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Yotam Ottolenghi webchat: Tuesday 12 February, 9pm

(154 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Feb-13 12:04:55

We're delighted Yotam Ottolenghi is joining us for a webchat on Tuesday 12 February at 9pm, as part of our Food Feb celebration of food and cooking.

Yotam worked as a pastry chef and then head pastry chef until he established the Ottolenghi deli with Sami Tamimi and Noam Bar in 2002. Since then, he's gone on to open four London outlets and publish three books.

His first, Ottolenghi, was published in 2008, introducing us to a delicious and vibrant array of salads, which are now dinner party favourites. He has since published Plenty, his exclusive collection of vegetarian recipes, which is drawn from his column The New Vegetarian for the Guardian's Weekend magazine, and most recently Jerusalem, which offers inspired, accessible recipes with culinary influences coming from Jerusalem's Muslim, Jewish, Arab, Christian and Armenian communities.

The Ottolenghi app, which has recipes from all his books, is now available for iPhone. And Yotam has recently launched his Ottolenghi webstore, selling a range of produce, wines, gifts and books.

Post your question to Yotam or join the discussion on Tuesday evening at 9pm and you'll be entered into a draw to win one of five copies of Jerusalem.

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 20:02:26

EnglishGirlApproximately

Hi Yotam. The thing that stands out for me in your books is that you spend a lot of time writing about history, ingredients and culture so your books have a very different feel to most recipe books. How important do you think it is to educate and inform the people buying your books? Do you think that understanding the food improves the end result?

Lastly, thank you for your wonderful books. They are a real joy and so much more than a recipe book smile

thanks EnglishGirl. there are so many recipes around that i truly believe you need a story, something to give them a sense of place. i never read a recipe as a standalone. the context is almost as important as the actual dish.

He's here! Hello! So excited. I thought I was going to miss the live chat. grin

gazzalw Tue 12-Feb-13 20:08:40

Wow am impressed, Yotam! You've started early!

Grockle Tue 12-Feb-13 20:11:10

Ooo, hello Yottam smile I'm not usually around for webchats and this is one I'm really interested in. Yay.

JanieLovesHerThreeLeggedCat Tue 12-Feb-13 20:16:47

Hi Yotam,
Love all your books and your recent series. Have you any plans to open any restaurants in Ireland (North or South)? We're really missing and Middle Eastern style restaurant smile

tallpoppies Tue 12-Feb-13 20:52:59

Hi yotam
I've just ordered Jerusalem and I'm cooking for a birthday party on Saturday. Which recipes should I try first (I don't like cheese)?

Smudging Tue 12-Feb-13 20:54:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 12-Feb-13 20:55:08

Yotam is joining us from the East Coast of the US tonight so we asked him to test that everything was in order ahead of the webchat, hence the test (above). Everything is in order and he'll be logging on again at 9pm.

dpah Tue 12-Feb-13 20:56:49

Hello Yotam

Congratulations on becoming a father.

I thoroughly enjoyed your T.V series and because of that I would like to learn more about food and how to cook well. How did your passion with food begin, were you always interested in food in a big way.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 12-Feb-13 21:01:43

We're delighted to introduce Yotam to Mumsnet. We're huge fans and honoured that you're joining us this evening from the US. Welcome to Mumsnet, Yotam

One question: It's pancake day today and we're wondering whether you've got a favourite pancake recipe or topping that you'd like to share with us?

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:01:45

dpah

Hello Yotam

Congratulations on becoming a father.

I thoroughly enjoyed your T.V series and because of that I would like to learn more about food and how to cook well. How did your passion with food begin, were you always interested in food in a big way.

dpah, i always loved eating but cooking was a second career. after years in uni i decided to peruse my passion and change. i never looked back.

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:03:13

RachelMumsnet

We're delighted to introduce Yotam to Mumsnet. We're huge fans and honoured that you're joining us this evening from the US. Welcome to Mumsnet, Yotam

One question: It's pancake day today and we're wondering whether you've got a favourite pancake recipe or topping that you'd like to share with us?

rachel, great to be here. i prefer savoury pancakes, full of herbs. i then spoon over some salted butter. can't beat it.

Oh I thought I'd missed it! Thank you so much for answering my question smile

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:06:38

Smudging

Hi yotam, I absolutely love your food, and all my kids and mum does too!

I'm afraid it is my mum who I am asking a question for. She adores your food, has all our books and regularly makes your recipes but was very offended by a photo in the Jerulsam cook book. It was of lots of hanging carcasses in a market juxtapositioned next to lots of photos/magazinesof half naked women, presumably for sale in the market. It was titled 'meat' the name of the chapter. But definitely gave the impression that the women were meat too. Even my husband who is normally a bit meh about this sort of stuff agreed it was offensive.

She asks that in the future you try and avoid such pictures as they can be deemed as very sexist and unnecessary when you make such lovely food.

Thank you

sorry smudging, that your mum took offense. i do apologise. this was meant with a bit of irony, nothing too serious. i do understand though and take this on board.

