Chef Asaf Granit of Machneyuda (Photo: Tom Lahat)
A culinary celebration will be held in Los Angeles on the State of Israel’s 65th Independence Day. The local consulate has decided to divert from the tradition of a holiday reception, and instead offer pro-Israel celebrities in the West Coast of the United States a taste of Israeli wine and gourmet food.
Israel’s consul-general in Los Angeles, David Siegel, has invited the chefs of Jerusalem’s famous Machneyuda restaurant – Asaf Granit and Uri Navon – to cooperate with well-known chefs in LA and present the culinary prosperity in the Israeli kitchen.
The chefs will offer a menu consisting of Machneyuda’s best dishes, replacing the fresh produce of Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Market with that of Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.
“In Hollywood there are two options: Either talking about the conflict, and you can talk to yourself about that, or working on issues they are interested in, like television and productions in Israel which we are trying to promote, and bringing food and wine made in Israel to Hollywood,” explained Consul-General Siegel.
“We engage in exposing the different angles of Israel – from high-tech to the industry, to art, cinema and culinary culture.”
As part of the celebrations, the two Israeli chefs will be the guests of Nobu Malibu, which is part of a chain of restaurants co-founded by actor Robert De Niro and Israeli film producer Meir Teper.
The restaurant, which hosts top Hollywood stars, is located on the Malibu beach and has become the meeting place for the likes of Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.
For the full list of 65@65 facts click here
The products of leading packaged foods company Pinnacle Foods Group LLC are on their way to Israel. The company will be represented in the Holy Land by Value Foods Market, which imports food products from North and South America.
Pinnacle Foods owns dozens of food factories and is among the 50 biggest food companies in the United States. Its frozen products can be found in more than 85% of American households.
Value Foods Market is currently completing the establishment of its marketing and storage system for the American manufacturer’s frozen products. At the first stage it will import fish products, which will be marketed after Passover in the Mega, Eden Teva Market and Tiv Taam supermarket chains.
The variety of fish includes crunchy fish fillets, fish sticks and different types of breaded whole fish, which will be marketed in packages of six to 40 units keeping the product fresh.
Crunchy Alaska Pollock fish sticks (44 units, 697 grams) and crunchy Alaska Pollock fish fillets (12 units, 595 grams) will be sold for about NIS 27 ($7.26). The product is made of 100% whole fillets, not minced.
Value Foods Market owner Mendy Rosner told Yedioth Ahronoth that he planned to import the company’s other food products later on, including syrups, mayonnaise and mustard, frozen pastries, cakes and bagels.
It’s no secret that there is one special place in the world that, for centuries, has been the centre of attention for both positive and negative reasons. I prefer to focus on the positive reasons, and to name a few, the history, vibrant culture and amazing landscapes make Israel top on my list of places to return to at every opportunity.
A number of years ago, I took my mother with me on a visit to Israel. She hadn’t been there since the mid- 70s, and though she had fond memories, she remembered the food to be simplistic. Boy was she is for a surprise! As the country developed, including the amazing agricultural advances that turned desert landscapes into fertile lands, so too did the country’s gastronomy. The melting pot that is Israel’s dining landscape makes for an incredible muse for a cookbook.
The amazing thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it seldom includes pasta and other simple carbohydrates (no wonder all those gorgeous Israelis have such killer figures!). However, there is one pasta recipe in this entire cookbook, and obviously it was the first one I decided to try!
Being that it was the first time I made, it, I tried to stay as true to the original recipe as possible. I had to hunt down the main spice in the recipe, aleppo chile (aka aleppo pepper), which I found at a local international grocery store, but decided to cut down on it drastically (1 scant tsp instead of 2 tsp). I also bought Israeli feta cheese, which makes ALL the difference compared to the pre-packaged Tre Stelle you can find in the dairy section of the grocery store, and I cut down on the olive oil. I’ve included the original, unedited recipe below, so feel free to use it as is, or adjust it to suit you tastes, as I did. The best tip I can give you on this one is to be sure that you defrost the peas fully before blending them.
I will definitely be trying plenty more recipes from this book, so be sure to come back for more!
