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Sami Tamimi

Yotam Ottolenghi's path to the world of cooking and baking has been anything but straightforward. Having completed a Masters degree in philosophy and literature whilst working on the news desk of an Israeli daily, he made a radical shift on coming to London in 1997. He started as an assistant pastry chef at the Capital and then worked at Kensington Place and Launceston Place, where he ran the pastry section. Yotam subsequently worked for Maison Blanc and then Baker and Spice, before starting his own eponymous group of restaurants/food shops, with branches in Notting Hill, Belgravia, Islington and Kensington. He opened the restaurant NOPI in Piccadilly in 2011. Sami Tamimi's intimate engagement with food started at a tender age, whilst watching his mother prepare Palestinian delicacies at their home within the walls of Arab East Jerusalem. His first job was as a commis chef at the Mount Zion hotel in the city. He thereafter investigated some of his culinary passions, including the food of Yemen, Morocco, Egypt, Persia and even the Eastern European Jewish communities. In 1997 he moved from Tel Aviv to London to work at Baker and Spice, creating a unique traiteur section with the strong identifiable flavours of the Middle East. In 2002 he teamed up with Yotam to open Ottolenghi.

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