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The Schmooze

Food & Wine Magazine Honors Israeli Chef

Defining Israeli cuisine is tough work, as Forward Ingredients columnist Leah Koenig recently pointed out. But difficult or not, Israeli food culture is thriving, and the global gastro community is taking notice.

Food & Wine, the influential American culinary monthly, named Israeli Yonatan Roshfeld a top “Rising-Star Chef” in its 2010 list of the 100 “Best New Food & Drink Experiences.”

The Tel Aviv-based Roshfeld hit the scene with his neo-Mediterranean restaurant Herbert Samuel, and just splashed with a new Spanish-themed effort, Tapas Ahad Ha’am. Food & Wine called it a “wildly popular tapas bar that mixes the best Israeli and Spanish ingredients.”

To say the least, Roshfeld’s Herbert Samuel fare, like crab risotto and pork rotisserie with a lentils and bacon red-wine sauce, isn’t your standard falafel and couscous.

The list’s selection committee includes former New York Times food critic Frank Bruni and innovative Korean-American chef David Chang, of Momofuku fame.

“We must remember that Israel is not on the critic’s way,” Roshfeld told Ynet, “they have to come here especially, and the fact is, they did.

“You can’t ignore the fact that, lately, Israel has been on the map of global gastronomy.”

And the map is nothing short of expansive: the other chefs on the list hail from such far-flung places as Australia, Portugal and Scotland.

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