2 1/2 cups (500g) plain greek yogurt
2/3 cup (150ml) olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1lb (500g) fresh or thawed frozen peas
1lb conchiglie pasta (I used large shells)
scant 1/2 cup pine nuts
2 tsp Turkish or Syrian chile flakes (aleppo pepper)
1 2/3 cups basil leaves, coarsely torn
8oz feta cheese, broken into chunks
salt and freshly ground white pepper
• Half a glass of squeezed lemon juice
• Fat free yogurt with a small amount of granola
• Thinly chopped vegetable salad
• Fat-free cottage cheese
• Whole-wheat crackers
• Glass of green tea
• Vegetable soup
• A chicken dish three times a week
• A fish meal twice a week
• Once in ten days — Beef filet (non-fat)
• Steamed vegetables and two types of raw vegetable salads
• A portion of legumes three times a week
• Raw fruit or fruit sorbet
• Glass of green tea
• Low fat cheese and salad
• Cherry tomatoes
• Hardboiled egg twice a week
• Egg-white omelets twice a week
• Whole-wheat crackers
• Glass of green tea
What’s the secret to President Shimon Peres’ remarkable health at the age of 89? Fat-free cottage in the morning, low fat cheese with a tomato salad at dinner, and a lot of green tea. Looking at Peres’ fixed menu, published on Sunday, one could learn a thing or two about a healthy lifestyle — and being content with what you have.
Peres’ menu was published as part of the new nutritional sciences degree program at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot, whose registration opened on Sunday. Peres Academic Center President Professor Ron Shapira, said the center is investing 8 million shekels ($2.14 million) in the new program. Heading the nutritional program is Dr. Sarah Kaplan, the chief nutritionist of Meuhedet, Israel’s third largest health provider.
“Right away you can see the [president's] menu is balanced, varied, colorful and well organized throughout the day,” Dr. Kaplan said. “It could serve as an example to be studied at nutrition science school of a good, healthy, age and gender appropriate menu, for the continued health of the honorable president.” According to Kaplan, Peres’ diet is “very close to the Mediterranean diet. It has fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes and dairy products.” The doctor noted that the menu is “fat and cholesterol free, he excels at eating well-organized meals and drinking a lot of liquids.”
The president’s regiment not surprisingly includes a large quantity of vitamin C (found in orange juice, tomatoes and fresh salads), as well as fiber — the president makes sure to eat whole-wheat crackers, vegetables, fruits and granola, which are items rich in fiber and help to reduce cholesterol levels and facilitate digestion. Another important item on the presidential menu is Omega 3, a fatty acid that is found in fish and flax seeds. Omega 3 is known to prevent blood platelets from clumping and from sticking to blood vessels, which causes vascular plaque and which later could lead to heart conditions.
Some have voiced criticism of Peres’ menu.
“It is a classic example of a diet plan given by health-care providers for some 30 years,” founder of The Eating Language and dietician Ayelet Kalter said. “Food is not only meant to sustain living, it is meant to provide added value like pleasure and happiness. It is beyond me whether, if this indeed is the president’s only menu, it contains these important values.”
Moustafa M. Soliman lives on Massachusetts Avenue, Washington DC’s Embassy Row. His home is spacious, with luxuriant furniture fit for any one of his foreign neighbors.
Following the successful career he held at the US Department of Energy in various senior positions, and after promoting a few joint Israeli-Egyptian-Palestinian energy-related US-led projects, Soliman knows a thing or two about disappointments surrounding the notion of peace in the Middle East.
Soliman is a man with a dream, but he is no eccentric and nobody’s fool. He looks a great deal younger than his 76 years, with mass amounts of energy and plans to promote peace between Israel and the Arabs. Over the next few weeks, he is planning on taking D.Cc’s streets by storm via his Star of David and crescent-adorned “Peace Truck.”
The “Peace Truck” will have one window, where a religious Jew will stand selling kosher food, and another with a Muslim selling halal food and traditional sweets.
“It needs to be theatrical. The salesmen will be two upstanding people who can serve and sell food but no less important, discuss politics and peace with the customers. “I am looking for dialogue,” Soliman told Ynet.
Soliman left Egypt for his doctoral studies in civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.
This was long long ago, in 1959 following the Suez Crisis and prior to the Six Day War, when then-Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser still had plans of driving the Jews into the sea.
Following a period of time in the civil sector at the “Aerospace” company in Los Angeles, Soliman joined the US Department of Energy in 1974, when the department was still a small administration of the American government.
“After ten years, I became responsible for energy-related cooperation especially with Middle Eastern countries. I was responsible for planning, managing negotiations and implementing energy-related cooperation with Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.”
The first initiative that Soliman promoted was a three-way Egyptian-Israeli-American one called the Solar Peace Project. “The idea was to create a US-funded project in the Suez Canal with Israeli and American technologies on Egyptian soil and with Egyptian manpower.
“We began working on the initiative during the Clinton administration,” Soliman recalls. “Towards the year 2000, Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson left the slowly withering project.”
“I was involved in the initial talks for the gas project between Egypt and Israel which was supposed to make its way to Turkey, Jordan and The Palestinian Authority,” said Soliman. “Ariel Sharon was appointed as Minister of National Infrastructure (1996) and I think that he was not so thrilled with Israel being dependent on Egyptian gas. In the end, a much less ambitious project was established than that which we planned.”