Ronni Kahn

Gourmet Traveller|July 2020

Ronni Kahn
The social entrepreneur and founder of food rescue charity OzHarvest on Israeli cuisine and minimising food waste.
KARLIE VERKERK

You were born in South Africa but lived in Israel for 20 years. What are your fondest food memories from your time there?

Israeli food was so different to what I’d been brought up on. There was a big focus on salty flavours and fresh produce. Their street food is so healthy and delicious, and rich with spices like za’atar. We’d eat a lot of salads, yoghurt, labneh and goats’ cheese for breakfast, as well as hummus, tahini and falafel, all of which are still staples in my diet.

How has your religion influenced the way you’ve eaten over the years?

Growing up in an ethnic family, food was always central. In the Jewish religion, on Friday nights you bring in the Sabbath – for us it wasn’t so much a religious occasion but more a ritualistic one. My whole upbringing, Friday nights were spent sitting around a table, eating beautiful food and just sharing stories with at least 15 other people. My mother was a marvellous cook, but I can remember her being stressed about what she was going to cook every week.

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July 2020