Was Japanese PM offended by the dessert he was served in Israel?

Israeli media reports Japanese PM was offended after being served dessert in a shoe while dining with Netanyahu. Japanese Embassy denies.

Ido Ben Porat,

Netanyahu and Japanese PM have dinner
Netanyahu and Japanese PM have dinner
Kobi Gideon/GPO

The Japanese Embassy in Israel denied on Monday a report in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper claiming that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife were offended by the dessert they were served during a dinner at the home of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week.

Famed Israeli chef Moshe Segev, who was in charge of the meal, served the dessert in a shoe. Japanese etiquette stipulates that shoes should be kept outside of one’s home and office.

Contrary to the claims in Yediot Aharonot, however, the Japanese Embassy in Israel said the Japanese Prime Minister was not offended by the presentation of the dessert and added that Abe and his wife enjoyed the gourmet meal they had with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife.

The Israeli article on the incident was recirculated by many media outlets around the world which were quick to declare that the Japanese Prime Minister was insulted during his visit to Israel, even though that was not the case.

A statement released Monday on behalf of chef Moshe Segev said that he is "a very creative chef who is considered to be a leading artist in his field and who has been producing extraordinary culinary experiences for more than a decade. At the conclusion of a meal prepared by Chef Moshe Segev for the Japanese Prime Minister and his wife and the Israeli Prime Minister and his wife, a unique dessert was served in the culinary-artistic language that is identified with the chef in Israel and abroad.”

"The dessert included pralines made of gold and white chocolate, and as a gesture to the Prime Minister of Japan, seaweeds were also incorporated. The dessert was presented in a sculpture by international artist Tom Dixon, which is exhibited in the most important museums in the world and which was shown in Israel for the first time during the meal. It's a quality art piece made of metal in the form of a shoe, and it's not a real shoe, of course. The two prime ministers and their wives were very enthusiastic about the entire meal and the dessert in particular, applauded and cheered the chef. The Japanese Prime Minister even went so far as to invite the chef to cook in Japan."




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