In 1998, Yotam left his career in academia and journalism in Israel to study at the Cordon Bleu in London. He has worked as a pastry chef at London restaurants including Baker and Spice before opening the extremely popular Ottolenghi with Noam Bar and Sami Tamimi. There are now four locations of the restaurant in London and at each, the focus is on uncomplicated, seasonal food with bold flavors. Yotam also writes a weekly column called The New Vegetarian for the Guardian Saturday magazine. He and Sami Tamimi wrote the Ottolenghi Cookbook which was released in 2008. His new book Plenty, which I'm much enjoying, is a collection of his vegetarian dishes from the Guardian column, and it was released earlier this year. The American version of Plenty will be available in February. I knew I'd hear of some interesting titles when I asked Yotam what are you reading?
Two books that I love:
The first is The Perfect Egg which is a collection of short stories and anecdotal food memories and recipes, all told beautifully and animatedly by the Italian architect and essayist, Aldo Buzzi. The book is illustrated by the brilliant Saul Steinberg.
The second is Saraban, a recently published book about Persian food and the society that created it and lives it. It is a travel piece and a recipe book with the most astonishing photography from modern day Iran.
Thank you for participating, Yotam. Check back to see who answers the question next time and what other books are recommended.
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