They say that math is an international language since its the same no matter where you come from; but I say that food is truly the ultimate language that brings people together. And such is the story of two chefs from Jerusalem: Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli and Sami Tamimi, a Palestinian. After meeting in London in 1990 they struck up a friendship and later a partnership in their London restaurant and deli Ottolenghi. Next month their first cookbook together, Jerusalem, will be released. Food and Wine has the full story in this month’s issue which is fascinating but I especially loved this quote about the project:
Jerusalem, a cookbook that is a postcard from and a love letter to their childhood home, its history and its many-layered culinary traditions. It is as much a call to peace as it is a celebration of cuisine, arguing that food could be a way to bring a measure of understanding to a city riven by mistrust and fear. “It takes a giant leap of faith, but we are happy to take it—what have we got to lose?—to imagine that hummus will eventually bring Jerusalemites together, if nothing else will,” the duo write.
Can’t wait for the cookbook? Try their recipe for Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts. And if you’re feeling inspired by the flavors of Jerusalem and the power of pita, you can always try making your own pita and hummus at home.