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:08:06

gazzalw

Hi Yotam

Your recipes offer us in the UK a bit of the exotic Middle East and for that we must be eternally happy - certainly your recipes brighten up the dull winter days of this Country with some joy and vitality and beautiful colours! Your food delights all five senses at once!

I have read many articles about your friendship and collaborations with Sami. Do you think that if you had still been in the Middle East, rather than on neutral territory in the UK, that Israeli/Palenstinian mores would have enabled you to bridge your cultural and religious divides to forge the very special relationship that you have?

With Valentine's Day looming, I wonder if you could recommend a pudding/sweet recipe to conjure up all that love means?

Many thanks.

I am sorry to say that probably not. the reality of life in jerusalem is so tense that such a relationship would probably have not survived. i hope the future brings a change.

About a valentines dessert, I'd do a middle-eastern mess with broken meringue, whipped cream mixed with greek yoghurt, rose water, strawberries, rose petals, and tiny drizzle of pomegranate molasses and maybe also some pomegranate seeds.

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:08:28

JanieLovesHerThreeLeggedCat

Hi Yotam,
Love all your books and your recent series. Have you any plans to open any restaurants in Ireland (North or South)? We're really missing and Middle Eastern style restaurant smile

janie, thank you thank you. no irish plans i am afraid. opening a restaurant so far away from where i am based (london) seems impossible. i am a bit of a control freak.

Smudging Tue 12-Feb-13 21:08:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:09:30

Artigene

Hi Yotam,

I just wanted to say thanks really, your books have really changed the way we eat at home, especially in summer when your salads and veggie dishes see us through most days and every BBQ. Also my husband won his work charity bake-off with your amazing chocolate, treacle and ameretto cup cakes (round 1) and chocolate fudge cake (round 2). Our daughter has coeliacs and can't eat gluten, most cake recipes don't cope well with gluten free flour but yours seem to.

We are lucky enough to live near a great Middle Eastern supermarket although I'm yet to find anywhere to buy Barberries.Do you know a source in central or west London?

That's so great to hear. I can listen to such kind comments again and again and again. Barberries are incredible! they are available in some middle-eastern grocers. The Iranian shops at the western end of high st kensington stock them. and, sorry for the self promotion, they are also available in our online shop: webstore.ottolenghi.co.uk/collections/pantry/products/dried-barberries

Hey Yotam, I live very close to your restaurant in Islington and love it!

I watched your show recently and me and my partner really enjoyed it. We did notice you're a bit obsessed with lemons and always have a giggle as we're waiting for you to say 'now add some lemon'

smile

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:11:20

tallpoppies

Hi yotam
I've just ordered Jerusalem and I'm cooking for a birthday party on Saturday. Which recipes should I try first (I don't like cheese)?

tallpoppies, depends on how adventurous you are. there is a wonderful recipe for fish with harissa and rose. amazing! a little less challenging but also good for a party is the chicken with clementines. delicious. the clementine cake, by the was, is always always popular. you could use oranges instead.

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:11:22

BonzoDooDah

Hi Yotam
Firstly - your mushroom lasagne is the best lasagne I have ever tasted - echoed by my friends who ate with us. Thank you so much for that (despite the fact it took DH over 3 hours to make it).

We play Yottam-Bingo to try to find a Yottam recipe without an ingredient we have to look up in a food dictionary. Is this deliberate?

Thanks!!! I think that experimenting with new ingredients is great fun. You can always go for the same old same old but often people tell me how a new ingredient became a staple for them and they just love it. If i introduce cooks to an ingredient they haven't used before and they then cook with it all the time - that's my job done.

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:12:38

Mmmnoodlesoup

Hey Yotam, I live very close to your restaurant in Islington and love it!

I watched your show recently and me and my partner really enjoyed it. We did notice you're a bit obsessed with lemons and always have a giggle as we're waiting for you to say 'now add some lemon'

smile

Mmmnoodlesoup, a bit obsessed? i am completely and utterly obsessed. you just can't go wrong, trust me.

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:13:49

BellaBearisWideAwake

Hello Yotam, I love your recipes, they remind me of my holidays in Israel. (In fact, I think your mother was my mother and aunt's teacher - or maybe headteacher - in Jerusalem, so that's a tenuous relationship we have!).
My question:
Is it possible to buy decent houmous and pitta in the UK? There's good stuff, but it doesn't taste like what you can buy in Jerusalem.

it seems like my mother taught half the world! that's so funny. i am the first to admit that there aren't as good pita and hummus here as there are in jerusalem. that's a fact. but then again, that's what make traveling so much fun.

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:14:48

OneLittleToddlingTerror

I have no questions. Just want to say I'm a huge fan and have all three of your books. My 22mo daughter is a fan of you too. Her recent favourites are the pasta with yoghurt, chillies and peas, and the barley risotto with marinated from Jerusalem. She licks her fingers saying yum yum when she eats them.

how sweet is that. i can just imagine her....

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 21:14:51

TotallyEggFlipped

Hi Yotam,
I love your recipes and look forward to your Guardian column every week.
I'd love to know what (if any) food you can't stand to eat.
Thank you.

TotallyEggFlipped, to be honest i am a bit of a pig and just love everything. it's weird but it's true. if i have to give up something, perhaps calves liver?

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