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Jane Enkin Previews In search of Israeli cuisine-Rady JCC Jewish International Film Festival-May 23

by Jane Enkin, May 21, Music and Story at janeenkinmusic.com

In Search USA, 2015, English, Director:  Roger Sherman, 97 minutes

Guest Speaker: Director, Roger Sherman  May

 

If you are fascinated by Israeli culture and its startlingly
quick development, if you crave positive stories of Palestinians and Israelis
appreciating one another, or if you are a fan of on-location cooking shows,
this documentary is for you.

Israeli-American chef Michael Solomonov acts as tour guide
and interviewer.  He shares some of his
own early family memories, and spends time cooking and tasting in home kitchens
as well as high end restaurants and fast food places. He asks cooks, chefs,
professors and others, both Jewish and Arab, for their opinions about Israel’s
cuisine.

While some of his sources insist that there really is no
Israeli cuisine, simply a borrowing of multiple influences, (I’ve heard this
opinion with reference to Canadian cuisine as well,) most of the people
Solomonov interviews attempt to find answers to the question. Immigrant
traditions, Palestinian-Arab cuisine, and innovation blended together, with an
emphasis on local ingredients, are mentioned by most of the sources.

The film looks at the process of creating a new country with
a new national culture – many immigrants wanted to turn their backs on their
home countries, where they were perceived as passive and weak, and take on the
new ideal Palestinian-Jewish, and then Israeli, character. When it comes to
food, however, memory and nostalgia continue to hold sway. 

The most surprising thing for me was to hear that in their
tiny country, great Israeli chefs celebrate regional differences, concentrating
on the local ingredients and traditional cooking techniques of the northern
mountains, the southern desert, and the shores of the Mediterranean and the
Kinneret.

In Search of
Israeli Cuisine

USA, 2015, English, Director:  Roger Sherman, 97 minutes

Guest Speaker: Director, Roger Sherman

Jane Enkin

Jane Enkin Music and Story at janeenkinmusic.com

If you are fascinated by Israeli culture and its startlingly
quick development, if you crave positive stories of Palestinians and Israelis
appreciating one another, or if you are a fan of on-location cooking shows,
this documentary is for you.

Israeli-American chef Michael Solomonov acts as tour guide
and interviewer.  He shares some of his
own early family memories, and spends time cooking and tasting in home kitchens
as well as high end restaurants and fast food places. He asks cooks, chefs,
professors and others, both Jewish and Arab, for their opinions about Israel’s
cuisine.

While some of his sources insist that there really is no
Israeli cuisine, simply a borrowing of multiple influences, (I’ve heard this
opinion with reference to Canadian cuisine as well,) most of the people
Solomonov interviews attempt to find answers to the question. Immigrant
traditions, Palestinian-Arab cuisine, and innovation blended together, with an
emphasis on local ingredients, are mentioned by most of the sources.

The film looks at the process of creating a new country with
a new national culture – many immigrants wanted to turn their backs on their
home countries, where they were perceived as passive and weak, and take on the
new ideal Palestinian-Jewish, and then Israeli, character. When it comes to
food, however, memory and nostalgia continue to hold sway. 

The most surprising thing for me was to hear that in their
tiny country, great Israeli chefs celebrate regional differences, concentrating
on the local ingredients and traditional cooking techniques of the northern
mountains, the southern desert, and the shores of the Mediterranean and the
Kinneret.

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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