Smile Politely

Celebrity chefs bring a taste of Israel to Sinai Temple

On Thursday, Sinai Temple of Champaign-Urbana held a fundraiser that featured a five course dinner of Israeli-inspired food. Rabbi Alan Cook’s brother Steve Cook and his business partner Michael Solomonov shared recipes from Zahav, their James Beard awarded restaurant in Philadelphia, which just this last week won the title of “Outstanding Restaurant.” The dishes highlighted the simple cooking techniques and vegetable-heavy recipes Cook and Solomon encountered in Israel — something they were eager to take on the road and share with Champaign-Urbana. Guests were given a copy of the duo’s new book Israeli Soul and had the opportunity to hear the pair speak on a variety of topics. Proceeds from the event will go towards Sinai Temple’s Yesod Le’Atid “Foundation for the Future” renovation campaign, which will make their facilities more accessible for those with impairments. 

Check out the video below for some of the sights and sounds from the evening.

Read our interview with Cook and Solomonov ahead of the fundraiser here.

Photo and video by Steven Pratten

More Articles