Shalom Food & Peace Project

Food brings the world together. We hold seminars combined with cooking courses in partnership with the Puglia Chef Academy and the Ostuni Supper Club. The experience of cooking together helps illuminate a part of the world different from our own.

This is a variation on an old idea that turns up a lot in feel-good documentaries and on the agendas of well-meaning foundations. If only Israeli and Palestinian children could play together in the same orchestra, all the differences would melt away.  Something similar has been organized by  the TV show “Breaking Borders,” where journalist Mariana van Zeller and the chef Michael Voltaggio team up to travel to parts of the world where intractable tensions dominate life. They bring together representatives of various sides of a festering conflict, and Mr. Voltaggio serves them a grand dinner featuring local dishes. The hope is that good food shared in a hospitable setting might help enemies find common ground. In the TV show, Ms. van Zeller is engaging and succinct as she summarizes the conflicts in the trouble spot of the week, and Mr. Voltaggio is amusing as he takes a crash course in the local cuisine and visits street markets to buy his ingredients. Their first stop is a gimme: The premiere finds them inviting a Palestinian book store owner, a two-state-solution advocate and several Israeli settlers to dinner in the West Bank.