Sabich, pierogi, falafel, halva, hummus, bourekas, rugelach … you name it, Thomas wants it. The seven-year-old golden retriever is winning fans across the world with adorable selfies of him posing alongside different foods in Israel.

Although he isn’t handing out paw-tographs just yet, Thomas is becoming a bona fide celebrity in Israel, says owner Yael Kraus, a 24-year-old psychology and business administration student.

“People recognize him and it’s really funny because he’s a dog. We hear people calling ‘Thomas, Thomas,’ on the street,” says Kraus, who lives in Tel Aviv.

Kraus and her 23-year-old sister first uploaded a few photos of Thomas – who is funnily enough named for Thomas O’Malley, the male feline protagonist in Disney’s The Aristocats – to an Instagram account in March. Friends loved the images of their “hottie” pooch with golden fur and pink tongue hanging out alongside scrumptious-looking food.

The initial photos were shared by friends and soon after came Facebook and SnapChat accounts.

“We started this project for fun and then we noticed it has an impact on the way people from all over the world see Israel,” says Kraus, noting Thomas has fans in “unexpected” places including Pakistan and Azerbaijan. “So, we started taking it a little more seriously. We try to go to places with different kinds of food and to different places we want to highlight. Yesterday we went to a Russian restaurant, we’ve been to the markets, we go up to Nahariya and down to Beersheva.”

Kraus says she funds the foodie adventures out of her own pocket. Her siblings (she’s one of four kids) and their parents help choose where to go and what items of food to include in their repertoire.

The thrice-weekly shoots can take anywhere from a few minutes to hours to get just right.

Through Thomas, Kraus – who is not related to the Israeli singer-songwriter by the same name — is introducing many of her dog’s followers to Israel’s varying cuisine that takes a little bit of that heritage and a little bit of this tradition and mixes it together in a new Israeli blend.

“On the one hand, I’m surprised by Thomas’s reach. On the other hand, dogs are popular on the Internet and so is food. When you combine these two you get a lot of followers from around the world,” she says.

Thomas doesn’t usually eat the delicious dishes but rather sticks to his dog food diet. Every now and then, he does sneak a lick of a popsicle or a bite of watermelon. Otherwise, he’s just there to pose and model the dish of the day.

Kraus says Thomas’s celebrity status has started to get them invites to specific places to photograph, but that she and her family hold discussions first on whether it fits the mission.

The mission: “We want people to see the nice sides of Israel.”

While there are many organizations already showing the world that Israel is much more than CNN or BBC headlines, for Kraus, showing Israel’s foodie culture and the people who live here has become an essential responsibility.

“People comment about Israel and how beautiful it looks here from Thomas’s pictures,” she says. “You see a dog, but you see people taking care of a dog, and you can see great people, great food and sometimes you catch a little view in the photos. People write us messages that they want to come visit.”

Thomas wants a CAULIFLOWER by @eyaltomato at @miznontlv

A photo posted by Thomas Wants Food (@thomas_wantsfood) on