It’s been called “an evening of abundant conversation”. Chef, restaurant owner and food writer Yotam Ottolenghi will be at the Sydney Opera House’s concert hall to talk about his life and his new book, Simple.

The Cordon Bleu-trained chef was last at the Opera House in 2014. As he did then, he will reveal the personal stories behind his recipes.

The Jerusalem-born, London-based chef has a worldwide following after becoming an incidental champion for the vegetarian movement. Incidental because Ottolenghi only started writing vegetarian recipes after being assigned a vegetarian food column in the Guardian in 2006.

“Every now and then a chef comes along who fundamentally changes the way we cook at home,” said Edwina Throsby, head of talks and ideas at the Sydney Opera House in a statement.

“Yotam Ottolenghi has had a massive impact on our kitchens – not only has he been single-handedly responsible for a rejuvenation in the flagging pomegranate molasses market, he has also spearheaded a global movement towards vegetable-based meals.”

Ottolenghi worked in some of London’s top restaurants, then as a pastry chef at Baker and Spice, where he met Arab-Palestinian chef and partner Sami Tamimi. Together they opened Ottolenghi Notting Hill, a deli that championed vegetables and Middle Eastern ingredients. It became a huge success and more delis were opened across the city.

Cookbooks (Jerusalem, Plenty, Plenty More) followed. So did TV shows and documentaries, and he continues to write a weekly column for the Guardian and the New York Times.

An Evening With Ottolenghi is on Tuesday January 29, 2019 at 7pm, at the Sydney Opera House. Tickets are on sale Friday December 21 at 9am.