Italy n Is­rael

The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - LETTERS -

The Ital­ian culi­nary week that took place in Is­rael, as well as in dozens of coun­tries around the world, in­cluded a se­ries of events that ex­posed Israelis to Italy’s rich culi­nary cul­ture. This year, the fo­cus was on pro­mot­ing the Mediter­ranean diet, its im­por­tance and its com­po­nents, with a speciÈc em­pha­sis on cul­tural as­pects. The Ital­ian culi­nary week, for those who do not know, is al­ready an in­sti­tu­tion. It be­gan about three years ago and at the same time was con­ducted in 105 coun­tries with more than 1,300 events around the world. The vi­sion was to pro­mote Ital­ian culi­nary tra­di­tion, with the link be­tween all the events in the host coun­tries be­ing the Ital­ian gas­tro­nomic world of au­then­tic tra­di­tions and qual­ity products. The culi­nary week in Is­rael is the ini­tia­tive of the Ital­ian Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs in co­op­er­a­tion with ENIT - the agency that pro­motes tourism in Italy. To­gether with the Ital­ian Em­bassy and other Ital­ian in­sti­tu­tions in Is­rael - the Ital­ian gas­tro­nomic tra­di­tion has suc­cess­fully seeped into chefs’ kitchens in Is­rael. So what did we have? The se­ries of events opened with a fes­tive gala at the home of Am­bas­sador Gian­luigi Benedetti, where the Ital­ian Miche­lin star chef Ciro Sca­mardella from the Ital­ian restau­rant Pipero in Rome pre­pared a spe­cial menu for the am­bas­sador’s guests. Chef Sca­mardella rep­re­sents a tra­di­tional and in­no­va­tive kitchen, and he also taught cook­ing at the Danon Culi­nary School for the next gen­er­a­tion of promis­ing chefs in Is­rael. Vet­eran chef Shaul Ben Aderet was in­trigued and he also came to see the work of Sca­mardella. That same evening, an­other Miche­lin star chef, the fa­mous Ital­ian chef Gian­carlo Morelli, famed for his nat­u­ral cui­sine, ar­rived at chef Orel Kim­chi’s Popina restau­rant, and the two cooked a 6-course meal for din­ers to en­joy the chef’s dishes. Many busi­ness­peo­ple at­tended. The next day, the won­der boy of Ital­ian cui­sine, Ciro Sca­mardella, toured the Carmel Mar­ket to get to know the Is­raeli raw ma­te­ri­als and even tasted lo­cal dishes, which were to his sat­is­fac­tion. To­gether with chef Paolo D’Er­cole, he cooked im­pro­vised dishes from every­thing he had col­lected on the mar­ket in the Ital­ian restau­rant BOCCA BOCCA. In the evening, a fes­tive cock­tail was held at which Gian­luigi Benedetti, Ital­ian am­bas­sador to Is­rael, Ronni Be­natoff, chairman of the Italy-Is­rael Cham­ber of Com­merce, Ron Hul­dai, Mayor of Tel Aviv, Uri Sirkis, Is­rair CEO, fa­mous blog­ger Ash­ley Wax­man-Bak­shi, jour­nal­ist Noa Rozin at­tended. The event’s guests en­joyed the dishes that were served by Chef Morelli, in­clud­ing a dish of Ar­gy­ro­so­mus regius Èsh in gar­lic sauce and pump­kin cream, risotto Ţhis Éag­ship dish) and for dessert - ti­ramisu (how can you not?!) There was also a con­fer­ence on Mediter­ranean health and nu­tri­tion in co­op­er­a­tion with the Is­raeli Min­istry of Health, which was at­tended by re­searchers and ex­perts from Italy who met with their Is­raeli coun­ter­parts. The pur­pose of the con­fer­ence was to share re­search and in­for­ma­tion on the unique­ness of the Mediter­ranean diet, due to it be­ing the world’s health­i­est diet, based on nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and tra­di­tion. The culi­nary week ended with a fas­ci­nat­ing cook­ing work­shop with chef Morelli for Is­raeli chefs. Young chefs took part, as did vet­eran ones, in­clud­ing the beloved chef Haim Cohen.

All photos by Rotem Barak

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