Shoe-swagatam: 'Offensive' dessert served during Japanese PM Shinzo Abe's Israel visit irks diplomats

Placing a shoe on the dining table would irk people of most cultures around the world, but the Japanese are particularly repulsed by such an act, as was revealed after Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's second official visit to Israel.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara hosted the Abe and his wife Aki for dinner at their residence in Jerusalem on 2 May. After the meal, celebrity chef Segev Moshe — who often cooks for the Netanyahus when they are entertaining visiting dignitaries — dished up a gourmet spread which was rounded off with chocolate pralines served in two pairs of men’s black brogues, The Times of Israel reported.

The dessert did not go down well with both Israeli and Japanese officials. "There is nothing more despicable in Japanese culture than a shoe," senior Israel diplomat was quoted by the report as saying. "Not only do they not enter their homes in shoes, you won’t find any shoes in their bureaus. Even the prime minister, ministers, and members of Parliament, host in their bureaus without shoes. This is a failure and a diplomatic mockery. A disrespect of the highest order."

"It is like giving a Jewish guest chocolate inside a vessel in the shape of a pig,” he said.

A Japanese official said the point of the presentation of the dish was lost. "No culture puts shoes on the table," he said, according to The Jerusalem Post. "What precisely was this illustrious chef Segev thinking? If this is meant to be humor, we do not find it funny. I can tell you that we are offended for our prime minister," the diplomat said. The award-winning chef is a prominent restaurateur, author and television personality, the report added. He is also the head chef for El Al Airlines. On Sunday, Moshe posted a close-up image of the dessert on his Instagram account, writing: "Chocolate selection from the world by #SegevArt ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / A metal shoe by @tomdixonstudio"

  Chocolate selection from the world 🌎 by #SegevArt ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / A metal shoe by @tomdixonstudio   A post shared by segevmoshe (@segevmoshe) on

The chef's Instagram account reveals that he also served US president Donald Trump and his wife Melania during their Israel visit.

This was #2017 ⭐️⭐️⭐️🌎🇺🇸🇮🇱 president Trump & prime minster Netanyahu

A post shared by segevmoshe (@segevmoshe) on

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Updated Date: May 08, 2018 14:05 PM

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