is excited to challenge himself with different ingredients in a setting that differs from what he is used to as well as demonstrate the culinary capabilities of his coworkers.

It is also planned to be a community event in which people can gather and enjoy delicious food, and have a great time. With an emphasis on fresh, bold flavors, May encourages all to come out and try the food while supplies last.

“We’ll be cooking live right at the Robin Room. Everything that’s going to be ordered is going to be live-fired right there per order,” May said. 

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May describes Banzo as “Street-food styled Mediterranean with our own twist.” 

“Our featured items are typically our hummus and our falafel — that’s what we’re known for. Pretty focused around Israeli cuisine,” May said. 

The importance of sourcing ingredients from local farmers is greatly stressed within his kitchen. May is set on producing recipes that are ever changing to coincide with what is in season.

“Whatever we can source locally is ideal. I like to hit the farmer’s market at least once a week, try to source stuff from the community, local farmers and products that are in season and inspire special items and frequently changing items on the menu.”

He believes that not only do locally produced ingredients provide a higher level of freshness and quality but that it helps link the relationship between farmers and restaurants even more. This network is crucial in order for a restaurant to establish itself within the community, May said.

“I mean, there’s nothing that really compares to having something that’s fresh straight from the ground right from the farmer,” May explained.

Although the pop-up event is going to showcase unique recipes, the price range will be fairly similar to their typical items that they regularly sell.

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“Nothing’s going to be a surprise,” May said.

The number of potential customers is pretty hard to gauge at this point, but May is more concerned about doing the best on his part to fill the stomachs of any hangry customers, no matter how many.

“I’m not really concerned about how many people are coming out. I’m more concerned on everyone having a good time and a good experience,” May said. “Whoever does show up, I’m sure it will be a good time either way.”

This will be Banzo’s first pop-up with the Robin Room and they are ecstatic to execute their culinary prowess and spread love through flavor with the local Madison community. They are also planning on more collaborations with other restaurants across Madison as well in the future.