An Israeli master chef brought the flavors of Israel to American supporters of the Jewish state during a recent online culinary event.
By Tsivya Fox-Dobuler
Israeli master chef Golan Gurfinkel recently joined Chicago-based chef Lamar Moore for a virtual live demonstration of home-cooked Israeli dishes in a show of “solidarity, sustenance, support and recipes” for those in isolation due to coronavirus lockdown.
The show, called “Dishing Out Israeli Solidarity,” attracted thousands of viewers from across the globe. Gurfinkel, who is the executive chef of the award-winning Tel Aviv restaurant Dallal, previously appeared on Israel’s version of the popular cooking show “Iron Chef.”
During the event with Moore, Gurfinkel combined a variety of ingredients from his kitchen in Israel to make a Mediterranean-Asian seafood dish with quinoa that he jokingly called “quarantined fish.” He said it represented the “crossroads of civilizations” that converge in Israeli kitchens.
Moore, who has been featured on the Food Network show “Chopped and Beat with Bobby Flay,” presented a twist on Israel’s favorite fast food called the “falafel waffle.” The layered treat consists of a falafel-flavored waffle and chicken, with a tehina and maple syrup glaze. Moore topped off his falafel waffle with a sunny-side-up egg as a nod to the affinity shown for the breakfast food by Israelis, who eat eggs any time of the day.
The chefs were joined by Lironne Bar-Sadeh, a career Israeli diplomat and amateur chef who shared a traditional Passover dish of candied orange and grapefruit peels. Bar-Sadeh explained that her family passed down the recipe for generations, adding that it’s a frugal option that children enjoy making.
The virtual culinary event was part of a wider campaign launched by the America–Israel Friendship League (AIFL) called “Friends in Deeds.”
“The campaign requires both logistical and operational elements as well as community building, sensitivity, and partners,” Jonathan Barsade, AIFL Board President, told United with Israel.
“The generosity of chefs in Israel during our launch webinar has been replicated by other Israeli expressions of support as part of our Friends in Deeds Campaign,” Barsade added. “Each day we are watching the resilience and support of Israelis reach new communities in need throughout the U.S.”
The organization is now encouraging people to share photographs and videos of Israeli-inspired meals in an effort to bring the country’s flavors into kitchens worldwide and foster relationships across the Atlantic during this challenging time.
AIFL will announce a weekly activity to keep Israelis and Americans connected and showcase common ground between the nations.
The weekly activity will culminate in donations of up to $500 in Israeli food items sent to U.S. food banks to meet critical needs in communities under coronavirus stress.
“While we cannot provide a cure, the least we can do is share our Israeli empathy with the people of the United States in their time of need,” said Chairman of the AIFL Israel Board Danny Gillerman. “We are pretty confident that our Israeli chocolates and sweets will bring much needed smiles to the faces of children in the United States.”
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