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Home >> Israeli Culture and Social Issues >> Gil Hovav

Gil Hovav

Gil Hovav, born in 1962, is a leading culinary journalists and television personality who comes from one of the most respected families in the Jewish world: he is the great-grandson of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew language; the grandson of  Itamar Ben-Avi who began modern Hebrew journalism; and the son of Moshe & Drora Hovav, "founding members" of Israel's modern day public radio.

Mr. Hovav himself, with his illustrious career in journalism, in television and as an author, has played a major role in changing Israeli cuisine from one of basic traditional foods to one of enviable gourmet dining. He began his career as a restaurant critic, moved on to become a newspaper editor , and was involved in creating, producing and presenting some of Israel's most viewed and loved television food shows. These include the classic "Pepper, Garlic and Olive Oil", "Captain Cook" (which reviewed the world's best restaurants), and "Going to the Market". These series later turned into best-selling cookbooks.

As an author, Mr/ Hovav has published three best-selling novels all related to his family's colorful history, exposing with humor and emotion the Jerusalem of his childhood that no longer exists. He has lectured around the world about  Wartime Cooking in Jerusalem, My Great (and short) Grandfather Eliezer Ben Yehuda and Being Gay in Israel Today and has led cooking demonstrations and seminars focusing on Israeli cuisine, combined with his unique personal stories

Nowadays, Mr/ Hovav is busy with his publishing and production company - Toad Communications. For the past 21 years he has lived with his partner whom he met during their army service, and together they raise their six year old daughter, Naomi.


Lecture Topics:

 How do you get a five year old in 1960 Jerusalem to eat his vegetables?

 Why did my mother not eat anything when the 1948 siege was finally lifted from Jerusalem?

 What did my great-grandfather do on his death-bed, that shocked the British Consul?

 The revival of the Hebrew language, the revival of Israeli cuisine, my alternative (well, very alternative) family, the many differences between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and most importantly - love.

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Images by: Fritz Cohen, Moshe Milner, Nati Harnik, Chanania Herman