Food

Michael Solomonov

Israeli food lovers have waited for this year for a long time — the country’s cuisine is finally having its moment in the sun. In the United States, Israeli-American chef Michael Solomonov has become the cuisine’s unofficial ambassador.

Answering the question: “What is Israeli cuisine?” is just about impossible. The young country’s culinary identity is still being formed both in Israel and abroad by chefs and food writers like Solomonov, Janna Gur, Naama Shefi and Einat Admony. The best-selling cookbook “Jerusalem” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi transformed Israeli food from a niche topic to one of 2013’s major culinary trends.

For Solomonov, 35, this year has been in the making since 2008, when he opened the acclaimed upscale Israeli restaurant Zahav in Center City, Philadelphia. This fall, he took a group of American chefs to Israel to introduce them to the country’s food and to prepare a dinner in honor of his brother David, who was killed while serving in the IDF. Solomonov also filmed a two-hour special on Israeli food for PBS and announced plans to open a hummus spot called Dizengoff in Philadelphia next spring.

When asked to explain Israeli cuisine through a single meal, Solomonov described an extraordinary lunch of Romanian, Arab and Persian dishes.

“That’s how you explain [Israeli food], so many different things happening at once in one place… You see history happening not only with culture, but also with food in front of your eyes, and it’s a beautiful thing. I think it’s pretty unique.”

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.