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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.

KatherineKrupnik Mon 11-Feb-13 16:12:54

Hi Yotam - massive fan of your books. I'd save my copies of your books (& Claudia Roden's books!) in a fire. What is your favourite recipe book?

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Mon 11-Feb-13 17:31:45

Hi Yotam. No question (at the moment, DP is thinking...), just a big thumbs up for the TV series. Really lovely to learn about the cultural significance/history of different middle eastern dishes and cuisines rather than some hideous 'lifestyle' half hour with lots of twee kitchenware and surprise gatherings (Nigella I am looking at YOU). I learned a lot, thanks.

Hi Yotam ,
I don't have any of your books ( yet )
My DH is a bit of a wuss when it comes to new ingredients , and doesn't like spicy food .
Which of your dishes should I make first ?
My Dsis has " Plenty " so I can borrow that until I buy my own copy

Hello Yotam,
I am a lifelong veggie and have made and loved loads of dishes from the Plenty book smile
My question is whether the recipe for the cheese and pistachio biscuits, that my mum bought from your Islington cafe at Christmas, is available anywhere because they were DELICIOUS!!!
That is all, thank you.

LazyMachine Mon 11-Feb-13 20:53:11

Your books are a household staple for us - thank you! I saw that another poster asked what your favourite cook books are and we'd love to hear that answer, too.

My partner and I were also wondering if there were any particular food magazines you would recommend?

almondfinger Mon 11-Feb-13 21:06:42

Hi Yotam,
I just wanted to say I love your food and am a huge fan of yours. I would eat at Nopi every week if I could. I've cooked your vietnamese beef salad and my husband went to work raving about it. I've made it a couple of times now and it never lets me down. My back aches by the time I'm done cooking mind you!

I cant wait to try out some recipes from Jerusalem which I got for Christmas.

With babaganoush, why peel the aubergine, would the skin not add to the flavour, or is it bitter?

Thank you

bluebump Mon 11-Feb-13 21:33:01

Hi Yotam, I'd love some ideas for some quick, tasty meals too like some of the posters above have asked about. I'm a lifelong veggie and love Plenty as do most of my family, I must dig it out again. Also your recent series was brilliant, you are great to watch on the telly, I love your enthusiasm and as mentioned above your way with people.

Congratulations on becoming a father too smile

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Mon 11-Feb-13 21:44:11

I am a recent convert to your cooking having seen the recent series and bought Jerusalem and I love it. My kids also love the pearl barley risotto with feta, even DS who has ASD and is quite resistant to new foods!
What is your favourite UK restaurant (apart from your own) and why?

splashymcsplash Mon 11-Feb-13 22:37:40

Hi Yotam, I'm a really big fan. I love your passion that you have when talking about food. Very Israeli smile

My question is how your background has influenced your interest in food? How did you develop your initial interest in cooking?

WilsonFrickett Mon 11-Feb-13 22:47:21

Hello from Edinburgh, I was given the Ottolenghi book as a gift a few years ago and have since bought your books for all my friends. We're really lucky to have great middle eastern stores here so can get most of your ingredients. And I loved the recent series too, have saved them all on my Sky + and watch them on rainy days. Seriously I am such a fangirl. I will probably make the grilled broccoli tomorrow just because I've typed this question...

My question is what's your guilty food pleasure?

Blondie1984 Mon 11-Feb-13 22:55:48

Hi Yottam

Today (the 12th) is Pancake Day - will you be partaking and how would you make / eat yours?

Thanks!

Grockle Mon 11-Feb-13 23:19:19

Hi Yottam,

I am quite unwell with a chronic illness and haven't been able to cook properly for weeks. I have difficulty chopping up veg but can manage small amounts.

Can you suggest a couple of quick & easy but nutritious meals to prepare for myself & DS(7)

StripeyOrangeTrousers Tue 12-Feb-13 10:44:43

Hi Yotam

The first meal my partner ever cooked for me, on our third date, was the chickpea, tomato and bread soup from Plenty. It obviously did the trick as we now have a three month old daughter. I'm hosting my first dinner party in ages this Saturday and I'm trying to decide what to cook. It needs to be something that can be prepared in advance and stuck in the oven, as I will be putting said baby to bed until just before the guests turn up (or that's the plan ...) I'm vegetarian and would like to cook something meatless but satisfying to the carnivorous guests. There'll be six of us. Do you have any suggestions?

