Yotam Ottolenghi owns an eponymous group of four restaurants, plus the high-end estaurant, NOPI, in London. His previous cookbooks—Plenty, Jerusalem and Ottolenghi—have all been New York Times' bestsellers. Yotam writes for the Guardian and appears on the BBC and Channel 4. He lives in London.
Q: Tell us about your background. What made you decide to go to culinary school and pursue a cooking career?
A: I was finishing off my Master's studies in Amsterdam, getting itchy feet in the library. A lot of my energy and creativity was being used up in the kitchen, cooking for friends, delighting in food and eating an extraordinary amount of croquettes. I thought that enrolling in the Cordon Bleu course in London would be a way to scratch the itch before I got back to the career in academia it was thought I would follow. I'm still scratching, all these years on.