On a tree-lined street, with the smells of freshly baked pita and sizzling skewers wafting from Tel Aviv’s nearby Carmel Market, Ruti Broudo and her partner, Guy Pollak, have made a home for themselves. Stand-alone houses in Tel Aviv—a city rife with towering apartment blocks and constant construction—are rare, which is why the Broudo/Pollak home feels so fortuitous.
Inhabiting a former yeshiva (or Jewish religious school), the three-story, open-plan home is set in a bright white Bauhaus building whose stark balconies give it the appearance of a grand deconstructed vase—a vessel for vines and hanging plants.
Broudo and her ex-husband Mati Broudo, the founders of now iconic Tel Aviv hotels, bakeries, delis, and restaurants such as Brasserie M&R and the Hotel Montefiore—are widely credited with changing the face of Israel’s hospitality industry. Today, Broudo is at the forefront of the thriving business and her partner of 12 years, Guy Pollak, is the executive chef of all the restaurants.
The dining room, with its oak table handcrafted by a local carpenter and Hans Wegner Wishbone Chairs, is the focal point of the house. At the room’s center are a series of three late-18th-century oil paintings by the German artist Hugo Walzer.
While food is a significant part of their day-to-day lives, Broudo’s greatest love is for art and design, and this home pays homage to both. Born in Netanya with a religious upbringing, Broudo’s father was a fledgling artist with a penchant for reproducing great portraits and landscapes. Broudo describes canvases thickly stacked along the floorboards of her home growing up, so many it became an obstacle course of sorts. She inherited hundreds of his paintings and framed her favorites, many now covering the two-tone wall of her downstairs bathroom. Broudo attributes her dad’s artistic influence as a singular impact on her life, paving the way for her own design interests.
At home, the couple took pains to establish the first floor as a space for hosting and entertaining—so much so that it often feels like an extension of their restaurants. “The main thing was always the kitchen,” Broudo says. And the kitchen certainly lives up to its importance. Inside, there is every variation of mortar and pestle, beautifully crafted dishes, teapots, and serving ware—much of it sourced from London flea markets. There are also ceramics from Japan and the Netherlands along with myriad antique pots and pans hand-selected and excitedly shipped back home from the couple’s various travels.
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“We looked at the floor plan and divided the kitchen into two areas—the area for cooking along with an area for enjoying drinks and sweets and from there it was natural that sitting and dining would be separate,” Broudo explains. “Everything was based on how to build this home for entertaining—a massive Michelin-star quality brunch, gathering for an aperitif, where you sit after dinner.”
At work and home, Broudo and Pollak intuitively create spaces that maximize guest enjoyment and pleasure. And here, in their own house, they have set the stage for huge dinner parties surrounded by family, friends, and R2M colleagues. As Pollak explains, “We either make recipes we have prepared for years or we experiment with new ingredients and flavors and get everyone together to taste and try and enjoy,” Pollak says. A concept that sounds both comforting and divine in its simplicity.
The study has recently been turned into Pollak’s leather studio, in which he has taken up making leather portfolio cases, folders, and bags. The work table is crafted from mahogany and includes drawers that contain all of his Signet working tools.
The couple’s backyard is filled with ferns and shade plants; an homage to Broudoi’s father’s green thumb.