Celebrating the culinary excellence of the Middle East is a theme of the 7th annual VIJFF, which is thrilled to make available, to attendees of in-person film screenings, specially curated snack boxes (nosh boxes) containing a mix of delights Jewish, Israeli, Palestinian, Syrian, Lebanese, and others.  Indeed, be it cinematic or gastronomical or both (the film Breaking Bread suggests “Hummus has no borders”), the arts can remind us of common joys and shared experiences, which the VIJFF feels is foundational to its guiding value of tikkun olam (“repair of the world”).

Enjoy the nosh! 

About the Chef

Food was central to Chef Yousef Kayal’s family life and culture as Christian Palestinians in Amman, Jordan—and to his interest in making cross-cultural connections through food. These founded Chef Yousef’s journey to becoming a professional chef—from working in restaurants as a youth, to taking on increasing responsibilities in restaurant management, to becoming a Sommelier, and to furthering his mastery of the diversity of culinary approaches upon which he now bases his pursuits as a Private Chef and Specialty Caterer. Now, based on Canada’s Vancouver Island, and with a pantry full of multi-cultural culinary knowledge, and international experience in serving it up with elegance and style, Chef Yousef advances his gastronomical passion through My International Table (Instagram #myinternationaltable).

Chef Yousef Kayal

Snack Box October 17 – Neighbours 

Sabich Sandwich (traditional Syrian/Jewish immigrant sandwich)
Pita bread stuffed with eggplant, boiled egg, pickled cabbage,Israeli salad, parsley and tahini dressing
Chocolate Babka (sweet-braided cake) originating from the Polish and Ukraine Jewish diaspora.


Snack Box October 24 – Breaking Bread

Palestinian Black Hummus and Pita Bread 
Stuffed Kibbeh 
Stuffed and fried bulgar/beef meatballs
Pistachio Baklava