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Ottolenghi

  • Late harvest

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    Late harvest wines are made from grapes left on the vine longer than usual. Late harvest is usually an indication of a sweet dessert wine. The grapes used for late harvest wines are often more similar to raisins, but have been naturally dehydrated while on the vine.

    We have selected two delicious late harvest wines to be enjoyed with cheese, chocolate and any other sweet treats:

    Doron Late Harvest Marzemino from Eugenio Rosi is a sweet, spicy and rich wine – it’s the perfect match for chocolate. The grapes are harvested at the end of September and air dried in wooden boxes.
    At the end of January the grapes go into stainless steel tanks for fermentation and then left unfiltered for 24 months in 2 wooden barrels – one made out of oak and one made out of cherry trees.

    doron Marzemino Doron Eugenio Rosi NV, £35

     

    Calprea Recioto di Soave from Filippo Filippi is a yellow-gold sweet wine made from 100% Garganega. It’s a beautifully balanced wine which is perfect with aged, hard cheeses, fruit pastries and almond biscuits. The grapes are picked at the end of September through the beginning of October. The grapes are put in wooden boxes and left to dry-out on specially made wickerwork shelves and/or suitable small wooden boxes for more than six months. The drying-out process takes place in a locality where it must have complete and constant ventilation, a good quantity of humidity, which favours the growing of the typical and researched noble mould. The dried-out grapes are pressed between the end of March and the beginning of April without the utilization of pumps but by taking advantage of a specially built un-level means of the wine cellar. The must- wine which has an elevated high grade of sugary remains is left to ferment and age in small oak-wood barrels for almost a year. Prior to bottling, only one unique decanting without filtering takes place, thus preferring a natural final decanting. 

    Calprea Recioto di Soave, Filippi, £29 Calprea Recioto di Soave, Filippi, £29

     

  • JERUSALEM wins OFM 'Best cookbook' Award!

    Yotam and Sami were absolutely thrilled to hear that JERUSALEM won ‘Best Cookbook’ at this year’s Observer Food Monthly Awards. Space had to be made in tummies rather than on the award’s shelf as the trophies themselves were edible! Made by Heston and his team at The Fat Duck, the edibility of the prizes was a first for the award. Hosted by Jay Rayner and Sue Perkins, the food for the evening was devised by Angela Hartnett who created a menu which honoured the ten nominees for the Chef of the Decade prize. We were also delighted to see the ‘Best newcomer in food and drink’ going to our great friends at Honey & Co. For more details on the event, including all the  prize winners over the sixteen categories, read more here.Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

     

     

  • Spread a smile!

    Yotam spent a morning at the beginning of October doing a cooking demonstration for Spread a Smile. Dedicated to brightening children’s days during long hospital stays by providing entertainers, magicians and musicians, Spread a smile is a charity Yotam could not say no to. In front of 40 woman, 1 man and accompanied by Esme, Yotam cooked three dishes which all went down very well.

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    Fish cakes with quick pickled lemons and burnt aubergine were snapped up, as were the crispy cous cous saffron cakes dotted with Yotam’s favourite barberries and sour cream. Butterbean puree topped with roasted red pepper strips and sprinkled with dukkah was a simple and delicious side. Smiles all round.

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  • Christmas press-event at Nopi

    It's daunting to see 2013 roaring along so fast and the blue skies of summer swiftly overtaken by an autumn chill. It’s not all gloom, however, and we’ve been having lots of fun keeping busy preparing for the festive season.

    Last week NOPI was closed for breakfast to make way for some early Christmas cheer. The lovely ladies behind the Ottolenghi Online store dropped by to showcase our new Christmas products to some lucky journalists. Over-flowing hampers, Ginger and lemon tiles and Christmas tree-shaped shortbread are just some of the new products coming out in time for the festive season. But don’t despair, our old favourites will be available too: gingerbread pigs, mini mince pies, pecan snowballs, the famous Ottolenghi Christmas cake, plus much more.

    All Ottolenghi Christmas goodies will be available to view and pre-order on ottolenghi.co.uk in October.

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  • VANITY AND SHAME at NOPI

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    An exciting recent acquisition at NOPI was a video installation called VANITY AND SHAME. We adored the large still-life painting of lemons previously filling the space but it was time for something a bit more dynamic. We wanted an interactive piece that did more to connect the formality of the ground floor dining area with the more industrial working atmosphere of the basement, where the open kitchen shares a space with the restaurant’s large, informal, shared-dining table.

