Published On: Thu, Sep 8th, 2016

Chef Yotam Ottolenghi Resets The Table And Its Mouth-Watering

It’s not easy to turn generations of meat eaters almost overnight into vegetable lovers. Harder still to do it through a series of surprise-hit cookbooks. But the British-Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi is teaching us all how to be masters of a healthier, tastier kitchen. Michael Paterniti takes us inside the mind and laboratory of a food visionary.

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The first time I ate a dish made from a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, I was already having one of those perfect dinner-party moments. The scene was a porch in midsummer; six couples gathered. No rush or hurry, sun still hanging high in the sky. Drinks had been doled out: the quinine clarity of gin-and-tonics. An attractive cheese plate appeared, assorted crackers to match. It’s worth noting that I’ve never been to a dinner party at which I didn’t have a good time. When receiving nourishment that I haven’t shopped for, prepared, cooked, or in general given one thought to, I am, like many of us, the least critical human on earth. If served Milk-Bones with chocolate syrup dusted with crumbled pistachio, I will eat every last mote. Make it some version of the more familiar offerings—grilled salmon, a juicy cut of meat—and it’s a standing O in my mind. But this dinner party was different. We were all seated at the table when the hostess announced, even as her husband sat there grinning, that she’d found this new guy she was really into. Really, really into. He was handsome, with panda eyes, and he wrote cookbooks. His name was Yotam Ottolenghi…

 

Read the full story at GQ,  MICHAEL PATERNITI

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