“Real food needs nature, art, literature, and poetry,” writes farmer and foodie Hedai Offaim. “If cooks don’t possess these things in their hearts, the flavors of their food, no matter how magnificent, risk being forgotten.”
Arava, as much a geography book as it is a cookbook, drives this message home. In it, Offaim creates meals that bring together the spiritual, physical, natural, and human landscape of the Arava desert, which has had a magical hold on the writer his entire life. Offaim’s meals don’t begin in the kitchen and end on the plate; rather, they are a collection of everything that has caught his eye and touched his heart, a small offering to those who love the desert.
This book is a collaboration between Offaim and the photographer Alex Levac, winner of the Israel Prize, who loved the Arava so much that he chose to live there, and whose lens manages to capture images that could never have been written in words or cooked in a pot. And the journey would not be complete without the work of photographer Dan Perez and stylist Nurit Kariv, who set out for the Arava one morning—with his tripod and her bowls—and turned the local light and ingredients into meal after meal.
Saloona: One of those books that you should display proudly and conspicuously on the table. / Olam Katan:The choice to see a meal as an event that connects heaven and earth is wonderful and creates an atmosphere of holiness throughout the book. / Yedioth Ahronoth: Together with LunchBox’s impeccable production, this is a gift for any day of the year. / At Magazine: A different kind of cookbook that works in the kitchen, in the living room or on your bedside table.