Wake me, because I feel like I'm dreaming.
This weekend we had the privilege of attending the Share Your Strength, Food & Wine Dinner, hosted and cooked by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.
100% of the proceeds go to the New York City Food Banks and the No Kid Hungry programs in our area.
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.
You all know them by now.
They have a mini restaurant empire in London (4 locations now) and have 3 best selling cookbooks.
Sami is Palestinian, born in Jerusalem, and his business partner Yotam, is an Israeli born Jew, with an Italian last name ("Ottolenghi"), because his family are Italian Jews who fled their villa in Tuscany from the Nazis in WW II and escaped to Israel.
In the scheme of the world, they are a very unlikely pair, however, they are just people; normal, friendly, funny, charming and GREAT chefs.
We had a wonderful evening, and everything we ate can be found in their first cookbook "Ottolenghi".
I plan on recreating the entire menu and I will reference the page numbers in the book for you so you can make the dishes too!
We started the evening with a fantastic cocktail hour with passed hors d'oevres and a beautiful Rosé .
~ cauliflower & cumin fritters w/ lime yogurt sauce (page 50)
~ sweet potato galette (pg. 181)
~ turkey & corn meatballs (page 125)
~ Parmesan poppy seed crackers (page 187)
I was amazed that everyone at our table flew in from somewhere other than New York for this event!
Canadians, Californians, and a couple from Miami, all here just to meet and eat with Sami and Yotam.
We started the meal with the beautiful seafood & fennel salad on page 135 of the book.
Then onto a KUKU (a Persian frittata), with broad beans and barberries (recipe in the Jerusalem book). Yum.
Dinner was a gorgeous rack of lamb, marinated with herbs and honey (page 104), paired with their popular haricot vert & snow pea salad w/ hazelnuts and orange (page 36).
A sweet potato gratin (which I made here a few years back), and roasted eggplant w/ pomegranates and saffron yogurt sauce (page 29), along with a radish & fava bean salad (page 16), served family style.
Dessert wine and desserts to end a wonderful evening. And an autographed copy of their cookbook for everyone.
It was a magical evening, meeting new friends and spending time with Sami & Yotam, who were gracious and so approachable, and even kind of surprised at their great success and popularity in the U.S.
This is your food reporter, signing out.