“I wanted to go to Paris,” says Roger Sherman. “I didn’t really think about Israel as a destination. But my friend Joan Nathan, who writes Jewish American cookbooks, called and said ‘I’m leading a food press tour and somebody cancelled, you should come.’”
The documentarian — the same filmmaker who profiled Danny Meyer in The Restaurateur
— went to Israel for the first time four years ago.
“I was knocked out by what I saw, what I ate, and how gorgeous the country is. Israel has a food scene that I had no clue about, a restaurant scene that rivals New York or San Francisco; it has mountains and desert, and a beach that runs the length of the country.
“Israelis don’t know from locavore; that’s a foreign word. What they know is that everything is two hours away. They have every vegetable, because every 20 kilometers is a different microclimate. Everything was caught yesterday.
“When I came back, people laughed when I said Israeli cuisine was this big thing — 350 international wines, cheeses you thought you could only get in Italy or France. I thought, ‘This would be a great film.’”
What came out of the trip, eventually, was Sherman’s documentary, The Search for Israeli Cuisine
. The film is in the final stretch of its Kickstarter campaign, which is raising funds for editing in anticipation of its premiere on PBS.