Over fifty restaurants located in Buenos Aires and in other cities in Argentina took part in the fifth edition of the Israeli Food Festival last summer. The initiative focused on the theme “Tasting innovation” and was organized by the Embassy of Israel in the country with the cooperation of several Argentinian leading culinary institutions.
Most of the restaurants do not regularly offer Israeli or Jewish dishes but for the 11 days of the festival they presented a special menu developed after receiving training by Israeli chef Lucas Zitrinovich, who conceived four special dishes for the occasion.
“Israeli cuisine is booming,” Amital Perry, Public Diplomacy Attaché of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina, told Forbes Argentina. “Many restaurants and chefs are being recognized in different countries for their innovation applied to classic recipes, through new techniques and technological devices applied to the food industry, while maintaining the healthy essence and accessibility typical of Israeli food.”
“Israeli gastronomy is a true reflection of who we are,” she added. “Our culinary identity is based on diversity, which makes it very special, and it pushes us so that more Argentinians can get to know it.”
Several restaurants also offered cooking classes, while some culinary workshops were organized at major food markets in Buenos Aires with the participation of several local influencers.
In addition, the festival included a hummus competition run by Israeli Consul Yehuda Golan and a photography exhibition on Israel by Argentinian photographer Jonas Papier, director of the leading photography school Motivarte.
An award-winning institution with over 2,000 students, Motivarte has a cooperation agreement with the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem and Papier has traveled to Israel several times to teach.
The exhibition was set up at the Mercado de Belgrano, Buenos Aires’ leading food market.
During the festival, the embassy also organized some virtual events. Chef Zitrinovich offered two live events on Instagram broadcasting from the iconic market Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem. Jonathan Yelin, culture officer at the embassy, hosted another virtual event discussing the differences between Israeli and Argentinian wines with a wine exporter. The Jewish-Argentinian singer SIMJA DUJOV accompanied the activity with songs by the Israeli musician Aviv Gefen.
The festival was also broadly covered by Argentinian media.