Ottolenghi magic comes to town

Emily Herbert at Otis

Kiama is now on the radar of foodies around the country, as news spreads that Ottolenghi’s head chef for the last four years, Emily Herbert, has opened her first a cafe/deli in Terralong St.

For those who aren’t aware of the almost cult-like following that London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi has, suffice it to say that his cookbooks are bestsellers around the world. Last year his chat about food in the concert hall of the Sydney Opera House was a sellout.

“It was a great place to work – I learnt so much and was treated as part of the family,” says Emily.

“Yotam would let us develop the menu, and come and taste the dishes to give his seal of approval.”

Originally from Melbourne, Emily has worked overseas for 15 years, first in Dubai and then in London.

She’s been visiting Kiama for the last ten years, since her brother moved here, and loves the area.

“The last time I was out here, we were at Centrepoint Pizza and my brother said the place next door would be a great place for the cafe I’ve always wanted,” says Emily.

“When I soon saw it was up for sale, I took it as an omen. Things moved very quickly from there.”

She’s been overwhelmed by the welcome she has received from locals after opening Otis.

“People have been so encouraging as we settle in.

“I’ve no doubt I made the right decision setting up here.

“I’m in the process of developing relationships with local growers, as my food philosophy is fresh and local.”

Emily is in the process of getting more seating and plans to open for dinner.

Other South Coast outlets also feature in her plans.

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