Ottolenghi

‘Great restaurants can’t thrive in Hampstead’: Ottolenghi reviewed

Ottolenghi is an Israeli deli co-owned by Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli Jew, and Sami Tamimi, a Palestinian Muslim. They met in Baker & Spice in London, where they bonded over the dream of persuading more British people to eat salad. This is an ideal story of co-existence (I have met a group of Israeli Jews and Arabs dieting for peace) and I thought the new Ottolenghi in Hampstead might be picketed by idiots shouting for peace but meaning war. (Martha Gellhorn was right about slogans. Never shout them: even ones you agree with.) It is fine in that I wish I were in the Middle East to eat the original

Sunshine on a plate: the year’s best cookbooks

In the dark days of a terrible winter, Elizabeth David began writing her first book, about Mediterranean food. The timing should have been wrong. People enduring post-war rationing would rather not think about sunlit shores and dishes of bright food, surely? But oh, how depressed, broke Britain lapped up A Book of Mediterranean Food when it was published in 1950. David’s prose and recipes ‘flew’ readers to Greece, Italy, the south of France and Egypt, stirring up an appetite for garlicky seafood stews, saffron-suffused pilaffs and artichokes dipped in anchoiade. In an echo, 70 years on, I have found my thoughts wandering to places that currently cannot be visited except