There’s really no point in inventing a shortlist for my entirely-made-up ‘Cookbook of the Year’ competition, when one is clearly head and shoulders above the rest. NOPI published this September to critical acclaim for its mouth-watering, veg-heavy recipes, as well as its outstanding design. The book of Yotam Ottolenghi’s ‘grown-up’ restaurant of the same name (short for ‘North of Piccadilly’) has been long awaited by fans since the restaurant opened in 2011, and is co-authored by head chef Ramael Scully.
As an object, it’s a work of art: gold sprayed edges against a cream/gold/white pallet mirror the restaurant’s clean interiors, and an innovative rough-touch finish for the pan on both the front and back mimics that of real cast iron. As for the photography… Pitch perfect on colour and clarity, it manages to maintain the rustic warmth of the cooking whilst showing off the more sophisticated side of the restaurant’s adapted dishes.
Will I actually cook from it? With Ottolenghi I tend to find that I really do, despite the infamous supermarket hunts trying to source pomegranate molasses. I’ll be keeping mine in the living room though, well away from sauce and greasy fingers, which essentially means I’ll have to take photos of the pages every time I want to use it. You can’t have it all.
NOPI, £28, is published by Ebury Press and is out now.
Available to purchase here