TV chef and author Yotam Ottolenghi will reopen two of his delis and online shop, a month after he echoed calls for the government to implement short- and medium-term measures widely believed to be enough to prevent the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from completely destroying the U.K. restaurant industry. The Islington and Notting Hill delis will open from 23 and 20 May respectively; delis in Belgravia and Spitalfields remain closed.
The group has introduced safety measures already seen in other reopening: socially distanced queues and screens between customers and staff, with Ottolenghi writing on Instagram that “It’s not ideal, I know, but we are trying to strike the right balance between keeping everyone safe and being able to do what we love doing so much: making delicious food and providing the best, heartfelt service.”
The food on offer is categorised under “essentials,” including morning pastries, baked goods like passion fruit tarts, and pantry items. There will also be the towering salads that the delis are perhaps best known for, as well as bake-at-home pies and mains like fish in tahini sauce with pine nuts and sumac. The brand’s online shop will also reopen for nationwide delivery this week.
While other restaurants in the city have adapted to the crisis with new services, and even new brands, in order to best serve the people around them, Ottolenghi is sticking to what built its brand in the neighbourhoods it inhabits.