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Local restaurant finds inspiration in vegan cuisine

Two Israeli men who met in Vancouver turned a popular food truck into a restaurant.

Two men put passion and character into recipes inspired by their homeland

Rotem Tal and Itamar Shani put passion for life and food into their recipes 5:59

They were lured to Vancouver for its beauty, outdoor adventure, and healthy lifestyle, but both Itamar Shani and Rotem Tal missed the bold flavours of their home country's cooking.

They bonded over their Israeli favourites and didn't find anything quite as good as they remembered it back home.

Tal started making and selling hummus to University of British Columbia students while Shani was working at a friend's food truck. Soon, they decided to team up and open their own mobile eatery and called it Chickpea. 

Inspired by the movie, Chef, Rotem and Itamar opened their own food truck full of foods they miss from home. (Chickpea)

The hummus guru

The food may be based on tradition but there are many alterations. Tal and Shani made "fries" out of chickpea flour and Mediterranean spices.

Meanwhile, Tal has taken a long time to perfect his falafel recipe that is crisp on the outside and soft inside.

Itamar Shani's recipe is a bit of a secret but he says his ingredients keep falafal moist on the inside (CBC)

A year and a half later, their food truck was doing so well the pair decided to invest in a 100-seat restaurant.

Hafla means party or a social gathering. This is food to share and includes chickpea flour fries. (Chickpea)

You can see Tal and Shani at the Vancouver Fall Home Show on October 27.

Check out all the yummy details in their interview with Our Vancouver's Gloria Macarenko.

With files from Our Vancouver.