On VOD: IN SEARCH OF ISRAELI CUISINE

New to VOD this week:
IN SEARCH OF ISRAELI CUISINE

Director:
Roger Sherman

Premiere:
Palm Springs 2016

Select Festivals:
Jewish fests in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami, Palm Beach, Atlanta, Seattle, and Toronto

About:
A James Beard Award-winning chef takes viewers on a tour through the tastes of Israel.

As noted by the film’s title, chef Michael Solomonov, born in Israel and raised in Pennsylvania, embarks on the prickly question of whether his relatively young homeland can truly be said to have its own cuisine. Some of his interview subjects emphatically argue that of course it does, while others are more dismissive, noting that in a country formed by immigrants from around the world, Israel’s food culture is more of an extensive borrowing. This debate, and the complicated history it reveals, is the most interesting element of Sherman’s film, which otherwise wouldn’t be too out of place if it were on the Food Network. Solomonov is a nice enough but fairly bland host, and while his visits with various chefs, cooks, winemakers, and the like offer a nice amount of exotic food porn to viewers, this survey just isn’t distinctive enough to be memorable when compared with more pointed comments from, for example, a Palestinian chef who reveals the difficulty in attracting Jewish clientele or who bitterly notes how Israel’s staple dish, hummus, is an appropriation of a Palestinian mainstay.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s