Last year, my stepdaughter got me a cookbook by the Israeli-born London Chef Yotam Ottolenghi – and I then remembered that a recent New Yorker had a profile of him, so after reading it, I tried a recipe or two. So far so good. The recipes are heavily dependent on fresh produce so I’m hoping to try more if we ever get a real spring and summer here. (Pardon my skepticism but it’s May 1 and there’s talk of snow arriving soon.) Now that I’m going to London, I’m eager to visit one of his restaurants but see that only one – in Islington which isn’t near my usual stopping grounds – is a sit-down restaurant. But may have to make a trek there anyway. I’m particularly curious about his middle eastern food, especially since he’s from Israel and his head chef, Sami Tamimi, is Palestinian. The other Ottolenghi outposts are nearer to my usual haunts – in Kensington, Belgravia and Notting Hill – but they appear to be primarily take-away food.
Behind the food stands a dedicated team, full of enthusiasm and creative zeal. They make Ottolenghi what it is. Unfortunately, we can mention just a few.