I live now in philly usa, but i moved just a couple of month ago from israel. Now i thing that being a cook now in israel is fascinating. Israel is just at the point of recognising what is israely cuisine. What makes it into israely. It's very much the same place the usa was 15-20 years ago. The good thing is that israel is a very intense melting pot. Much more than anywhere alse in the world. We have more than hundred differnet ethnic groups in israel in a space smaller than most of the states in the us and with less people than NYC! And all of this combined with the locale cuisine and produce. To me the cuisine of a place starts with the land. What comes out of it. That's why a learn and am learning about wild plants and other local food-products. It always seem strange to me to use third grade expensive imported goods istead of first grade domestic produce. By looking for a food that is israely and also jewish I'm also looking for what is to BE israely and a jew in israel. I'm looking in a way to create food that would be an extension of the anciant jewish culture who lived in israel two millenia ago. Ironicly i do it by learing the culture and cuisine of the local arabs - palastinians -and neighboring arabs - jordanian, egyptians, syrians etc. They lived on this land and their cuisine comes from the local land. Cuisine tradionaly is an answar to an equation. What's there to eat and how can you conserve it. You bake pitas to make wheat edible and you cover labane with olive oil to conserve it. Palstinian cuisine is an answar to this land. It doesn't mean ignoring world trends and international techniques. But growing in the meadst of a sea of olive trees with the sweet smell of figs all summer and the sight of caper flower all around, how can i ignore these? If i lived in a city getting my food in shops it wouldn't differ to me - wasabi and soy sauce and olive oil. So in the end what i cook is a kind of fusion. Fusion sometimes drift and doesn't work, but I think this is the good fusion. It's just that there's no culinary tradiojn in israel. It's only 50 years old. So no cuisine is right to me. I was exposed to so many differnt foods as a child, that they combine instinctivly in my mind. I knew a chef once who claimed that he cookes childhood memories. So what does it means for you to cook in your cultural context?