“When you don’t live somewhere for a long time,” said chef Yotam Ottolenghi, “it’s exciting to come back and relive it.”
Ottolenghi and fellow chef Sami Tamimi live in London, but they revisited their native city for their new collaboration Jerusalem: A Cookbook, in which they re-taste the flavors of their childhoods. In addition to being a nostalgia trip for the authors, Jerusalem is a work of edible anthropology, with recipes from Palestinian culture as well as different Sephardic communities. With its varied recipes, interesting commentary, and dozens of color photos, its depiction of the city is complex and diverse—if still quirky, politically biased, and sadly incomplete.
When asked to select a recipe he regards as emblematic of his new cookbook, Yotam Ottolenghi chose kibbeh, balls of minced meat and bulgar wheat; Jerusalem, he said, is the “world capital of kibbeh.” Ottolenghi’s open kibbeh take a new twist on the traditional balls.