Wednesday, 27 May 2009

bookReview and restaurantReview: Ottolenghi

OK...WE KNOW... we have been gone for just about forever. Exams and final grades, plus packing and saying goodbye to four years of friends and experiences...

Please forgive us, its been a lot to deal with...

Anyway a post is long overdue and his one is a double one: Ottolenghi cookbook and restaurant review. So about forever ago now Jacqueline took Pete to Ottolenghi’s in London (Islington location) for his birthday...and about forever and a half ago she had received the Ottolenghi cookbook in mail, which is what had inspired the lunch idea.

The fun of cookbooks is not just reading through the recipes and getting ridiculously excited to cook them, but reading the stories behind the creation of the books and the authors lives’.
Ottolenghi: The Cookbook is a magically colorful and tasty cookbook. It represents the ethos we share- cooking naturally and healthfully from the ingredients this good earth gave us. Yotam Ottolenghi (an Israeli man who grew up with Italian and German grandparents) had a life in Jerusalem very different from his not-yet discovered Arab neighbor Sami Tamimi. We love the story of how two people existing in a land where two cultures often raise children to hate their Israeli or Palestinian neighbors, have actually come together through a love for food, family and lifestyle of eating properly. They don’t believe in really using a fridge, so you know if you go to any four locations of Ottolenghi in London (Kensington, Islington, Notting Hill, Belgravia) you are eating freshly prepared, farmers-market and locally produced food.

Their cookbook gives you that same farmers market fresh feeling. For their own philosophy encompasses a ‘realistic approach to cooking and eating’ promoting ‘the idea that cooking can be enjoyable, simple and fulfilling, yet look and taste amazing; that it mustn’t be a chore or a bore, with lots of complicated ingredients to source and painstakingly prepare, but can be accessible, straightforward and and eating are not hazy, far-off ideals but part of real life, and should be left there.’

They love lemons, garlic, eggplants/aborigines, pomegranates, and anything in season! When Pete and Jacqueline ate at the Islington location for his birthday they had the char grilled broccoli and saffron eggplants, as well as the most amazing quiche ever! The food really was divine! The service was not the best to be honest, but the food absolutely made up for it.

‘We love real food, unadulterated and unadorned.’ We couldn’t agree with them more- that’s why this book is getting a 9.5 /10. A must buy!

Charlotte & Jacqueline xx

1 comment:

  1. Charlotte: You + Me + Lisa = Ottolenghi outing on one of your fun weekends down to London next year!!
    (And Jacqui a repeat when you visit tooo)