A four-chef team from Israel – including a Jew, a Muslim, a Christian and an Armenian, brought home three gold medals from the November 20 Expogast 2010 Culinary World Cup competition in Luxembourg.
“If we can collaborate in the kitchen, why can’t leaders?” asked Muslim chef Imad Shourbagi.
Armenian Sarkis Yacoubian, Jewish Charlie Fadida, Muslim Imad Shourbagi and Christian Johnny Goric were selected to represent multiple sectors of Israeli society, and to send a message of coexistence.
It took four years of preparation and the help of Antonio, a cook in a Luxemburg restaurant, to secure the gold medals, Israel’s Ynet website reports.
Upon arriving in Luxemburg, the Israeli team discovered that the kitchen it had been promised for preparations simply did not exist. “I told myself that nothing will come out of it,” Fadida said. “We wanted to pull out of the race.”
After wandering around the city searching for a solution, they found Antonio, who was kind enough to offer them the kitchen in the restaurant where he works.
Working under difficult conditions, the multicultural group nevertheless won the three gold medals and to express their thanks, they prepared an ethnic meal influenced by their various origins for the restaurant owners.