For many of us, nothing makes us feel more Jewish than some chopped liver or gefilte fish? Yet, Jamie Oliver would not approve of the shtetl’s diet. Jayne Cohen confronted this dilemma and came up with interesting suggestions about how to adapt traditional recipes to suit modern notions of healthy eating, without betraying our forefathers – or mothers. In her memoir, The Settler’s Cookbook (Tales of Love, Migration and Food) Yasmin Alibhai Brown explores her East African Indian roots through the shared experience of cooking. Jayne Cohen, Yasmin Alibhai Brown and Michele Roberts held a delicious and mouth-watering discussion on food and identity. Maria Balinska has written a history of the bagel investigating its disputed Jewish and Polish origins.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a journalist and a regular columnist on The Independent and the Evening Standard. She came to the UK from Uganda in 1972. She is the author of No Place Like Home, Who Do We Think We Are? After Multiculturalism and Mixed Feelings. She has received many prizes and awards and chaired the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize in 2007.
A bagel maven from New Jersey and the author of The Bagel: A Cultural History: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread, Maria Balinska is also a journalist and radio documentary maker. She is the Editor of World Current Affairs Radio (the department which produces Crossing Continents, From Our Own Correspondent, A Point of View, Profile and the Reith Lectures among other programmes)at the BBC in London.
Jayne Cohen is the author of a previous book on Jewish cooking and celebrations, The Gefilte Variations and co-author of The Ultimate Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebration Book. She writes frequently about food for publications such as Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and Jewish Women International.
Michèle Roberts is the author of twelve highly acclaimed novels, including The Looking Glass andDaughters of the House which won the WHSmith Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize (1992). She has also published short stories, most recently collected in Playing Sardines, and poetry. Half-English and Half-French, Michèle Roberts lives in London and in the Mayenne, France. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.
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