Biblical Restaurant Builds Bridges of Peace and Dialogue

Tags: Currents Faith, Inspiration

Currents News Staff

Not far from the most sacred places in Jerusalem are exquisite dishes made with biblical ingredients. This means food cooked with artisan methods, using herbs and spices.

The owner of this biblical restaurant is Moshe Basson. He is a Jewish chef from Iraq. He specializes in ancient cuisine of the Middle East. It could be said he is an expert in archaeological gastronomy.

“I love the Bible; I love the Bible. I find connections such as the use of hyssop when Moses is commanding the Israelites. It is when they are leaving Egypt, they are told to take some hyssop with the blood of a lamb to mark their doors with three points. This is so it will be a sign for the angel not to kill these people,” said Basson.

Since 2001, Moshe Basson has been part of an initiative called “Chefs for Peace.” It is a group of around 30 Arab, Israeli, Jewish, Muslim and Christian cooks. They are all convinced that sitting at a table and sharing a good meal can build bridges of peace and dialogue.

“I started using the recipes of my mother and my grandmother, and also other mothers from this region,” said Basson.

In his restaurant, “The Eucalyptus,” people from all over the world and all religions sit together. He says that good gastronomy does not know creed, race or nationality.

“Food brings people together. When you eat, you open your mouth. When you open your mouth, you also talk. When there is a separation between people, there will be troubles and problems,” he said.