“If mutual culinary respect were a basis for peace in the Middle East,” David Cohen believes, “the guns would have fallen silent a long time ago.” Cohen, a journalist, media critic and one-time North & South contributing food writer, collaborated with the Auckland-based restaurateur Yael Shochat on Ima Cuisine: An Israeli Mother’s Kitchen (Penguin), which goes on sale on November 1. He explains how it happened on page 100. Cohen is also the author of Welcome to the Campus of Struggle (Dunmore Press), A Perfect World (Random House) and Little Criminals (Random House), the last of which – based on his childhood experience as a resident of Epuni Boys’ Home – was made into a documentary last year for Prime TV. Greatest Hits (Mākaro Press), an anthology of his journalism over the past quarter-century, was also published last year. He enjoys entertaining friends at home in Wellington with his Persian meals.