The excitement of an artichoke
As a small child, I remember my uncle waiting for the seasonal fruits and vegetables to reach the market.
But when the first produce finally arrived, he never gave in to temptation to buy too early in the season.
He would wait patiently until the produce was at its peak, perfectly ripe, and only then would he buy.
A renowned restaurateur, the market vendors knew him well, admiring his knowledge and understanding,
and would save him the pick of the crop. When the anticipated produce arrived at the market stalls a
round of phone calls began, alerting the members of the family. This was always followed by flurry of
excitement over the arrival of the artichoke, or this season's truffles reaching the market.
A story about Ginger – Before anyone in Israel knew it was anything
other than the name of a tawny-colored cat
I was introduced to the Asian kitchen many years ago when cooking for the American Consul who spent some time in the Far East.
He would bring back with him herbs unknown to anyone in Israel, such as ginger, lemon grass, shallot.
I planted them all in the consulate garden which served as my Asiatic spice rack.
What Vern Christopher, then US Foreign Secretary, said about
Chef Merav Speilman's cooking
It was during the time when peace talks first began. Everything was top secret.
They were cooking up a peace plan, while I was cooking up their dinner.
Every now and again someone would leave the room to take in a deep breath of air, to regain their calm.
During one such time-out, the Foreign Secretary was overheard to say that my cooking succeeded in eliciting
agreement a lot quicker than his politics. So one could say I serve agreeable food.
About Shimon Peres – Food fit for kings and politics
I was requested to prepare a festive menu in honor of visiting royalty from the UK. The feast was most successful
and at the meal's end I was invited to the dining accompanied by appreciative applause. Shimon Peres thanked me
for bringing Britain and Israel closer together. I wondered if my food could now be called culturally binding..