Conference: Israeli Cuisine as a Reflection of Israeli Society November 12-13, 2017

Image from Zahav by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Copyrighted 2015 by Michael Persico. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Registration for Sunday, November 12: Space Limited.
Private Invitation for the Friends of the Center for Israel Studies (Donors of $250 or more), AU Students and invited faculty and guests. 

Registration for Monday, November 13:

Israeli cuisine has changed as Israel itself has changed and Israeli food is now one of the hottest culinary trends in the global food industry. This is exemplified by recent James Beard Foundation awards for Israeli chefs Yotam Ottolenghi, Alon Shaya, and Michael Solomonov (of Philadelphia's Zahav), named 2017 Outstanding Chef of the Year.

The conference aims to explore the intersection of Israeli cuisine and society through the lens of history, demographic changes and the integration of various cultures into the nation. The Conference will feature academics in the fields of food studies and cultural studies, in tandem with Israeli chefs and food experts.

Conference Schedule

Please Note: The Evening with Israeli Celebrity Chefs - Only Open to AU students, invited faculty and Friends of the Center
(Friends of the Center are donors of $250+)

The Museum at the AU Katzen Arts Center


Begins at 7:30 PM
Michael Brenner, Director, American University Center for Israel Studies



Evening with Israeli Celebrity Chefs 

Keynote Address by Michael Solomonov, 2017 James Beard Chef of the year, followed by Chef's Roundtable Discussion. Israeli chefs Einat Admony, Osama Dalal, Lior Lev Sercarz, Tom Franz and Michael Solomonov will discuss worldwide interest in Israeli cuisine, history and innovations in the cuisine and being a "food ambassador" with Bonnie Benwick, Deputy Food Editor, Washington Post.

Followed by an Israeli dessert reception and cookbook signing. 

Location: American University East Campus Constitution Hall

Israeli Continental Breakfast and Registration

8:30-9:30 AM 


"Living Off the Land from Biblical Times to Today"

9:30-11:00 AM
Abbie Rosner, Culinary historian, author and lecturer
Orit Rozin, Tel Aviv University
Rafi Grosglik, University of California, Davis; Israel Institute Teaching Fellow
Tom Franz, Chef, Winner of Israeli MasterChef 2013
Moderator: Michael Brenner, American University Center for Israel Studies


Coffee Break

11:00-11:15 AM 


"Cuisine as an Expression of Modern Israeli Culture"

11:15 AM-12:45 PM
Einat Admony, Chef/Restaurateur Bar Bolonat, Taim and Balaboosta
Lior Lev Sercarz, Chef, spice blender and owner of La Boite
Michael Solomonov, Chef/Restauranteur, Zahav Dizengoff, Goldie and Federal Donuts
Yael Raviv, Author of Falafel Nation: Cuisine and the Making of National Identity in Israel
Yahil Zaban, Tel Aviv University
Moderator: Mitchell Davis, Executive Director, James Beard Foundation


Israeli Lunch and Cookbook Signing

12:45-2:00 PM 


Israeli-Arab Food Politics

2:00-3:30 PM
Osama Dalal, Chef/Restaurateur, Maiar
Nir Avieli, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Ronald Ranta, Kingston University
Ronit Vered, Food Researcher, Journalist
Moderator: Johanna Mendelson-Forman, American University


Coffee Break

3:30-3:45 PM


Film-In Search of Israeli Cuisine Screening and Discussion 

3:45-6:00 PM
Roger Sherman, Director
Dorothy Kalins, Producer
Moderator: Susan Barocas, Food Writer, Teacher and Chef.