I have long been a fan of Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes and the food served at his restaurant’s. The flavours and the medley of spices are exciting and come from regions that are unfamiliar to me. I always long to visit the middle east to explore the cuisine. Stocking up on Jerusalem, Plenty and Ottolenghi- The cookbook have given an insight & understanding of the food.
Of course some people might say that there are many ingredients that they haven’t heard of before, but again, now with so much emphasis on food and home cooking its no wonder local supermarkets and online stores have started stocking up on ingredients like tahini, ras el hanout and zaatar. You might call that the ‘Ottolenghi effect’ and most people do! I was fortunate to get a quote for this food hero for my very own cookbook and also a mention in his Guardian column.
My recent visit to Abergavenny Food Festival 2015 for my cookery events and book signing meant I had the chance also to attend his event and of course meet him while he was signing copies of his new book Nopi. Written by Yotam and the head chef of Nopi London Ramael Scully; Nopi explores recipes from the renowned restaurant and celebrates flavours and ingredients with a distinctive Asian twist given Ramael’s cooking background and upbringing. Think Beef brisket croquettes, kale with ginger & chill with a creamy garlic topping or ricotta fritters with blackberry sauce & chocolate soil. I was pleasantly surprised to also find out that I had a small mention in the book while they wrote the recipe for a spiced watermelon soup. The book is stunning and with not just beautiful photography but recipes that make you want to dive straight to your kitchen to rustle up. It is a collection of simpler recipes as well as those for an advanced cook. If there is one book I urge you to pick up this year its definitely Nopi to sample some drool worthy dishes and if your like me, even just leafing through pages of this book will bring much joy!