In order to get all the recipes for the Ottolenghi Cookbook perfectly right, flawless, we applied the strictest procedures for trialing and testing.
Savoury recipes were first made by Sami at home, to a group of four to six discerning mouths. Sami would prepare roughly five dishes that he would then serve, one at a time. A long discussion would follow (Karl normally had the most exact observations), resulting either in a re-run or a written recipe. Cakes, tarts and breads were firstly made by Jim Webb at home and judged by himself and girlfriend/pastry chef Carol Brough.
Recipes would then be passed on to non-Ottolenghi cooks, Claudine and Alison, who would try them at home and email comments. Then, most recipes would either go to Sami or Jim to re-formulate or go for a second trial with another objective party. So, at the end, each recipe would have been tested at least three times. Just imagine the excel file that contained all this information!