David Israelow began his professional life working in finance in New York City. Living in NYC he was exposed to a tremendous variety of incredible food and slowly became drawn into the culinary world. He enrolled at the International Culinary Center, spending his days in a suit in midtown and his evenings downtown in chef whites. Things came to a precipice and he decided to leave finance to pursue cuisine full-time, “If not now, when?”
Since then, David has feverishly worked to cultivate the skills he thinks are necessary to execute his vision. He has spent time working in kitchens, on farms, with butchers, bakers and fishermen. He has spent time with hunters and foragers. His endeavor is to uncover the unknown and deepen his connection to the food he cooks and eats. To deepen his understanding so he can offer that perspective to others.
After graduating from culinary school, David spent time interning in kitchens, traveling in Asia and working in fine dining. His deep interest in Japanese cuisine inspired him to travel to Japan and explore the culture and cuisine, even with no contacts, language skills or plans. Two years later, he won the Washoku World Challenge in Tokyo and was invited into many of the country’s top kaiseki restaurants to continue his training. David has spent time as a farm apprentice in the Hudson Valley. He has hosted popup dinners throughout his travels and has presented his food in Mumbai, Tokyo, Tokushima, Los Angeles and New York City.
His deep dive into food brought up many questions that he has explored in his training.
“What does it mean to cook at the highest level?”
“Where does it come from and how does it happen?”
“How can I offer more than what is on the plate?”
With the realization that he had cultivated the necessary skills to move forward with his project, David hired a film-maker to document the process of an upcoming pop-up dinner. To prepare for the meal, he went fishing, farming and foraging to gather the ingredients and define the menu. Editing was done on the fly and a series of short films were screened during the meal. The intention was to enhance the experience and understanding of the process for the guests. It was during this meal that, Anatomy of a Meal was born and his vision came to life.