Four master chefs, four religious traditions: A multiethnic culinary team believes that peace begins in the stomach.

“If you eat together, from there the peace will come,” says Charlie Fadida, the Jewish executive chef at the Sheraton Tel Aviv and one of the quartet of master chefs in an Israeli initiative called Taste of Peace.

The team also includes Sarkis Yacoubian, an Armenian chef instructor from Jaffa; Arab Christian Johnny Goric, executive chef at the Intercontinental Resort in Jericho; and Muslim Arab Imad Shourbaji, Fadida’s sous chef.

Taste of Peace chefs

The four members of Taste of Peace representing Israel at the Culinary World Cup competition.

Following the international Villeroy & Boch 2010 Culinary World Cup competition in Luxembourg last November, where they garnered three gold medals and a diploma of honor, the foursome was invited to prepare a lavish meal at the home of a European ambassador – each preparing one course.

“We work together more than 10 hours a day,” says Goric. “We see each other more than our families.” As they blend flavors and ingredients, they also blend their own cultures and heritages in the hope for peace.