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Israeli chefs deny £250,000 book deal

Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co
Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co

The two Israeli chefs behind a small London restaurant have poured cold water on speculation that their highly anticipated cookbook is expected to earn them a six-figure publishing deal.

Itamar Srulovich, 34, who owns Honey & Co with his wife and co-chef Sarit Packer, 34, described as “vague rumours” recent media stories that sums of up to £250,000 were being bid for rights to publish the book.

He said that the couple had held meetings with “a few publishers” but that “at the moment it is just hot air. There is no deal, there is nothing — we don’t know where it all spun from”.

The Jerusalem-born chef revealed that although a book was planned, it would not be on the shelves until 2015.

The excitement over a Honey & Co cookbook is understandable as both cooks have worked with celebrity Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi. Ms Packer was head of pastry for Ottolenghi and executive head chef at his NOPI restaurant.

At the moment it is all just hot air — there is no deal

Honey & Co has become popular among London diners since it opened its doors in Marylebone last year. The couple’s recipes are heavily influenced by Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine, with favourite dishes such as stuffed violet aubergines with tomato and cauliflower baked in yogurt and tahini sauce.

“This is the food we grew up on,” said Mr Srulovich. “Our food is so homely and domestic, people can visualise it in their homes. This has sparked the interest. The food is very translatable — all you need to make it is a wooden spoon and a stove.”

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