Sami Tamimi's intimate engagement with food started at a tender age, whilst watching his mother prepare Palestinian delicacies at their home within the walls of Arab East Jerusalem. His first job was as a commis chef at the Mount Zion hotel in the city. He thereafter investigated some of his culinary passions, including the food of Yemen, Morocco, Egypt, Persia and even the Eastern European Jewish communities. In 1997 he moved from Tel Aviv to London to work at Baker and Spice, creating a unique traiteur section with the strong identifiable flavours of the Middle East. In 2002 he teamed up with Yotam to open Ottolenghi.