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Itay Bar, a young Israeli chef, with a restaurant in a small town not too far – 50 minutes only, he tells us – from Tel Aviv. We meet during Dan Lev’s Colorfood tournéé in Italy. Colorfood is a project designed by Dan Lev – world known food professional photographer – for the Israeli pavillion at Expo 2015 in Milan. Dan wanted to take photographs of some of the best Italian chefs, of theri creations, and that’s why he set up sewveral shootings all over Lombardy. Itay Bar joined the party while on the verge of opening a new restaurant, a major change in his professional life. We’re curious to know about Israeli cuisine, and the world of cooking – and chefs – over there.
“I cook contemporary Israeli food, nothing specifically Israeli”, first thong Itay tells us.
The question comes natural, what’s the difference between traditional and contemporary Israeli food
“There is not really a traditional Israeli food. People come from a lot of different places, each with their own food culture, so there is nothing you can actually call Israeli. It’s more like a mix of different cultures and cookings. It’s not like in Italy or in France, places where you can definitely see a common tradition in food. I think we could say food in Israel follows a Mediterranean style, with lots of vegetables and seafoods”.
Do you follow kosher guidelines in your cooking?
“Not really. I am not really into it. I like too much seafood, for instance, and other stuff I could not cook if I were to follow kosher guidelines”.
What is your background in cooking?
“I had my training in French and Italian restaurants…”
Italian restaurants in Italy?
“No no, unfortunately not. In Tel Aviv. There are several of them, and I must say they are pretty good. You can have really good Italian food in Israel, pasta and pizza, but not only. There is quite a good pizza in Israel, maybe not the same as in Italy but pretty good as well”.
If I come to your restaurant, what should I order?
“I am in a sort of transitional period, working on my style, getting ispiration for the kitchen in my next restaurant. That’s why I am travelling with Dan, a good friend of mine: this Colorfood tour is a great chance for me to meet other chefs, exchange ideas and opinions, get inspirations for my next experience”.
Are you coming to Italy for Expo 2015?
“Maybe I will. It depends on several factors. Family is one, for instance. I cannot leave my wife and my young child alone for too long a time, i would miss them too much”.