Many thanks!

ivanapoo Tue 12-Feb-13 10:59:55

Hi Yotam,

We love your burnt aubergine, tahini and pomegranate molasses dip. I've seen smoked aubergine in a can for sale in our local ethnic food shop - what do you think of this and would it be sacrilege to make a quick and dirty version of the dip with it?

PS I think one of your best simple dishes for those asking is celeriac, puy lentils, hazelnut and mint. So easy, fairly quick and delicious.

Buendia Tue 12-Feb-13 12:43:54

Hello Yotam, could you please tell us what are your must-have spices/herbs? Thank you

Fillybuster Tue 12-Feb-13 13:53:18

Another fangirl here...no questions, but I just want to say how much pleasure your books and food have given me and my family. My friends and I regularly post our recent 'Ottolenghi results' on Facebook.....and I read your books in bed during the week, planning the weekend cooking! We especially love the new book (Jersusalem)....all the recipes seem much simpler than in Plenty and Ottolenghi and I'm becoming very quick at knocking them up for a light dinner in the evenings smile

Our favourite Friday night dinner solution is a takeaway box of salad from the Islington store....not very 'traditional' but a great change from chicken soup and roast chicken!

I stock up on za'atar etc in the Carmel shuk in Tel Aviv....but friends keep asking where they can find it in London - so maybe I do have a question after all!

Anyway, thank you for the joy and inspiration!

Another huge fan in Asia who will be sleeping through the interview due to the time difference sad

Raised in Morocco, living in HK. Speaking arabic to my kids while they learn Mandarin.
Although I have never been to Jerusalem, your "Jerusalem" is also mine, via Essaouira, Tangiers, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Istanbul and Hong Kong, with so many in between.
The Mauresque recipes throw me 30 years back into my grand mother's kitchen and help me bridge worlds for my children.
Love love love.

Am with Pommepoire on the faltbreads.
We are in a bread no-man's land in Asia. Craving decent fresh homemade bread. Easy full proof recipe please…..

And as curious as Tante Rose, what is your favorite Asian cuisine?
Fiery thai?
Herby vietnamese?
Japanese minimalist umami?
Or something fusion like in singapore?

x

GirlOutNumbered Tue 12-Feb-13 15:48:58

Hi yotam,
Can you recommend a good online supplier of the crazy herbs and ingredients you use. I live in Devon. It's hard to get anything other than clotted cream wink

mornsw Tue 12-Feb-13 16:02:00

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mornsw Tue 12-Feb-13 16:03:58

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IAmJ Tue 12-Feb-13 16:08:20

Hi Yotam,

I'm a huge fan of yours. I've made more than 20 of your recipes and thought they were all fantastic. Many have been added to our regular rotation and we can't get enough of them! I have cooked a bunch of dishes from the Guardian, I own and cherish both "Jerusalem" and "Plenty", and I'm still waiting for my copy of "Ottolenghi: the Cookbook" to be delivered. Also, can't wait for your next cookbook! What are some of your favorite recipes that you go back to over and over again?

Since I am currently living in the US, and well-aware that you have a lot (A LOT) of fans here, I'd like to ask if there are any plans for your TV shows to be available in the US?

I just wanted to add that your approach has completely changed the way I cook. I've come to enjoy it so much more than ever, and I'm not afraid of new flavor combinations and cooking techniques. I am now completely in love with Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cooking! Not to mention, I fully trust your and Sami's palates and know I can always count on a modern, delicious take on classics as well! smile Huge thank you for that, to both you and Sami!

And to those who complain about the number of ingredients required for Yotam's recipes, it's worth noting that a lot of the ingredients are spices that, once bought, will go a really long way. It's definitely worth hunting down some of the more exotic ingredients, like pom molasses, date syrup, barberries, orange blossom water (and za'atar and sumac are an absolute MUST smile) because they do make a difference. I also tend to stock up on different nuts such as pine nuts, hazelnuts and almonds, and keep them on hand because they can be used with so many recipes and last a long time. This makes using Yotam's recipes much less intimidating and a lot more enjoyable.

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

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 19:53:38

Sure!

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.

YotamOttolenghi Tue 12-Feb-13 19:58:23

KatherineKrupnik

Hi Yotam - massive fan of your books. I'd save my copies of your books (& Claudia Roden's books!) in a fire. What is your favourite recipe book?

katherine, i love nigella's domestic goddess. all of alice waters' books.

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