London, Feb.13 : Chefs and proprieters at several Asian restaurants in Israel observed a daylong spring roll strike on Tuesday in protest over government plans to rid kitchens of foreign chefs.
The chefs warned that if the government did not back down, they would start removing sushi and noodles from their respective menu cards.
The chefs and proprietors are angry at government plans to purge Japanese, Chinese and Thai eateries of Asian cooks and replace them with Israelis as part of a broader programme to cut the number of foreigners working in the Jewish state, reports The Independent.
The Israeli Ethnic Restaurant Organisation said the country's 300 Asian restaurants refused to serve spring or egg rolls - among their most popular dishes on Tuesday.
The government has adopted a go slow approach in the granting of permits to chefs. This year, only 500 permits were handed out to Asian chefs as compared with 900 last year. There are plans not to grant any permits next year, though restaurants are willing to pay twice the average national salary for Asian chefs.
The government is of the view that Israelis can be trained to make Asian cuisine, which is now a 140 million pound industry.