    Catherine Anyango, an acclaimed Swedish/Kenyan London-based artist, directs the piece. It lasts just under five minutes so customers will catch the gist of the film’s narrative over the course of an evening, making their one or two trips to the downstairs bathroom. Feedback has been great: it’s sexy, fun, stylish and original and really brings alive what was previously a rather inert space between floors.

    We haven’t acquired any of Anyango’s work before but it was sourced for us by Tot Taylor at Riflemaker Gallery, who knows well the energy we are creating in our restaurant. The video can be seen in its full glory here.

  • Nopi, Aug 27th, 2013

    An often-asked question by our guests is whether we get to try all the food we serve.
    The answer is always yes- as Scully, our executive chef, is always sure to excitedly dish out a new creation of his. What we do not do, however, is eat pork belly with yuzu puree and twice-cooked whole chickens for lunch every day with a glass of Pinot blanc...

    Our staff meals are more familial affairs that evoke those lovely memories of Sundays at your nana’s dinner table. Big pots of hearty stews, a fresh tomato salad, roasted potatoes- Proper sustenance for a hard night's work.

    At Nopi, we are trying for a new tradition, “the good staff meal”. As hospitality veterans, the staff here has a collection of past horror stories (brought over from past-workplaces) that tell of burnt toast, pork surprise (don’t ask), soggy eggs…

    I believe this is the reason behind the flavour and generosity of our daily meals. Every morning at 10:30 and every afternoon at 4:00, if you drop by Warwick st, you will surely witness a banquet downstairs: A stack of plates, pots of rice, fig and yellow bean salad, tomatoes, roasted chickens or beef curry and loud talking as we all pour over food that will keep us going well into dinner service.

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  • Arianna Occhipinti

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    Nestled in the south-eastern corner of Sicily, 25km east of Ragusa, the city of Vittoria is home to Arianna Occhipinti's vineyards. Founded in 1607, Vittoria was surrounded by some of Sicily's best vineyards, where the local Nero d'Avola and Frapato grapes made for some of the Island's finest wines. . The commercialization of Sicilian wines over the years, however, lead to the region’s wine being sold in bulk and exported as cheap blending wine. It was only in the 1980s when Arianna's uncle, Guisto Occhipinti, set up the bespoke COS winery that the region's modern wines begun to restore the glorious reputation of the wines which first made Vittoria’s name.

    Arianna's first memory of wine is of her visit to VinItaly (the annual Italian wine fair in Verona) as a teenager to help her uncle. She vividly remembers the energy in the air and how excited and adventurous she felt with each new wine she tried and winemaker that she met. A couple of years later, aged only 18, she enrolled in a winemaking school in Milan. While at first focussing on the conventional and technical aspects of winemaking, Arianna soon became quite vocal about an alternative and natural approach to winemaking. Upon graduation she moved back South to produce natural wines from the local varietals of the land she loved so much.

    Arianna & Kevin

    Back in Vitoria Arianna started working a tiny vineyard plot around her house and in 2004, aged just 21, her first vintage was born. The 4000 bottles made from the local Nero d'Avola and Frapato grapes were an instant success and sold out within months. Arianna hasn’t looked back: working around the clock she's a one woman band now producing today around 70'000 bottles which all, in their own way, capture the essence of Vitoria in a bottle. When not in the vineyards Arianna is busy travelling the world, meeting fellow natural winemakers and spreading the word and love for Sicilian wine around.

    With 8 vintages now under her belt her wines are original, intriguing, mysterious and elegant. “Wines full of energy and emotions”, in Arianna’s own words.

    WIWHT001010_A SP68 bianco, Arianna Occhipinti '11, £17.85

     

    WIRED001013_A SP68 rosso, Arianna Occhipinti '10, £18.45
  • Think Pink!

    For food and wine lovers like us, England is the near perfect place to be. With beautiful food, delicious wines from all over the world and a culinary scene so vibrant it changes by the day, it makes a perfect home for the keen foodie. Then there's the weather. Despite making a great small-talk topic, there's usually much more to chat about than to actually enjoy. Luckily, when the sun does finally appears and the temperature rises, we all unwillingly put a smile on our faces.

