An excellent exposé about an ancient food scape that is going under one of the most rapid transformations in world history told from the perspective of a chef and his journey of self culinary discovery…sounds heady but this documentary is more fun than anything.
Chef Mike Solomonov runs the ever famous restaurant Zahav in Philadelphia and has garnered most of the praise a chef running a restaurant could want. But it seems that once you get to that point you will need to go much deeper into yourself to stay fresh, relevant and inspired to keep producing food that people will line up to eat. So, Chef Mike heads back to his birthplace of Israel to do a culinary deep dive into a region that has been and is one of the great melting pots the world has ever known. His time spent has him tasting food and wine from the street to the white table cloth and everywhere in-between. In his tastes and travel it is revealed to the viewer (and himself) that everyone has more in common than not. And when there is tension, get together, cook and eat and much of what created the tension will usually dissipate like a toot in the wind.
I recently had a few projects I was working on in Philadelphia and when time allowed, I broke away, got in line and bellied up to the chef counter at Zahav. What came forth was an excellent tasting menu of flavors, techniques and combinations that I have not tasted before (a home run for this bitter chef!) The lamb tartar with bulgur and hazelnuts-redic! The Turkish hummus-served hot where olive oil was replaced with butter actually made me like hummus again!
Well done Chef, keep up the outstanding work L’chaim!