A Holocaust survivors’ cookbook, an improbable project in itself, has won a prestigious prize in the Gourmand International Cookbook competition in Yantai, China.
“Grandmas Cook Gourmet” features 24 Holocaust survivors and 24 top Israeli chefs. Each pair cooks a favourite family recipe, rescuing an otherwise forgotten dish from a rich — but almost annihilated — Jewish gastronomy.
The “grandma” dishes are classic recipes from their home communities, while the Israeli chefs make updated and modern versions. The book features the sometimes emotional encounters between the survivors and the chefs, together with their personal stories.
The cookbook was jointly sponsored by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and its associate French educational foundation, Verbe et Lumière – Vigilance, and has been published in Hebrew and English.
The project was the brainchild of an Israeli charity, Shorashim, which helps both Holocaust survivors and Ethiopian immigrants. So far, 11,000 copies have been sold and all the funds go to help the two groups.
The book won third place in the category of Best Cookbook in the World. It also won Best Non-Profit Cookbook.
Accepting the prize in China, Shorashim’s Tami Shachnei won applause as she raised the Israeli flag. She said: “When people heard about the concept of the book, they shed a tear. This book has its own life”.