December 6, 2016

Exclusive: “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” Uncovers Israel’s Cutting Edge Progress in Food

New York - Roger Sherman, a film producer, who had a minimal Jewish upbringing says he discovered the “holiness” in Israel through food. His 90-minute film “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” was first inspired by noted Jewish cookbook author, Joan Nathan who dragged Mr. Sherman along on a food trip to Israel. “I was completely knocked out by what I saw,” Roger told Kosher Today. “To me Israel was just a holy land which I had no connection to,” he admitted. But all that changed when he discovered an Israel that was as beautiful as it was vibrant, young, and yes, holy. His film is now being shown in 90 festivals and soon to be a PBS feature. After spending nearly a month and 150 hours of shooting, Sherman discovered that despite its status as a melting pot of nearly 100 nations, that there was indeed an Israeli cuisine, notwithstanding the fact that it is a melding of so many cultures. As Ruth Bakt, one of the few non-chefs in the film pointed out: “Where do you have a Moroccan Jew marrying a Russian Jews with two different cuisines coming together in one kitchen?” Throughout the film, there is a powerful reminder of the Middle East influence, including Palestinian fingerprints, on food and yes, so much of it kosher. “Surprisingly, Israeli food may be moving faster on the world stage than the much coveted wines,” Sherman says. He pointed to a new hummus café in Japan as just one example. “While Israel’s award winning wines are largely kosher, the food can be made by any chef worldwide.” So is there an Israeli cuisine? According to Sherman, the answer is an unequivocal yes despite the fact that many of the chefs on the film thought that it was still in transition.