Penguin Random House has bagged a series of Ottolenghi Test Kitchen (OTK) books, promising big flavours and diverse influences coupled with maximum ease and versatility for home cooks.
Ottolenghi's Test Kitchen is the place where the chef and his team develop new recipes. The books will share the kitchen's tried-and-tested recipes, with ways to tweak and modify them using whatever ingredients are to hand. Designed in an interactive notebook style, they feature suggestions to adapt, spaces to write notes, and “free-flowing Insta-inspired photography”.
The two-book deal for world all languages excluding the US was completed by Ebury m.d. Joel Rickett and Ebury Press publishing director Lizzy Gray with Felicity Rubinstein at Lutyens & Rubinstein. US rights went to Aaron Wehner at Clarkson Potter and Canadian rights to Robert McCullough at Appetite by Random House, both via Kim Witherspoon at Inkwell.
The first book, Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love, compiled by Yotam Ottolenghi, Noor Murad and the OTK team, will be published on 30th September 2021.
The series was inspired by the OTK team’s own experience in lockdown, “when we’ve all been standing in front of our kitchen shelves, cupboards and fridges, wondering what to cook with what we’ve got; how to put a can of chickpeas or a bag of frozen peas to good use, instead of taking an extra trip to the shops”.
The publisher explained: “These dishes pack all the punch and edge we expect from Ottolenghi, but with more flexibility to make them our own. There’s the ultimate guide to creamy dreamy hummus, a one-pan route to confit tandoori chickpeas and a not-your-average tomato salad. Packed with tips to get ahead and for switching things up, this is Ottolenghi stripped back, fuelled by the classic Middle Eastern flavours we all love. The #OTK team bring a shared following in their own right of 1.8 million followers on Instagram.”
Ottolenghi, whose previous books were also published by Ebury, said: “Recent times have created an incredible interest in home cooking (check out Instagram!). Everyone is looking for inventive ways to use much-loved, everyday pantry ingredients to spice up their long days at home. The first OTK cookbook, spearheaded by the very clever Noor Murad, embraces this challenge with open arms and even wider open cupboard doors. The team here had been busy putting jars of chickpeas to good use, turning bags of frozen peas into Middle-Eastern spreads and simply being creative with whatever they can lay their hands on. The result, I am proud to say, is a collection of very-Ottolenghi recipes, for everyone.’
Shelf Love, released as a £25 flexibound edition, will be followed in autumn 2022 with Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Stock It Up. This will be all about building up your fridge, freezer and cupboard staples – prepping ahead, reinventing the familiar and cooking flexibly across the week. Each recipe or feast will feature a marinade, dressing, spice mix, salsa, paste, pastry or crumble, to transform future meals.
Rickett said: “The #OTK team have helped the world through lockdown by showing us how to make amazing food with whatever we can find in our kitchens. We’re beyond excited about this new creative direction for Ottolenghi, which will sit perfectly alongside Yotam’s standalone books and appeal to a huge audience. What better way to follow the groundbreaking Ottolenghi Simple and last autumn’s Ottolenghi Flavour, which has dominated bestseller charts around the world.”
Fans will get an exclusive opportunity to hear directly from Ottolenghi himself at the "Yotam Ottolenghi: A Life in Flavour Tour” this September. The chef will be visiting Nottingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Oxford, Kingston, York and London from 9th to 28th September 2021. Tickets and further information are available online.