Five things we learned from Yotam Ottolenghi’s visit to Fat Pasha
Chef Yotam Ottolenghi doesn’t only have a cult following for his UK restaurants, but for his regular column in The Guardian, and his many cookbooks including his newest, Ottolenghi Simple. He passed through Toronto over the weekend, delighting crowds at talks and book signings across the city. But it was at the sold-out brunch at Fat Pasha that fans got to mingle with the chef and author, and feast on a meal featuring recipes from Ottolenghi Simple, made by the Fat Pasha crew. Here, five things we learned from him over brunch.
He loves Toronto
Having visited our city a number of times for book tours, Ottolenghi says he gets the best welcomes from his Toronto fans. “It’s a big city but it also feels like a small one, because everywhere we go, everyone seems to know each other.”
He’s had some great meals at Toronto restaurants
On this trip in particular, he was most impressed with Aloette, Patrick Kriss’s adorable diner a couple floors beneath its fancier sister spot, Alo.
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Just had the best meal on the tour! At @aloette_restaurant. This roasted squid and pork belly, kimchi and furikake was superb. But the absolute best were iceberg lettuce with chive cream and roasted carrots with vadouvan, orange and smoked yoghurt. This place is to die for. #torontofood #ottolenghisimple
He’s very close with Toronto’s own Bonnie Stern
Besides participating in conversation at George Brown College with the city’s beloved author and culinary expert, Ottolenghi spent his final afternoon restaurant hopping in the city with the woman he calls his “Canadian mother”, wrapping up with a visit to at Joso’s on Avenue Road. It was Stern who introduced Ottolenghi to Anthony Rose in the first place.
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Last meal on my N American tour is at @jososrestaurant, quirky (doesn’t even begin to describe it) Toronto gem serving classic Dalmatian seafood. Squid ink risotto was totally delicious, and just as good were the fritti and the octopus salad (potato, lettuce, olives, capers). Such a delightful note to end the last couple of weeks on. Thanks to my “Canadian mother” @bonniestern for looking after me today. Au revoir ?????
Ottolenghi inspired the creation of Fat Pasha
Anthony Rose confessed that Ottolenghi and his many cookbooks have influenced Rose’s restaurants, especially Fat Pasha.
In turn, Rose and Sons’ cream cheese French toast was inspirational for Ottolenghi
“After a Toronto stop for Jerusalem, Bonnie took me to Rose and Sons and I was blown away by the meal I had. It was so good. I loved it.” In fact, the restaurant’s cream cheese-stuffed French toast inspired Ottolenghi to create a similar recipe in his cookbook Plenty More.
More pictures from the Ottolenghi Simple brunch
Here’s the menu from the special one-off meal:
It was prepared by the Fat Pasha team:
The mixed mezze platter featured pizza bianca with potato, anchovy and sage; a cauliflower and pistachio salad; roasted eggplant with curried yogurt; hot, charred cherry tomatoes with cold yogurt; and lima bean mash with muhammara:
We caught Ottolenghi doing some Instagramming of his own:
Here’s the shot he took:
The second course included beef sirloin with a basil salad, harissa and confit garlic roasted potatoes, and a chopped salad with tahini and za’atar:
Dessert was a verrine of sweet and salty cheesecake with cherries:
Here’s Ottolenghi with Rose, each holding the other man’s new cookbook: