London-based chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi will not be opening in New York, or anywhere outside of London for that matter, in the foreseeable future. Ottolenghi sat down with Bloomberg critic Richard Vines to discuss the expansion of his empire of namesake restaurants. The chef and his business partner Sami Tamimi recently opened the fourth location of their restaurant Ottolenghi in London's City neighborhood. Ottolenghi tells Vines, "We wanted to go to an area with a little more of a business vibe. All the other Ottolenghis are really very residential."
When Vines asks Ottolenghi if they plan to open outside of London, say in some place like New York City, the chef quickly shuts down the idea: "We have been resisting opening restaurants outside of London altogether, [and] New York is pretty far." Ottolenghi — who is a noted control freak — explains that he and Sami "are pretty compulsive in terms of control — or wanting to control — the quality and the way things work," adding that he finds it "very difficult to imagine having a restaurant that is not around the block." He notes, "There have been suggestions [to expand elsewhere], but for now we are keeping it London-focused."
While Americans may not be able to eat at one of Ottolenghi's restaurants anytime soon, they can still cook his food. Ottolenghi is releasing another cookbook — this time based off of his restaurant NOPI — in October. Check out the interview below: