The Mario Batalis of the Middle East


Every once in a while a cookbook comes along that truly influences the way you cook. For at least two of us here at BB, it’s Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, based upon the dishes he serves at his London cafes. His Mediterranean influences draw from his Italian and Jewish heritage, and while he isn’t a vegetarian, Ottolenghi’s recipes inspire you to devote more thought, care, and planning to a mere eggplant or sweet potato than you would to a whole chicken–and everything we’ve tried so far rocks! In his newest book, Jerusalem: A Cookbook, he revisits his place of birth with his business partner and fellow chef, Sami Tamimi, a Palestinian who also hails from Jerusalem. As part of Congregation Beth Elohim’s new reading series, Brooklyn By the Book, they appear tonight to discuss the great food traditions of their homeland with chef and James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Rozanne Gold. Ticket reservations for non-members are a suggested $10 each and are going quickly.–N.D.

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