Ottolenghi is the man.

Yoram Ottolenghi, the fusion chef, right, with head chef Sami Tamimi.

He’s got sweet potatoes, my go-to food. He’s got sweet potato salad, a recipe for which that didn’t send me screaming to the raw green crunchy purlieus. He’s got a luncheon salad, my very favorite kind, of cooked vegetables with fruit. He’s got that awesome fruit and balsamico thing going — you remember those delicious desserts of golden balsamic vinegar on strawberries with a touch of fresh cracked pepper? And the immortal fresh fig, balsamic, mint, pepper, hazelnuts?

Finally, he’s one of the two chefs I’ve ever run into who took the coarse indigenous fusion cuisines — think goat, butchered into 5-inch cubes from head to tail, port to starboard — with which they grew up and turned it into something not just 100 per cent better but a true incarnation of melting pot culture. The other one is Steven Raichlen, who single-handedly created a Caribbean/Cuban/central American/Florida cracker cuisine in Miami Spice. What Raichlen did for guava cheesecake, or cole slaw with carambola and Scotch effin’ bonnet pepper, Ottolenghi is doing with the many cuisines of his native Jerusalem.

Further he has a column for The Guardian called The New Vegetarian — good news for all who claim that sometimes healthy lunch meat is a salad —  in which he brings all that and his London restaurateur polish to the table. They are gathered in his Brit best seller, Plenty.

I am making the sweet potato fig salad, and I am making it with my homegrown Chimayo chiles and local figgies. I am very excited.

This picture is from the Guardian piece.

Next up, his celery salad with soft-boiled egg. Celery floats. my. boat. And he’s got a kohlrabi salad for winter to die for.

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