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Politics by Yummier Means

Two chefs win over hearts, minds, and stomachs in Jerusalem.

Although Assaf Granit and Kamel Hashlamon grew up only a few neighborhoods away from each other in Jerusalem, as children a lot more than geography kept them apart. Granit, an Israeli chef who runs five restaurants in Israel and the United Kingdom, spent his youth on the Jewish, western side of the city, whereas the half-Palestinian, half-Lebanese Hashlamon, the driving force behind East Jerusalem’s acclaimed Turquoise restaurant, hails from the Arab side. The two didn’t meet until last summer, when Hashlamon made a guest appearance on Granit’s roving food truck, FoodTrip, which toured throughout Jerusalem’s neighborhoods—on both sides of the city—for three weeks, with different affordable menus, themes, and guest cooks each day. After Granit tasted Hashlamon’s Chicken Freekeh, a spice-braised chicken served over a mixture of smoked green wheat, he was hooked. The two chefs decided then that they would have to team up again.

Granit (right) and Hashlamon (left) cook together. Photo by Dan Perez

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