By Daniel Santacruz
Photos courtesy"Savor: A Sephardic Music and Food Experience"
Sarah Aroeste, a Ladino singer, songwriter, and author based in New York, and Susan Barocas, founding director of the Jewish Food Experience, writer and chef based in Washington, D.C., have launched a new project that combines Ladino music and traditional Sefardic food.
Called “Savor A Sephardic Music and Food Experience,” the project matches a Ladino song with a recipe created by a female chef “that helps to preserve and promote Sephardic food through her work,” according to a press release.
The recipes will be demonstrated in ten videos that show each of the ten participating chefs preparing the dish based on the song and discussing the ingredients, connections to Sefardic cuisine and history as well as their personal connections to the food.
“Savor is the result of diligent research and that led to the selection of ten songs in the Ladino language that focus on food,” says the release. "Rather than being about food in general, these songs are singular in that each one revolves around a very specific food beloved among Sefardim."
One of the songs chosen is about stuffed grape leaves, “Una muchacha en Selanika” (A Girl in Salonica), that tells the story of a young Jewish girl that is slapped by her mother for being unable to cook them.
Another is “Siete modos de guisados se guisa la berenjena” (Seven Different Ways to Cook Eggplant), which describes the cooking style of several people, among them a neighbor, the sexton’s wife and an uncle of the composer.
Some of the participating chefs are Istanbul-born and Paris-based Sibel Pinto, author of Kashkarikas Wasteless Kitchen; Israeli-born and New York-based Einat Admony, author with Janna Gur of Shuk: From Market to Table, the Heart of Israeli Home Cooking.; and New York-based Jennnifer Abadi, a cooking instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education and author a cookbook-memoir, A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes from Grandma Fritzie’s Kitchen and Too Good To Passover: Sephardic & Judeo-Arabic Seder Menus and Memories from Africa, Asia and Europe.
So far, the producers of "Savor" have raised about $20,000 to finance video production, film editing and art design. Their goal is to raise $48,000.
The "Savor" tracks will be recorded and produced alongside the chefs’ matching videos.
Nine categories, with catchy names such as Lick the Spoon, Rock Star Celebrity Chef and Vocal Warm Up and have been created for donors.
Other categories are Rhythm Section, Recipe Developer, Recording Artist, Sous Chef and Music Producer. Donations are tax deductible.
Depending on the amount donated, which ranges from $25 to $5,000 and more, the donors will receive from the producers as a token of appreciation a digital download of the completed project, which includes music, videos and recipes; the "Savor" digital download; credit in the promotional materials and one-hour private Zoom cooking class with one of the chefs, among others.
For information on how to donate, visit https:// fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/savor/general_support.