Being a native of Jerusalem with Morrocan heritage, Ika Zaken was born into a rich, colorful culture of food. His mother taught cooking classes at a local trade school and his father worked in international shipping. Perhaps this is where his love of food and travel was first conceived. After his military service, he worked for a local butchery, Iwo’s Delicatessen, learning the craft of cured and smoked meats. In 1998 he ventured to Belgium and Paris, completing his studies at L’Ecôle Supérieur de Cuisine Française-Ferrandi in the 6th arrondissement. It was there that he met his wife, Molly, a native Virginian, also a student at the school. After working in Château de La Chèvre d’Or in Eze in Provençe, he returned to Israel to hone his skills at Tammuz in Jerusalem and Arcadia and Imoma in Tel Aviv. In 2002, he and Molly set off for Antwerp, Belgium to open Lamalo Restaurant where they stayed for 10 years and started a family. They finally felt the call to return to Molly’s home town of Williamsburg where Ika found his previous position of Executive Chef of The Williamsburg Winery and Café Provençal. Coming from a warm climate country where seafood and produce is so flavorful, Ika has particularly enjoyed cooking with Virginia’s local bounty. When he is not at The Cellars, he can most likely be found underneath the hood of his ’76 Fiat 124.
Where in the mainstream of today’s high tech world do diners have the opportunity to be served in the cellar of an authentic 1860’s farmhouse? A landmark, superior of its kind, The Cellars of Church Point Manor is tucked away in a serene, upscale Virginia Beach neighborhood and successfully blends high quality elegance with leisurely well-savored fare.
The Cellars’ unique style and ambience offer a window to another place and another time. Relish in the allure of exposed brick, low ceilings and multiple fireplaces; A nationally recognized romantic tempo prevails.
The Cellars’ diversified menu is best defined as French Country with a Southern flare, using only the finest quality standards and the freshest local ingredients. Guests are sure to enjoy a culinary experience that will linger long after the meal has ended.