Yotam Ottolenghi was born on December 14, 1968 in Jerusalem. He is a British-based chef, cookery writer and restaurant owner. He started out as a writer working on the news desk of Haaretz, one of Israel¿s largest papers. In 1997 he moved to the UK planning to start a PhD, but before he enrolled he signed up to train at Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London for six months. He got a job as head pastry chef at the London boutique bakery Baker & Spice and this is where he met Sami Tamimi and Dan Lepard. Ottolenghi's cooking style is rooted in, but not confined to, his Middle Eastern upbringing: a distinctive mix of Middle Eastern flavours Syrian, Turkish, Lebanese, Iranian, and Israeli. His particular skill is in marrying the food of his native Israel with a wider range of textures and flavours from the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia. Before turning to food and cooking, Ottolenghi was in both academia and journalism. He was a sub-editor on the news desk of Haaretz, Israel's oldest daily newspaper, and a student in Tel Aviv University. Following a six-month course at the London-based French cookery school, Le Cordon Bleu, in 1997, Ottolenghi worked as a pastry chef at The Capital, the Michelin-starred restaurant in Knightsbridge. From there he moved to work in the pastry section of the Kensington Place restaurant and that of the sister restaurant, Launceston Place, for a year, under the chef Rowley Leigh. He eventually became head pastry chef at Baker and Spice in Chelsea, London, where he met Sami Tamimi co-founder of their delicatessens and restaurants and co-author of the Ottolenghi and Jerusalem cookery books in 1999. In 2015 his book Nopi: The Cookbook Ramael made The New Zealand Best Seller List.