A take-out expert's dishes are anything but authentic Mediterranean food, and that's how he likes it.
Born in Israel, living in England and using ingredients from around the world, Yotam Ottolenghi is a hard chef to pin down, though "Mediterranean" is probably the easiest way to define his food. Growing up in the Middle East absolutely influenced his culinary approach, but the healthy, often vegetarian dishes served at Ottolenghi, his London chain specializing in take-out food, are eclectic in inspiration. As he says, "I use flavors liberally." For instance, he seasons a Mediterranean chickpea stew with caraway, a northern European spice, and he crusts fish cakes (a British classic) with polenta—a nod to Italy. For more of his ideas, look to his book Plenty, which is newly available in the US, or the recipes Ottolenghi shares here.
Find more information about chef Yotam Ottolenghi's eponymous London take-out shops at ottolenghi.co.uk.
Ottolenghi's new sit-down place, Nopi, shows more Asian influence than his take-out spots.