How to create a cookbook with Yotam Ottolenghi

Questions submitted to Noor and Yotam from the It’s Nice That team:class=”sans”>

It’s Nice That:class=”sans”> What is the best scent to walk in the house to after a really shit day?

YO:class=”sans”> Frying onion. Haha! I think that it’s for me. If I smell the onion frying, I know that there is something good coming.

NM:class=”sans”> For me, it is cinnamon, something like a sweet spice. I always smell like fried onion after a day in the test kitchen so I don’t want to go home and smell it! I’m like… it’s following me.

INT:class=”sans”> What would you recommend cooking on a first date?

YO:class=”sans”> Oh! I know, Celebration Rice. It’s just a celebration! I think it’s impressive, it’s a bit of work but it’s not extremely difficult. It’s got chicken and lamb and seeds and it just looks wonderful, and it’s a wonderful thing to sit around on a first date.

NM:class=”sans”> It’s easy to eat too! It’s not like salad or spaghetti where you have to cover your mouth constantly. And also miso bananas.

YO:class=”sans”> Yep, that should be the dessert.

INT:class=”sans”> What do you think is the ultimate after school snack?

NM:class=”sans”> Road Trip cookies. They are these oatmeal cookies in the dessert chapter and they’re really good. We took a road trip once and Verena, being Verena, was like you guys hungry and we thought we’d stop at Little Chef or whatever and she’s like no and has this box of cookies and she’d woken up at 5am to bake them. They smell so good! That’s a great snack.

What do you always buy from the corner shop?

NM:class=”sans”> Chewy mints. Not mentos, the blue ones that are chewy.

YO:class=”sans”> I do love KitKats. Whenever I go to the corner shop I get KitKats. Not the chunky ones, they are terrible. The four finger ones. I find a KitKat and a cup of coffee the biggest treat. So satisfying.

INT:class=”sans”> What’s the one thing you really hate doing in the kitchen?

YO:class=”sans”> There’s a lot of things I hate doing in the kitchen, I have to say. The whole notion of cleaning up is never attractive to me.

NM:class=”sans”> For me, it’s when the garlic crusher gets stuck in the garlic crusher holes and you can’t get it out and you have to use your finger and navigate it and are like, great, now I smell of garlic.

YO:class=”sans”> That’s always so annoying. I always find that the tea scum which clings to the side of tea cups. To wash that off is so much work? It even comes out the dishwasher with it still on. It’s really annoying! They should find a solution to this problem.

INT:class=”sans”> When you finish work and you’re heading home and you think, I had a really great day at work today, what’s the sort of thing that would have happened?

YO:class=”sans”> For me, a miserable day is a day when I feel like this whole thing is not working very well. People weren’t getting on, maybe. A good day is when I feel there is chemistry. I love being with my team in the test kitchen or the restaurant and, I don’t know what it is, but I think I am a bit of a people pleaser, so I love to feel that everybody gets on. A good day is when I leave and feel that everybody was so happy, the food was delicious and I can feel like, job done. I am happy.

NM:class=”sans”> For me, it’s when I have a to-do list and I can tick off at least three things – that makes me very happy. Another is if I get home and I am not too full. That is like I’ve conquered the day, I didn’t eat too much.

YO:class=”sans”> That’s so true.

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