Israeli soldiers at the end of their compulsory military service are to be offered generous grants to learn to prepare sushi and other eastern treats, a defence official told AFP on Monday.
"The state of Israel is training workers in Asian cuisine as part of an effort to gradually reduce the number of foreign workers in the business and replace them with a skilled Israeli work force," he said.
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He said several courses were held in 2011 and six courses were scheduled for this year, with a minimum of 25 budding gastro-warriors on each.
Haaretz newspaper said the government and a charitable foundation would put an annual 4.5 million shekels ($1.18 million, 918,000 euros) into the effort to retool its newly-retired troops.