Ofer Váradi (Vardi)
Ofer Vardi is a journalist and a foodie who can't keep his mouth shut. Based in Tel Aviv, Ofer grew up on his beloved grandmother’s Hungarian cooking. Only after she passed away did he realize that the aromas of her delicacies had disappeared with her forever. Armed with a battered notebook of recipes, and his countless memories of Grandma Nana, Ofer embarked on his journey: to try and recreate the much-loved flavors of a time gone by. A year in Budapest helped matters along, bringing him even closer to one of the world’s greatest cuisines. In 2006, “Going Paprikash,” a weekly Hebrew-language column on the secrets of the Hungarian kitchen, hit the Internet and it was an instant success, garnering demand for the bestselling book in Hebrew (by LunchBox Press) and more recently, for a special English edition for the iPhone and iPad. This book, which climbed immediately to the Israeli Top 5 list, earned Ofer the Pro Cultura Hungarica Award in 2010 from the Hungarian Government. Ofer is the owner and the Editor-in-Chief of LunchBox, a publishing house that creates cookbooks and lifestyle books that are easy to use and lovely to look at. He is responsible for some exciting new food projects in Israel that document Israel’s colorful food culture. “Hederochel” (Dining Room) is the story of the Kibbutz cuisine and “Israel to Go” is a collection of images portraying the Israeli culinary scene sprinkled with local recipes worth remembering. His columns about Israeli leaders through their palates runs on the popular Ynet news site and is a big success. Ofer believes that food reflects the culture and history of a nation, but most of all it connects them. The Jewish people are known for our culinary passion and we should preserve it for the generations to come.