A taste of Israel food photography – Nida Degutiene is a remarkable woman. Myself and my wife Tash, met Nida and her husband Darius, (who happens to be the current Lithuanian ambassador to Israel) in Thailand in 2009. Yes, it was a very random meeting. Four people living in Tel Aviv, meeting up in the city of Chang Mei in Thailand. Weird.
Nida is a decorated business woman and recent MBA graduate – she is also a very keen photographer and cook and this is where this story leads to. After spending a few years on her recipe book, she asked me if I can take all the pictures of her for the book. This was a great honour to be involved with a book with such fantastic potential.
For the past 4 years, Nida has been learning about Israel and Judaism. Israeli’s love their food and when you mix Nida’s love for Photography, Israeli and Lithuanian dishes – you have a 300 page cook book called ‘A taste of Israel’. (pictures below). We spent a few days in the town of Bet Shemesh photographing Succah’s (during the Jewish holiday of Succot) and spend a night in Bnei Brak, during Hannukah, the Jewish festival of lights.
The book is currently being translated into English and with most of the Jewish ancestry having its roots in Lithuania, I am sure that this cook book will be a huge success. The book has been featured in “Style” magazine, Lithuanian television and newspapers. Nida best describes the book…’ about my falling in love with Jewish culinary heritage, customs and traditions. For the past five years while we have been living in Israel I have been enjoying hospitality and open hearts of Israelis. This book is a set of shared culinary recipes – from traditional ones to the modern, from gems of Litvak cuisine to variety of Middle Eastern flavors which became favorite among Israelis. This book is more than just recipes – there are stories told to me by jews from Israel and South Africa, my friends, their mothers and grandmothers. It is like open doors to the Jewish homes. With my impressions of how Jewish holidays are celebrated, what does it mean kosher food and wine and much more.
The book is been sold in every book store in Lithuania, as well as online
I am sure that once the book is translated into English (around September/October time) – it will be a best seller in English.