Yizhar Sahar from Rutenberg, Israel takes on the TL&CC Q&A

30 May 2019
Yizhar Sahar, Rutenberg (Old Gesher, Israel)

Taking on our lighthearted TL&CC Q&A this week is Yizhar Sahar, chef and owner of Rutenberg in Old Gesher, Israel.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Every moment so far.

What is the purest thing you have ever tasted? Smoked eel broth at momofuko-ko.

What was your first experience with sustainable eating? Ants.

What do you love most about what you do? Complete control of the products. From a seed to a dish.

What do you consider the most overrated ingredient? Truffles. No doubt.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever been taught? How to learn on my own. How to find inspiration.

Is there anything you don’t particularly care to eat? Anything deep-fried, really.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A dog! Male! In a Kibbutz! Plenty of running grounds. Food and water always available. Zero threats.

When was the last time you ate out, and where? Mekong. Tel-aviv. Two weeks ago. Awesome.

Are there any mentors or food heroes you would like to thank? All my chefs and bosses. Learned so much from you.

What are your favourite books or cookbooks? Catch 22. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Artist and Margarita.

What is the dish on your own menu that most engages you? Clay pot overnight casseroles.

What do you make from scratch? Everything. Except the cheese.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you are doing? Either a farmer or a musician.

How do you like to spend your day off? I own the business. There are no days off...

What does success mean to you? Dying at eighty with zero regrets.

What is your current obsession, the thing you think about at 3am? Fermentation mostly.

What are the qualities you most admire in others? Not being a dick. That's a good start.

Can you tell us something we don’t know about you? I was national champion in floor gymnastics when I was twelve. I can still do the splits!

Which three words best describe your cooking style? Creative. Light. Clean.

If you could eat only one thing today, what would it be? Hummus.

What do you see when you think of the cuisine of your own country? All is possible. No boundaries.

Which producer or supplier really brightens your day? Gaby Sadan. Shvo winery.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Go and get it done yourself.

Which talent would you most like to have? Thought about it. Don't know.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would gain a few pounds.

What do you think the food of the future will look like? Closer to the 19th century. In the locality sense.

Do you have a motto or mantra? Get up an hour earlier.

What is your number one sustainability tip or trick? Nose to tail. As a way of life.


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