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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.

gazzalw Fri 08-Feb-13 12:59:18

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.

Artigene Fri 08-Feb-13 13:14:10

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?

BonzoDooDah Fri 08-Feb-13 13:59:46

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?

BellaBearisWideAwake Fri 08-Feb-13 14:45:19

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.

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.

PommePoire Fri 08-Feb-13 19:26:47

Yotam, thank you for introducing us to your wonderful approach to food and eating.

Thanks to you, I have shakshuka, or eggs with spinach, chilli and yogurt for my breakfast, or lunch almost every day and have done for over a year now. I never get tired of them!

My question is about flat breads. When I try to make your quick yogurt and flour flat bread. I always start with your the same weight of each, but then end up adding more and more flour because the whole wet mess is sticking to my hands so much I think I've done it wrong! Should I try not to resist adding more flour? Maybe I'm not kneading for long enough? I think British people expect dough to behave like shortcrust pastry and find wet sticky dough a bit scary!

fromthehealthyheart Fri 08-Feb-13 20:15:34

Hi Yotam. Congratulations on becoming a father. Can we look forward to a cookbook for babies? Older children eat your food hungrily so let's have something for the weaning babes please.

nokidshere Sat 09-Feb-13 10:35:53

Hi Yotam - I am a huge fan and have cooked lots of recipes from your Plenty book! The mushrooms with flatbread is now our favourite thing to eat!!! Awesome!

I have heard a rumour that you are going to open ad restaurant/deli in Bath soon? Is that true? I hope it is.

emilywq Sat 09-Feb-13 13:03:18

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

bessie26 Sat 09-Feb-13 14:51:09

Hi Yotam,

Another huge fan of Plenty here - shakshuka & the pepper tofu are our current favourites - have you got any plans to do another veggie book? (Please!) Or to go back to doing your wonderful veggie column in the guardian?

Lomaamina Sat 09-Feb-13 16:15:09

Hi Yotam, what do you miss most about living/eating in Jerusalem? L.

MrsTofu Sat 09-Feb-13 17:45:16

Just wanted to say I loved your tv series about the food in the Middle East smile brings a bit of home to my new home smile Congratulations on becoming a father-enjoy the ride! smile

StellaMarie Sat 09-Feb-13 18:01:51

Hi Yottam, I have been inspired by your approach to food for a long time. I loved the column in the Guardian and avidly watched the recent Mediterranean series. Not living in a big city I sometimes struggle to find some of the ingredients but today I was excited to find Pomegranate molasses in my local Sainsbury smile

My question is whilst you are obviously passionate about food from your home country are there any other cuisines which you like to eat/cook?

lalalonglegs Sat 09-Feb-13 18:46:18

Yotam - I always read your recipes in the Guardian and think how lovely they sound but get put off by the sheer number of ingredients, often obscure and in quite tiny amounts. Are they all completely necessary smile?

Allalonenow Sat 09-Feb-13 19:03:18

Hello Yotam,
I'm making dinner for some vegetarian friends soon, they seem to eat mainly curry. What would be a good dish that I could cook for them to introduce them to Middle Eastern food?
ps I've got some pomegranate molasses in my storecupboard.

whataboutbob Sat 09-Feb-13 20:46:02

Hi yottam another plaudit. I got to know you through your guardian recipes but for my birthday my best friend gave me PLenty. I can even forgive you the 50 ingredient recipes, it s all so delicious. I grew up in ALgeria so feel really at home with a lot of what you do. Thanks for being so inspiring, in many ways.

whataboutbob Sun 10-Feb-13 13:52:29

Yotam apologies for the spelling mistakes.

VeganCow Sun 10-Feb-13 18:17:49

Hi Yotam smile

What is your favourite ingredient?

blue2 Sun 10-Feb-13 19:23:33

Hi Yotam

I asked for 'Plenty' and 'Jerusalem' for Christmas, and have had lots of fun since!

I just LOVE the flavours that you give us through your recipes. I tried the orange/beetroot/olive salad from 'Plenty' yesterday and plan to eat it at least weekly from now on. The recipes are complete eye openers (and I have LOADS of cookery books) and I plan to try lots more. Thank you, thank you.

So tell me - what would you choose as your dishes if you had to chose your "Last Supper"?

afussyphase Sun 10-Feb-13 20:38:17

Hi, I'm a busy mum working full time and I would love to make more of your recipes (love your restaurants!) but, having browsed a couple of your books, I have the impression that they wouldn't fit in with the 6 - 7:30pm time slot that we have for making dinner and getting bedtime started! My question is: what do you think of the 15/ 30 -minute meals idea and would you ever consider putting out a book of quick recipes? Or even a list of recipes in your existing books that can be make quickly? Thanks! And thank you for introducing the wonderful arrays of flavours and combinations that you have!

sumac Sun 10-Feb-13 21:44:25

Hello, I am another fan who does I'm afraid to say find many of your marvellous recipes labour-intensive.

For low effort/amazing taste, then the buttered prawns with tomato, olives and Arak (or Pernod) recipe in Ottolenghi wins every time. I know good food from scratch can take time but more can we have more like that one please?

Artigene, I have bought barberries at Earth in Kentish Town Road before and the Spice Shop off Portobello Rd sells them, although their website does say they are currently unavailable.

ComradeJing Mon 11-Feb-13 02:13:36

Hi Yotam,

Which of your recipe books would you recommend to someone who hasn't cooked any of your recipes before?


jennybeadle Mon 11-Feb-13 09:17:14

Our whole family loves your recipes, and I even have two copies of Jerusalem, because my lovely DH got me an autographed one for Christmas, even though I had it already!

We were really struck watching your series on the Med that no matter who you were talking to, and what they were doing, you always seemed able to be relaxed and interested in their work and food. DH and I decided we'd like each of our 3 DDs to find partners with that quality - though hopefully not for a few years yet (and being able to cook would be an added bonus). Do you think there was something in particular in your upbringing which has helped you be that way?

I'm a bit blush about asking such a personal question, but genuinely curious.

TanteRose Mon 11-Feb-13 13:02:42

Hello Yotam

won't be able to participate in the webchat due to time difference

I am posting a comment from a HUGE fan of yours here in Japan. She cooks amazing Middle Eastern food - your recipes feature heavily grin

She is not a member of MN, so I said I would post a question etc. for her if she wanted. Her reply?

"What do you say to a god?!! Love his recipes, his TV programs (what I've seen so far), and his generosity of spirit in keeping his extensive Guardian archives available"


OK, one question from me - do you like Japanese food?

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