One Egg is a Fortune: Book Review

One Egg is a Fortune

Jews have a deep appreciation for a good story. In the telling and retelling of stories we remember the joy, the excitement, and the sorrow in life. And, we remember the food, which is so central to Jewish life.

Storytelling about food – including recipes that connect to the stories – is the theme of a gorgeous new cookbook entitled “One Egg is a Fortune” ( compiled by Pnina Jacobson and Judy Kempler.

Jacobson and Kempler spent over a decade collecting personal food stories of 50 Jewish celebrities from around the world. They have intertwined these stories with recipes and glorious full-color pictures to create a unique and beautiful book. This is a book that would be as comfortable on your coffee table as in your kitchen. Unlike many coffee table cookbooks, this one is full of recipes for home cooks, not chefs.

Mini Espresso Cupcakes: recipe provided by Jacobson & Kempler, associated with Ian Bersten

Jacobson and Kempler met at the school bus stop in their Sydney, Australia neighborhood as they packed their children off to school. They discovered that they shared a love of food and a good story, where food memories connect us to a recipe.  They also wanted to do something for their community. As Kempler was dealing with care of her late mother-in-law, they decided that part of the proceeds would go to Jewish aged care in the communities where the book is sold.

In order to make their community cookbook more distinctive, Jacobson and Kempler took a very broad view of their community. There are stories from celebrities throughout the world including Australia, Israel, South Africa, and the US. The recipes, both from the celebrities and Jacobson and Kempler, represent Jewish culture (the recipes adhere to Jewish dietary laws) and the culture of their home countries, making this truly a multicultural cookbook.

Salmon Fillets with Green Peppercorn, Mushroom & Macadamia Nut Sauce: recipe provided by Jacobson & Kempler associated with Dennis Ross

The stories are varied, some humorous, some touching. Many speak of the way family memories are attached to food memories. The title of the book comes from the story by Dudu Fisher, an Israeli stage performer. His grandmother, a survivor of the Holocaust, would pay him to eat all his food to fatten him up. Each food had a price and for her, “one egg is a fortune.”

This charming book would make a wonderful Chanukah gift for any foodie, or anyone interested in the rich world of contemporary Jewish storytelling.

Editors Note: Boulder Jewish News is offering copies of “One Egg is a Fortune” for $45.00 per copy, plus $4.95 shipping within continental US (no international sales, please).

The book ships UPS from Chicago, IL.

Tofu Fingers with Sweet Chilli Sauce: recipe provided Gary Friedman


About Sharon Badian

Sharon started her professional life as an engineer but eventually followed her heart to culinary school. She worked at a number of Boulder restaurants, grew and sold organic produce to many of these same restaurants, and baked biscotti at a local biscotti producer. She is now working on classes on how to cook fun, healthy food.

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  1. There are stories from celebrities throughout the world including Australia, Israel, South Africa, and the US.

  2. Is this book actually about all those food recipes? If yes, then I am going to get my hands on to this book in no time. I am one of the biggest foodie the world has seen and I think I will try everything in this book.