JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Food trucks seem to be ubiquitous these days — but not in Jerusalem. Until last week, a food truck had never rolled into the Holy City or into any city in Israel. But on July 17 a truck with a giant steaming pot sculpture on top and a chalkboard menu on its side, pulled opened its doors to feed hundreds of Jerusalemites.
Part public art and part performance the “AutoOchel” (food vehicle), which is captained by local celebrity chef Assaf Granit, is about much more than just food. For 25 days this summer (July 17-August 12), the truck will stop in a different neighborhood and serve a different dish each day. The locations and dishes are closely matched, and reflect the personal connections that 25 well-known local personalities have to the city. Each day, one of these participating celebrities will ride along with Granit and help him prepare and serve their special dish to the public.
The “AutoOchel” was conceived as a major event in the third annual Jerusalem Season of Culture, a summer showcase of Jerusalem’s flourishing arts scene and contemporary cultural treasures. Granit cooked up the idea with JSOC artistic director Itay Mautner. The two worked together closely on every aspect of this carefully choreographed “FoodTrip,” (as JSOC has translated “AutoOchel.”)
While visiting Israel, I couldn’t wait to see the truck in action. I made sure to be on hand on Sunday at 5pm as it pulled in to a parking lot on Haneviim Street in central Jerusalem, opposite Ethiopia Street. The special guest helping Granit serve customers through the truck’s window that day was Dana Weiss, a Channel 2 news presenter who grew up on Ethiopia Street. She asked Granit to prepare Gado-Gado, an Indonesian noodle, chicken and vegetable dish with a peanut sauce that her Dutch grandmother learned to cook while living in Indonesia.
Find the entire article by Renee Ghert-Zand at The Jew and the Carrot <here>