Is Saffron Serving up a Side of Propaganda? [UPDATE, 8/8/12]

UPDATE: 8/8/2012, 9:38PM:

So it looks like Chef Wadi has caused quite a commotion with his map omitting Israel.
Here’s the play-by-play so far:
Chef Wadi of Saffron posts a map on his Facebook account that omits the country of Israel. After receiving many likes from his minions, Wadi comments that the map “is the way it should be.”
Uber-Chef, Minneapolis resident, and Big Jew Andrew Zimmern calls out Wadi on Twitter and asks for an explanation. picks up the story and receives dozens of comments – many from Pro-Palestinian/Anti-Israeli anonymous trolls.
Chef Stewart Woodman of Heidi’s and Birdhouse calls out Wadi on his blog and starts a comment thread discussion with him.
Jon Tevlin writes about the hoopla in the Star Tribune and mentions the article in TCJewfolk – increasing our traffic to Long Island Expressway standards.
Woodman and Wadi agree through blog comments to sit down over delicious things on September 24th to discuss the controversy.
I start my campaign to be invited to the aforementioned dinner.
Aly Raisman wins another gold medal for tumbling to Havah Negilah. She proceeds to give Jacques Rogge and the corrupt International Olympic Committee a big Jewish middle finger. American Jews rejoice and the leaflet of Famous Jewish Sports Legends increases by one.


UPDATE, 8/3/2012, 1:30pm:

According to City Pages, Chef Wadi claims the map was something he posted on his personal Facebook page, which had nothing to do with his restaurant, Saffron, the Twitter handle he used to respond.
He further explained, “Of course I don’t deny the existence of israel, i’m merely showing the existence of palestine on the world map.”
This begs the question: he is the owner and chef of the restaurant, so how do we separate his personal opinions from his business?



Only a few weeks ago, I went to Saffron Restaurant in Minneapolis with my wife and a few friends. It has been extremely well reviewed and I’ve only heard great things from people I know.
Beforehand, I looked at the menu and noticed that the heavy Palestinian influence. So right on the street, outside of Saffron, I pulled up this clip from the Palestinian Chicken episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm:


Funny, right?
Well, the meal was pretty damn good. And I really liked the place.
But yesterday, our own Andrew Zimmern posted something on Twitter that is truly disturbing. He actually re-tweeted something from Saffron’s Chef Wadi. It was a map of the Middle East with an obvious omission.

Click this link to see the image larger -

 Andrew Zimmern ‏@andrewzimmern tweets: Sameh Wadi … Your joking right? Are you saying Israel doesn’t exist? Or shouldn’t?
And then AZ followed that up with this@saffronmpls Care to explain your comment at top? Do you deny existence of Israel? Or just want it to go a

The clip above is a little less funny to me now. I surely gave Wadi the benefit of the doubt that he could just own and run a great restaurant without throwing politics into the tagine.
No response from Wadi yet, but he better watch out. Zimmern’s influence goes far beyond the Twin Cities. In the meantime, no Saffron for me. What about you?