Born and raised in Israel and currently a resident of Arizona, after becoming a US citizen in 1995, Chef Zipora Einav has enjoyed a distinguished career as a private chef to dozens of clients, including some of Hollywood’s most notable celebrities, studio executives and elite athletes—Mariah Carey, Pierce Brosnan, Bob and Dolores Hope, Aaron Spelling, Donovan McNabb and many others.
Chef Zipora’s first book, Recipe for A Delicious Life, shares stories her time traveling the world as a private chef, favorite recipes of her celebrity clients and a unique perspective on how music impacts the mood of a chef during food preparation. To accompany her book, Einav produced a classical music CD with techno beats, Music for a Delicious Life.
JFE®: How were you able to pair music to your recipes to create an interactive experience?
ZE: Recipe for a Delicious Life is the first publication that lets the reader launch musical and other social media experiences through a mobile app on their phone. They can listen to music, watch videos, take selfies and enjoy other interactive experiences throughout the book while they are reading. One of the main topics I wanted to share with readers in my book is the important relationship between music and food, how listening to music can impact the mood of a chef during food preparation.
My own experience with music began when I was just five or six years old. I could spend hours in my room listening to baroque/classical music; Bach, Handel and Vivaldi are three of my favorites. I came to realize how much music influenced my mood in a very positive way. Some people love going to church and listening to the organ music. They may not realize the impact the music has on helping to actually “lift their spirits!”
As a chef, I am very aware that listening to my favorite music brings me to my highest vibration, to my most joyful mood and enhances the quality and taste of the food I prepare in the kitchen. When people eat my food and tell me it tastes extra sweet or better than usual, it is the special and amazing “hidden” ingredient that adds an “extra spice” that comes from the music.
In my book, I’m most proud of sharing with readers my incredible experience with pairing music with food preparation. To accompany my book, I produced an original CD of classical music scores with modern techno beats added, called Music for a Delicious Life, with movie and television composer Neil Argo. This CD sets the perfect upbeat atmosphere for home cooks and professional chefs to enhance their mood and amplify the intensity of their culinary skills in the kitchen.
JFE®: What is a dish that takes you back to Israel, where you were born and raised, whenever you make it?
ZE: One of my favorite food creations that my clients enjoy and that I enjoy myself is the Mediterranean Lunch Salad. This dish encompasses many of the flavors I remember growing up with in Israel. I also remember experimenting with many of these ingredients when I began making meals for my family members starting when I was ten years old.
JFE®: What inspired you to become a chef?
ZE: As a young child, I was not particularly fond of my parents’ Eastern European style cooking. The dishes served were often heavy and too sweet for me. I didn’t eat very much and was quite thin as a young girl.
However, I was very fortunate to have grown up on a simple farm in Israel where I had access to fruit trees and fresh vegetables right outside our door. We also had fresh eggs from the chickens. When I was about eight years old, I started experimenting with food that I liked to eat. I would spend a lot of time making colorful salads with all the fresh produce available, and then I started preparing dishes for family members as well. They told me how much they enjoyed my food creations, which was very rewarding.
I also began listening to classical music when I was young, which always made me happy. As time went on and I needed to work to support myself, I started bringing these parts of my childhood together—wanting to make people happy by preparing food for them and realizing more how music effected my emotions, especially while I was cooking. It is amazing when I think back that I never dreamed I would become a private chef to singers/songwriters like Mariah Carey, traveling the world with her on the Rainbow Tour.
JFE®: How do you incorporate Judaism into your recipes?
ZE: Many Jewish families in the US are familiar with the traditional Eastern Europe dishes of brisket, matzah ball soup, gefilte fish and chopped liver. I do prepare many of these dishes when my clients request them for Shabbat dinners and the Jewish holidays. However, most of my recipes have Mediterranean-inspired flavors that are becoming more popular in modern Jewish households with clients who prefer using seasonal ingredients with lively flavors. My Moroccan Chicken is a great dish with bold flavor that can be served in place of the traditional Jewish menu.
JFE®: In what ways have you empowered individuals and families to eat well?
ZE: Through the stories, recipes and messages in my new book, Recipe for a Delicious Life, I have an opportunity to share many healthy eating tips and the pitfalls to avoid that I’ve learned along the way as a private chef working with individuals and families.
I try to empower people by being a good example in my own life and demonstrating healthy eating and positive lifestyle habits. I prepare healthy meals for myself, and I take time each day to meditate and listen to my favorite classical music. I encourage others to find what works for them to find balance and joy in their lives each day to stay focused on their personal and professional goals.
Top photo by Merav Levkowitz