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July 19, 2016 10:12 am

Chefs Partner With Holocaust Survivors in Unique Cookbook

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An advertisement in Hebrew for the book "Grandma Cooked Gourmet." Photo: Screenshot from kvuzat-shorashim.com.

An advertisement in Hebrew for the book “Grandma Cooked Gourmet.” Photo: Screenshot from kvuzat-shorashim.com.

JNS.org – In the culmination of a year-long project, a group of Holocaust survivors and leading Israeli chefs on Sunday unveiled a cookbook they wrote together that puts a modern twist on the survivors’ culinary memories.

During the book launch in Tel Aviv, some of the 24 chefs and the survivors handed out samples of dishes mentioned in the book. Organizers said the culinary feat represented a victory over the Nazis and the triumph of life and taste. The book is called “Grandma Cooked Gourmet,” a play on the popular Israeli nursery song “Grandma Cooked Porridge.”

The project was the brainchild of Tami Shachnaey, the CEO of Shorashim, a non-profit organization that helps the elderly, Holocaust survivors and other groups.

“We wanted to put them [the survivors] front and center, so that others look beyond their misery and see them as key members of society,” Shachnaey said.

At the book launch, the chefs and the Holocaust survivors spoke fondly of their work together and of how excited they were to see the book in its final form. The book includes personal stories of the relationships that developed during the course of the project, with accompanying photographs. Some of the dishes in the book are already on the menus of gourmet restaurants in Israel, including one gefilte fish dish.

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  • How do I get a copy of the cookbook?

  • Yaakov

    The Jewish perception of food and eating has to to with holiness and sustenance from God, not “gourmet.”

    If one wants to talk about a triumph of life, then one would want to create dishes that respect one’s own body as well as that of all of Hashem’s Creation.