Sami Tamimi

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Sami Tamimi
Sami Tamimi

1968 (age 55–56)
Culinary career
Cooking styleMiddle Eastern
Current restaurant(s)
    • Rovi, Fitzrovia, London, England (2018–present)
    • OTTOLENGHI Spitalfields, Spitalfields, London, England (2015–present)
    • Nopi, Soho London, England (2011–present)
    • OTTOLENGHI Islington, Islington, London, England (2007–present)
    • OTTOLENGHI Notting Hill, Notting Hill, London, England (2002–present)
Previous restaurant(s)
    • OTTOLENGHI Kensington, Kensington, London, England (2005–2013)
Award(s) won
    • James Beard Award – International Cookbook
      2013 Jerusalem

Sami Tamimi is an Israeli Arab[1][2] chef and author living in London. He is the co-owner of six delis and restaurants in London. Tamimi is also the co-author of several bestselling cookbooks, including Ottolenghi (2008), Jerusalem (2012) and Falastin (2020).

Early life[edit]

Tamimi grew up in a Muslim family in the Old City of East Jerusalem. Tamimi moved out of his family home at 17. [3] He started his career as a porter at Mount Zion, a Jerusalem hotel.[4] Tamimi quickly became a chef at Mount Zion and after a number of jobs he became head chef of Lilith in Tel Aviv. [5] An English customer at Lilith offered Tamimi a job.[4] He accepted and in 1997 he moved to London to run the kitchen at the bakery Baker & Spice.[5][2]

Collaboration with Yotam Ottolenghi[edit]

In 1999 while Tamimi was running Baker & Spice, Yotam Ottolenghi visited the store. [6] “It was completely magical,” Ottolenghi said. “I saw all these walls and counters covered with a marvelous mix of food. There were Middle Eastern salads, Italian Caprese salads, rotisserie chickens, even char-grilled broccoli.” Soon after Ottolenghi started working there. Tamimi was in charge of the savories and Ottolenghi was in charge of the pastries.[4] The two became friends and talked about going into business together. In 2002 Tamimi became partners with Noam Bar and Yotam Ottolenghi in the deli Ottolenghi in Notting Hill. They have expanded to more locations and now this group runs the restaurants Rovi and Nopi.[5] Tamimi and Ottolenghi have written two critically acclaimed cookbooks, Ottolenghi and Jerusalem. The latter has won many awards, including the International Book Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2013, and it has been credited with starting many cookbook clubs.[7] [8][9] [10] Tamimi and Tara Wigley coauthored the cookbook Falastin.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Tamimi lives with his partner Jeremy Kelly.[6] He writes, paints and composes Arabic poetry.[4]

Published works[edit]

  • Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (2008) (with Yotam Ottolenghi)
  • Jerusalem: A Cookbook (2012) (with Yotam Ottolenghi)
  • Falastin: A Cookbook (2020) (with Tara Wigley)

Awards and recognition[edit]


  1. ^ "Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi Talk Jerusalem, Recipes and Passports". Haaretz. 13 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b "How we met: Sami Tamimi & Yotam Ottolenghi". 6 October 2013.
  3. ^ "'A love letter home' – recipes and stories of the Palestinian table". The Guardian. 15 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "The Philosopher Chef". The New Yorker. 26 November 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Podcast: Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley on Food, their Collaboration… and Hummus". 10 June 2020.
  6. ^ a b "What Yotam Ottolenghi Cooks at Home (Yes, There Is Eggplant)". 4 August 2014.
  7. ^ "2013 James Beard Foundation Awards". StarChefs. May 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  8. ^ "2013 James Beard Winners" (PDF). Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  9. ^ Canavan, Hillary Dixler (6 May 2013). "Winners: 2013 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards". Eater.
  10. ^ "'Jerusalem' Has All the Right Ingredients". The New York Times. 30 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Palestinian cookbooks help preserve a culture's identity". Los Angeles Times. 2 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Innovation & Design Awards 2011: the winners". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  13. ^ Restaurant and Bar Design Awards – Entry 2011/12. (11 January 2013). Retrieved on 2015-09-23.
  14. ^ 2013 JBF Award Winners, The James Beard Foundation. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  15. ^ The Guild of Food Writers – the professional association of food writers and broadcasters in the UK. Retrieved on 23 September 2015.
  16. ^ (in Spanish) Gourmand Awards Winners 2013 Cookbook. Retrieved on 23 September 2015.
  17. ^ IACP35 Award Winners 2013 Archived 23 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Guardian News & Media press release: Observer Food Monthly Awards announces winners for 2013 | GNM press office. The Guardian. Retrieved on 23 September 2015.

External links[edit]