There is not enough time or space to share the last quarter century of my life close to this strikingly special man, Yonatan Karmon. In my many meetings with him during these 25 years, we have touched on life from such different and interesting angles, along with his fascinating and detailed stories about his contacts with world dignitaries.
I chose to present here the story of Rosh Hashanah 5772, September 2011, when my husband, Yossi and I spent five days visiting in Paris. We stayed at a hotel near Yonatan and Shuki’s apartment.
Yonatan insisted that we start all our mornings with a fresh baguette and croissants that were bought from a different boulangerie, a French bakery, every time you came to Yonatan and Shuki‘s house. They had a special breakfast for us, which Yonatan was delighted to prepare:
Israeli vegetable salad, avocado halves stuffed with tuna salad, “beytzya” (a sunny-side-up fried egg as it was known in the years of the state’s establishment in the kibbutzim), and a wonderful variety of fruit jams, and so forth.
The mixed salad that Yonatan prepared for us on the last morning of our visit captured our hearts. He said it’s a salad made up of everything in the fridge the second you open it ….
2 Belgium endives (a blanched bulb) cut into circles.
1 can of tuna.
1 unpeeled apple thinly sliced
3 hard boiled eggs sliced into eighths.
(Before serving, canned corn and some chopped onion can be added.)
Mix some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper and pour it over the salad.
Yonatan updated us that on the eve of the holiday, we would be staying with Tami (Tamar) Sebok, a correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth in Paris and a close friend of Shuki and him.
Equipped with honey cakes that I had baked ahead of time, we arrived at Tami‘s beautiful apartment, which was next door to the apartment where Shuki and Yonatan temporarily lived.
In the special holiday atmosphere, we sat at a special table, at which there were fascinating friends from the world of culture and literature, friends of our amazing hostess, Tami. The table was decorated with honey dipped apples harvested that morning in the courtyard of friends’ homes in Normandy.
For the first course, a fragrant chicken soup prepared by Yonatan was served. The main course was also prepared and served by Yonatan. It was sheer perfection! It had all the flavors:
On a beautiful plate they had pears stuffed with meat in a sugary sauce, along with wonderful Persian rice prepared by the hostess and an interesting addition of a bit of parmesan baked endive leaves, prepared, of course by Yonatan.
Endive as an interesting side dish:
In a large frying pan, with a little sunflower oil, arrange the endive halves, cut lengthwise (with the cut side up) and fry; (you can also bake it in the oven). Sprinkle Parmesan on the top; (for those who do not keep kosher, you can add goose breast slices).
This is how we spent some wonderful days discovering Yonatan‘s surprising sides, a fine gourmet chef, and a fascinating guide on our walking tour of Paris, not excluding a thorough presentation of the streets of the city. It was not history and facts that interested him, but rather, feelings, atmosphere and romance as much as possible.
“I will not tell you when this sculpture was created,” he said,” but up here lived Dalida [the professional name of Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti, an Egyptian French singer and actress, 1933 – 1987] and up there Charles Aznavour [a French-Armenian singer, lyricist, and diplomat] was there…and Nina Simone [professional name of Eunice Kathleen Waymon, an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist] and Édith Piaf [a French singer-songwriter, cabaret performer and film actress noted as France’s national chanteuse and one of the country’s most widely known international stars] and so on…it was a fascinating story…” There were countless juicy stories from the lives of famous artists alongside the world’s wealthy, and from Yonatan’s mouth it was fascinating.
His interesting outlook on life was so different, captivating, and charmingly risqué. It was hard to take your eyes off his beautiful eyes and his white teeth. His smile was so special.
Getting to know Yonatan began, of course, in the dance world, but the deep and close connection between us throughout the years touched on life in all its colors and hues.
Yonatan, I loved you, all that you were! An uncompromising professional like no one before and like no one that will ever be in the Israeli dance world. A hopeless romantic, a good friend, strict when needed, excited about everything he loved. He had a wonderful relationship with Shuki, but his heart was large enough to bestow so much of himself upon those of us surrounding him as well.
I was captivated by you! I will always remember you with love.