It’s high summer and Yotam Ottolenghi is island-hopping. Yes, this is one of those cookery shows that is as much about escapism as inspiration: about drinking in the sparkling sea, the cloudless sky, the rugged peaks looming over age-old villages. Ottolenghi’s first destination is Corsica and he clearly can’t quite believe his luck either as he stops to exclaim over the view, over the wild herbs that carpet the mountains. This is where the soul of the Corsican people is found, we’re told.
Fortunately, there’s also some top-notch grub: plump courgettes oozing local cheese, honey that changes flavours with the season, and olive oil Ottolenghi knocks back like wine. The locals are clearly as charmed by the Israeli chef with his crisp pastel shirts and self-deprecating jokes as he is by their rustic fare.
For the onlooker devouring all this on a cold autumnal evening it’s both tonic and exquisite torture.