Yotam Ottolenghi has closed the ‘test Kitchen’, a centre of creativity where they test recipes and tweak on them, but they continue to work with his team.
Away from the ‘test Kitchen ‘ which was closed due to coronavirus, Ottolenghi and his 5-person team continue their creative work. Ottolenghi, writing for the NY Times, stated that the coronavirus process did not affect their creativity, and those team members returning to their hometown continued their work even away. Ottolenghi said, “Six of us spend most of our time there, thinking up ideas, testing dishes repeatedly and talking about them. It’s where concepts take shape and plans for future projects — recipes, articles, books and restaurant dishes, bagged products, cakes and treats of any shape or form — are developed.” Ottolenghi said, noting that they would continue their work wherever they were, even if they were not in the same place, “Everyone had to give up their projects and quickly find somewhere safe to land for an unforeseeable amount of time. That’s a goodbye, obviously, but not a complete one” about the inability to go to the test kitchen due to health precautions following the coronavirus.
Noor Murad, one of the members of the 6-member team, returned to Bahrain with her family after the outbreak but continued her work there, reviving old recipes with restricted ingredients, thus resulting in “chickpea cacio e pepe”. “ A chickpea cacio e pepe she made recently was a brilliant way of bringing Europe closer to the Middle East in a time of virtually no travel,” Ottolenghi said about this new flavour. Ottolenghi said that another member of the team, Ixta Belfrage, was pushing its boundaries with new recipes and making handmade Chinese biang biang noodles, also put the finishing touches on the “Flavour” book about vegetables they co-wrote. Ottolenghi wrote that Gitai Fisher from the team was working on one-person recipes and Verena Lochmuller was working on pastry recipes. Famous chef stated that Tara Wigley and Sami Tamimi were about to go on tour for the book they co-wrote “Falastin” about Palestinian food. Ottolenghi wrote for himself that he spent his days with his husband Karl and his children making chile sauce and ended his article by saying “Our jars of chile, constantly replenished, are symbols of our sanity and, hopefully, of normalcy soon to return.”