Tuesday, 22. July:
News from the Holy Land – A War Time Chef’s Diary

While a new wave of violence has taken over Israel, Tomer Niv, head chef at the distinguished Restaurant Rama’s Kitchen in the Jerusalem hills, has to continue with his daily business. In his kitchen, Muslim, Christian and Jewish cooks work together, trying their best, not to let the craziness around them impact the spirit among them. Tomer keeps us updated about the situation with an on-going diary published here in the Contemporary Food Lab Journal. How to continue the everyday life hearing missiles exploding over the restaurant?

TomerCOMP

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Day 16 of the conflict

Continued attacks and escalation. Flights to Israel cancelled. Hospitals in Gaza overflowing. International calls for cease-fire.

Nassim and Shacar have changed sections and now Nassim is back on the grill and sachar is on the pass! Both of them have worked those sections before and it all goes very well. We change the sweet potato cream on the sirloin dish to a more seasonal ingredient – pumpkin. We now get it from our field, 5 different kinds of it! Super fresh.

We have a busy Friday dinner, more then 90 people, which is pretty remarkable considering the situation. As the restaurant has a panoramic view over the coast, guests see the missiles explode in mid-air. We hear it during the service.

Figs have started to arrive from the trees around the restaurant. Every tree has its own unique flavor, with time we learn which are the best trees to pick from. We make a new dish, fig carrpacio made from just the inner red matrix of it. It will go with red mullet and tomato sand.

Weekend goes very well considering… but everyone is hoping to go back to normal times already!

to Part I-V

Background: Rama’s Kitchen is known for its excellent food as well as for the breathtaking beauty of the local nature. Particular to the Restaurant is its partial self-sufficiency – head chef Tomer Niv and his crew are drawing the vegetables from several gardens planted around the Restaurant. The crew too, is particular consisting of Muslims, Christians and Jews. This is something not to be taken for granted in the Middle East.

In the last two weeks the conflict around Gaza has reached new peaks. The situation started to escalate with the murder of three Israeli adolescents in June. Israeli hardliners took revenge – that being the official version of it – and killed a Palestinian boy. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Almost unnoticed by much of the world, joyfully tied up to their TVs watching the football world cup in Brazil, a new wave of violence has taken over much of the country. Fire from both sides. Growing numbers of people are being killed and injured. A possible ground invasion by the Israeli army was 10 days under discussion until it was lounged on thursday.

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