Asparagus in an open air market in a still from the film The New Cuisine of Israel.

In the film The New Cuisine of Israel, your guide is Janna Gur, author of The Book of New Israeli Food, who understands Israel’s food scene inside and out. You’ll meet Shai Seltzer and others who have played important roles in Israel’s culinary scene. The film is about Israel’s new understanding of food—in combination with a very old understanding of food—and what that means for all of us.

Israel is creating a gastronomic synthesis of good things.

Restaurants may come and go (and they do), but there are some things that will never go out of style: eating by the beach, hungry after a swim. Cooking with fire at night under the stars. A solicitous waiter invisibly refilling your glass with the perfect Sauvignon Blanc. Rainbow-gleaming fish, just pulled from the sea, in an outdoor market. Brilliant, irascible line cooks, loudly jiggling a half-dozen sauté pans over flames. A dark-red strawberry, picked from the stem and popped into the mouth. The scent and sizzle of onions, tomatoes, and a bit of chili pepper just after they hit the hot olive oil in a pan. Oranges so full of sweetness they weigh down the branches of a tree.

Fresh herbs. Fresh olives. Fresh bread. Fresh milk. Fresh vegetables. Freshness.

Israel is taking all these timeless truths and more to create a gastronomic synthesis of good things.

Stills from the film The New Cuisine of Israel, available with the purchase of The Desert and the Cities Sing: Discovering Today’s Israel.