In recent years, Israeli cuisine has been on the rise, becoming extremely popular throughout Europe and the United States. This has many people asking themselves, perhaps rightfully so, “what the hell is Israeli cuisine?” Some critical voices even claim that many of the wonderful dishes Israel is claiming as its “own” are actually stolen – which, of course, echoes a longer, deeper controversy that has plagued the Middle East for about a century. In a way, you might say Israeli food is the Arab-Israeli conflict in a plate.
But regardless, Israeli restaurants keep opening their doors on street corner in almost every big American city. Lines of clientele stretch around the block and lines of praise stretch across the food critics’ reviews.
Michael Solomonov is an Israeli-American chef, renowned for his critically-acclaimed Israeli Restaurant, Zahav, in Philadelphia. He’s the winner of several James Beard awards including Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2011, Cookbook of the Year in 2016, and Outstanding Chef in 2017. His cookbook Zahav: A World of Israeli Cuisine is a huge bestseller. Fortunately for us Mike is now touring Israel and was gracious enough to let us interview him here in Tel Aviv. We are honored, we’re extremely thrilled and we can’t wait to get started. So, let’s get to it!