    But that's not all. Our wine fuelled research shows that sunny weather affects the colour of the wines we drink. It turns out that beautiful weather is complimented best by a glass of refreshingly fruity and crisp rose. The reasons are still mostly unknown. It might be the picnic park mood, the rose thirst quenching qualities or simply the beautiful colour but one things for sure: there's nothing quite like a glass of pink to celebrate a glorious sunny day.

    A rose wine is quite simply a white wine made from red grapes. While most of the winemaking process is similar to white winemaking, the most noticeable difference is short period of time the (red) grapes spend on their skin. This is how the pink/copper/peach colour (AKA rose) is born . Most rose are not aged in oak and the winemaker's challenge is to preserve as much of the gapes natural crisp and fruity flavours as possible. While some rose's can be more “serious” (concentrated rich or complex) than others (light, crisp and fruity), they all share a joyful liveliness in the glass.

    As a courtesy to the last few sunny days, and we the hope they last longer than we think they will, we are happy to share with you two of our favourite rose:

    louis_154Madregale Rosato, Cantina Tollo 12' - Abruzzo, Italy

    Elegant fruit meets charming freshness.
    With grapes grown on a unique terroir, between the Apennines mountains and the Adriatic Sea, this must be one of Italy's best bargains.

    mas_roseMas Nicot Rose 11' - Languedoc, France

    Juicy, fruity and soft
    A rose that is not only soft and fruity but also bone-dry and with lots of personality too. 

     

     

  • To ottoleng - the verb

    Gobsmacked to get such an incredible compliment from Tim Hayward in his recent FT magazine article. Read his entertaining observations about ‘cook book colossi’ and the ‘dinner party circuit’ here

  • RAW summary

    Last month we teamed up with Isabelle Legeron MW (AKA “that crazy French Woman” and founder of RAW) to set up the first ever Ottolenghi pop-up wine shop at RAW - the artisan wine fair. Now that the dust has settled, they’ve finally found the time to sit back, relax and tell us the story of these two very exciting days:

    ‘We've always been big fans of RAW. Unlike any other wine fair, RAW offers a healthy and accessible approach to wine, bringing thousands of wine lovers to east London to taste, discuss and drink some of the world's finest natural wines. When we first pondered to partner with RAW, we were attracted to Isabelle's zero-fuss approach to wine. But it was only when we first met Isabelle and her team for a quick wine tasting that we felt this could just be the perfect match. We decided not only to participate but to host RAW's official fair wine shop both at the show itself and from our on-line store on the 19th and the 20th of May.

    On-line we offered around 30 wines made by growers who attended the fair, but the real deal was the setup, from scratch, of the pop-up wine shop in less than a day. With more than 90 wines to display from all over the world, this proved to be quite a challenge. Our goal was to create an Ottolenghi styled wine shop, with us ready to give the most professional advice, complimented with lots of Ottolenghi goodies. We aimed to create a knowledgeable yet welcoming and relaxed wine atmosphere.

    The early hours of Sunday morning, just before the official kick off, was both stressful and exciting. By 6AM hundreds of bottles, 25 wooden wine boxes, 5kg of grissini, 3Kg of salted caramel brittles, one hugely impressive flower arrangement and other bits and pieces were waiting to be assembled into our little wine shop. After pulling through some last-minute glitches, things took shape and by 9am the Ottolenghi Wine Shop was, magically (and according to plan) born and ready for business.
    The fair itself? Everything happened so fast but we enjoyed every minute. Busy from our first sale early on Sunday until the last bottle was sold late on Monday afternoon, our shop turned out to be an ideal meeting place. Fair goers came not only to buy a bottle to take back home but also to talk about wine, ask for advice, open a bottle for a quick lunch outdoors or even just to munch some grissini and brittles. We met old and new friends from all over the world, including growers, sommeliers, wine importers and wine lovers and even found the time to taste some of the most exciting wines we’ve ever had.

    Finally for all you figure lovers out there, here's a breakdown of how RAW unfolded:

    200 growers and their vineyard representatives showing the wines of 169 vineyards
    1 cider producer
    1 importer of proper sake
    1 London brewery
    1 natural tea tasting bar
    923 visits by consumers/wine amateurs/drinkers
    1996 visits by trade individuals
    153 press visitors from around the world

    We will let you know about the 2014 dates as soon as they are set, just to make sure you don’t miss the most exciting wine event of 2014.

    Gal Zohar, Ottolenghi sommelier

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