Imagine Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's surprise when, after enjoying a delicious meal in Israel last week, a shoe was placed in front of him, with his dessert of chocolate pralines plopped inside.
Chocolate selection from the world by #SegevArt ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / A metal shoe by @tomdixonstudio
A post shared by segevmoshe (@segevmoshe) on May 6, 2018 at 10:57pm PDT
The odd dish was served to Abe during a May 2 dinner at the home of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara. The meal was the work of celebrity chef Segev Moshe, and it's been panned by several Israeli officials and diplomats, who are aware that in Japan, people take their shoes off before walking into a home. "There is nothing lowlier than a shoe in Japanese culture," one senior Israeli official told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot on Monday. "Not only do they not wear shoes at home, you also won't find shoes in their offices. This is disrespect of the first order."
Israel's foreign ministry is slowing backing away from the debacle, releasing a statement clarifying that it had nothing to do with choosing the menu or the presentation of dishes, and declaring that the country has "the utmost respect for the Japanese prime minister." A publicist for the chef said the shoe was the "high quality" work of artist Tom Dixon, and it was made out of totally hygienic cast metal: "It is not a real shoe."