In Search of Israeli Cuisine


Castro Theatre Sat, Jul 23, 2016 3:50 PM
Cinearts at Palo Alto Square Sun, Jul 24, 2016 2:15 PM
Roda Theatre Sat, Jul 30, 2016 12:00 PM
Smith Rafael Film Center Fri, Aug 5, 2016 4:20 PM
Film Info
Director(s):Roger Sherman
Cinematographer:Roger Sherman
Country:United States
Year of Production:2015
Running Time:97
Hebrew w/ English subtitles
Categories:Big Nights
Premiere Status:Northern California


Film sponsored by Amy and Morton Friedkin.
Event sponsored by Moses and Susan Libitzky.
Additional support provided by ISRAEL21c

What is Israeli cuisine? Michael Solomonov (Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking, 2016 James Beard Cookbook of the Year) explores a diverse world of food drawn from more than 100 cultures. Chefs, farmers, vintners, fishermen, cheese makers and home cooks discuss their roots and show their specialties that both preserve and update traditional recipes using global inspiration. Through the 1970s most recipes were bland and ingredients mediocre. As immigrants came to Israel they brought new and traditional ideas and flavors, and people began to be more adventurous in what they ate. Jews were introduced to Arab cuisine, resulting in both a mutual appreciation and frustration of the cross-cultural culinary influences. Solomonov, born in Israel but raised in the U.S., goes to local farms and visits people’s kitchens to taste and learn about regional cooking differences. He asks what makes a meal kosher and sees how Shabbat dinners are changing. He shows how ancient agricultural methods and high-tech agronomy now influence the way the world eats. Uniquely and lovingly prepared shakshuka, boreka, maqluba, the Palestinian kibbe el babour, couscous, surprising seafood dishes and a kugel that challenges expectations are just a few of the irresistible dishes shown being prepared. Solomonov’s self-deprecating sense of humor and deep knowledge of local food traditions make him the perfect guide. Warning: This movie will make you hungry!

—Gary Meyer

Director Roger Sherman in person in San Francisco and Palo Alto. Subject Michael Solomonov in person in San Francisco.

Film and Feast
Saturday, July 23 I 6:15 PM
Aaxte (at the Swedish American Hall), 2174 Market St, San Francisco
$90 members/$100 general public

Immediately following the Castro screening of In Search of Israeli Cuisine, SFJFF36 presents an homage to Chef Solomonov’s cuisine with inspiring reinterpretations of his standout dishes by local chefs including Ryan Pollnow of Aaxte, Nick Balla and Cortney Burns of Bar Tartine, and Chef Mourad Lahlou of Mourad and Aziza at the lively Aaxte. This bold film and food pairing is a perfect fit for San Francisco’s foodie culture.

Separate ticket required for entry to this event. All-Festival and Next Wave Passes do not provide admission. Space is limited.