Thursday, August 20, 2015

Filmmaker touts vibrant Israeli food scene

Working toward a release on PBS later this year, Emmy- and Peabody-award winner Roger Sherman's documentary The Search for Israeli Cuisine will undoubtedly whet the appetite and palates of Americans and Canadians alike for far more than falafel and shwarma.

Over the course of two hours, Sherman explores the 70+ cultural influences on Israeli chefs and restaurants in the Jewish state.

He admits that up until his first trip to Israel almost five years ago, his "Jew-ish" – ie., non-religious, not entirely practising – upbringing left him without an understanding of the worth of Shabbat or an appreciation for the rich history of the foods that make up the Jewish experience.

After returning stateside, Sherman says, "It became clear that most people I meet don’t know much about the Israeli people either, and they’re surprised at what I reveal. I discovered a vibrant restaurant scene in Tel Aviv that rivals New York, San Francisco, London and, yes, Paris. And, more and more of Jerusalem’s restaurants, once thought stuffy, are must-experience destinations.

"I tasted wines from some of the 350 boutique wineries gaining international acclaim. I savoured distinctive cheeses that you’d find in France or Italy. And I found remarkable food traditions as diverse as Moroccan, Persian, and Lebanese, French, Italian, and Russian, in the most cutting-edge restaurants – Jewish, Arabs, Palestinians, Christian, and Druze – kosher and non-kosher, secular and religious. I learned that home cooks are preserving their grandmothers’ recipes and dynamic chefs are updating them."

While no official air date has been announced either in Canada or the United States just yet, this teaser will give you the taste of what's to come, as Sherman is now putting the final touches on this delectable inside look at Israel's culinary delights.

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