Gastronomica, the sometimes intoxicatingly academic journal of food and culture, has knocked yet another Q&A right out of the park. In this quarter’s edition (not online, sadly), the magazine chatted with Erez Komarovsky of Erez Breads in Israel. In 12 short years, Komarovsky’s seasonally inspired culinary endeavors have transformed the way Israelis eat, with his creatings being served up at more than 30 shops and a restaurant in Herzliya.

Like most good Q&As, the chat with Komarovsky veers from its original subject into a world of interesting tangents: The baker-chef chats about his time spent training in Japan and France, the professional work ethic of American chefs, his cross-cultural collaboration with an Arab restaurant, and the terroir of Galilee.

Asked about the inspiration that is feeding the baker within him, he replies: “I built a tabun [clay oven] here and collect oak branches from the hills to feed it. It makes a smoky bread—different from what comes out of the stone ovens. When I have a lot of chard or squash in the garden, it makes its way into the bread—naturally, without my even thinking about it.”

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