Juxtaposed; Cooking The Books

By Jo Phillips

Our meal times mean more than just a chance for us to sit down and chomp on something nutritious to counteract that 4 pm box of Jaffa Cakes we couldn’t quite resist… They, in fact, offer us the opportunity to catch up, reminisce, listen, gossip, and quite simply enjoy time together.

When you finally get to sit down with a glass of red and some good nosh with your family or friends, you directly experience the glue which bonds us together!

Long considered a declaration of tradition, a simple dish can represent a multitude of histories, political environments, and cultures across the globe. In every country you visit, it will be hard not to find distinctive flavours, spices or a wealth of heritage defined by food.

food-kitchenspices-spoon-woodAt the junction of three continents (Asia, Europe, and Africa) you will find the Middle East, which has served as a crucial intersection for trade routes throughout history. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that this unique part of our world is where we can find some of the most prominent culinary traditions and distinctive cuisine.

Guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling, the fresh and aromatic flavours of the Middle East combined with enticing intricacies makes it easy to understand why the range of cuisine from countries such as Israel and Palestine are beloved all over the world!

So why not keep culture and tradition alive on the dinner table, and enjoy some Middle Eastern delights with these delectable culinary cookbooks…

The Palomar
In London’s bustling area of Soho, just seconds from the busyness of Leicester Square you will find The Palomar, a unique hidden gem!

Since its opening in 2014, the restaurant has been met with critical acclaim. Offering patrons an abundance of dishes influenced from modern-day Jerusalem and the rich cultures of Southern Spain, North Africa and the Levant, it is no wonder why The Palomar continues to be one of London’s highly regarded restaurants.


And now, The Palomar team invites you into their passionately creative family to share the experience of developing new taste sensations of modern-day Jerusalem! Evocative, innovative, and bursting with flavour, if you have not already been seduced by the cuisine at The Palomar, you will find it difficult to stay away after discovering their cookbook!

With an outstanding gastronomic flair, not only will you learn how to make some of the restaurant’s signature dishes, such as shakshukit and beetroot carpaccio, but you will also discover recipes drawn from family traditions, influences, encounters, places travelled to and places evoked by their flavours alone.

So why not take your taste-buds on a journey and embark on an exciting and dynamic culinary journey at home!? The Palomar Cookbook is published and available to purchase from Octopus.

Divine Food
If your kitchen is already filled with restaurant cookbooks and you fancy delving into a visually striking collection of recipes then Divine Food may be for you!

divine food

From local markets, Arab traditions, the nomadic tribes of the desert, and the hip restaurants of Tel Aviv, Divine Food embarks on a culinary pilgrimage and is not afraid to take you with it.

Characterized by authenticity and tradition, the insight which Divine Food offers is both culinary and historical. Clearly explained recipes will transport the aromas and tastes of the Middle East to your kitchen.

Divine Food is available to purchase from Gestalten.

Chef, food writer and cookery teacher, Sabrina Ghayour is one of the strongest voices in Middle Eastern food today and is best known for her simple and flavourful Middle-Eastern dishes.

With a strong emphasis on simple ingredients and intense flavours, Ghayour presents Feasts, a testament to the delicious assortment of Middle Eastern dishes.


Not only an endless source of inspiration by featuring tailored menus and dozens of recipes from breakfasts to banquets and everything in between, Ghayour also provides helpful tips and suggestions as well as the stories and inspiration behind her recipes.

Actively encouraging readers to chop and change ingredients and using whatever you have to hand, Feasts is sure to become an infinitely useful and practical resource in your home!

Feasts is available to purchase from Octopus.

Just Not Kosher
Loosely rooted in Jewish heritage, Just Not Kosher is a collection of 21 recipe cards featuring dishes from accomplished chef Steven Morris.

Aside from being influenced by Morris’s Jewish culinary heritage the recipes also find influences from Europe and the Middle East, as well as beloved heirloom recipes that have tumbled down the generations of the Morris family.

just not kosher

In a world dominated by celebrity chefs and microwave meals, Steven Morris’s recipes represent a return to home cooking as the cornerstone of family life.

Created by Steven and beautifully photographed by his son Rick Pushinsky, Just Not Kosher is a family affair which will be available to purchase here.

And just in case that was not enough reading and food why not try an Israeli Soundtrack from the very intriguing Antinote record label musician Alek Lee. His track Sfarot uses the vocals from a recording Lee did a few years back where he recorded traditional songs Israeli children used to learn at school. Alek Lee’s ‘Sfarot’ comes on that world beat style yet compares it to Klezmer music (a musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe).

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