World Chefs: Ottolenghi favors the bold and the bright flavors

Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:06am EDT
 
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - So bold are the flavors in "Ottolenghi: The Cookbook" that author Yotam Ottolenghi said he and his partner considered beginning it with a warning: if you don't like lemon or garlic, skip to the last page.

Chef and restaurateur Ottolenghi and his co-author and co-chef Sami Tamimi have several eateries in London, including Nopi, their high-end location.

"There's no understatement in our food. It clearly states what it does. In that respect, it's deeply rooted in the culture and temperament of the Middle East and the Mediterranean," said Ottolenghi about the 140 recipes in the book.

"Ottolenghi," published this month in North America, predates the London-based team's runaway bestseller "Jerusalem," which was named Cookbook of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals in April.

The 44-year-old spoke to Reuters from London about cooking food that shouts, the joys of eating out in present-day London, and the magical properties of the pomegranate.

Q: How does your partnership work?

A: We're both from Jerusalem. One is Jewish, the other Arab. I come from a European background, while Sami had typical Arab fare but our sensitivities are similar in terms of food. We cooperate very well together in (a) blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern.

Q: What are the features of this blend?   Continued...