A Venezuelan-American chef wants to show the rich culinary tradition of Latino Jews

Deborah Benaim is creating a cookbook to showcase her family’s food, which has influences from Morocco, Spain, Moldova and Venezuela. (Courtesy of Benaim)

(JTA) — Food has always been a way for Deborah Benaim’s family to connect to its roots. A typical Shabbat dinner featured dishes such as traditional Ashkenazi braided challah bread, Moroccan-style whitefish with red pepper paste and a Venezuelan hearts of palm salad.

“I think it’s in my blood,” said the Caracas-born chef, whose grandparents moved to Venezuela from Morocco, Spain and Moldova.

When she was 4, her family moved to the United States, escaping political instability at home. In her new home in Dallas, Benaim found that she, too, could use food as a way to remember the past.

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