The most opin­ion­ated diner in all New York

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

cated and joy­ful story of how his cu­rios­ity about his ma­ter­nal grand­mother’s ori­gins led him to dis­cover that she orig­i­nally came not from Aus­tria as he had be­lieved but from the Ukraine. Delv­ing deeper into fam­ily his­tory, it even­tu­ally emerged that a charm­ing OAD re­viewer he’d met dur­ing last year’s con­fer­ence was in fact a long-lost se­cond cousin once re­moved. “All this came from blintzes,” roars Plot­nicki with ev­i­dent de­light. What’s more, he points out, es­teemed NYC food writer Joan Nathan says the best blintzes come from the Ukraine. Plot­nicki’s father was a kosher butcher, which en­sured the fam­ily had reg­u­lar ac­cess to good meat. “I could tell the dif­fer­ence and de­vel­oped a finely tuned palate early on.”

Th­ese days, Plot­nicki and his wife Linda travel of­ten, try­ing the best restau­rants world­wide. He likens their gourmet glo­be­trot­ting to be­ing like other af­flu­ent hob­by­ists fol­low­ing their in­ter­est in golf or opera. He in­sists how­ever that most of his con­trib­u­tors, now num­ber­ing more than 5000, are far from multi-mil­lion­aires: “We sim­ply pri­ori­tise din­ing as the knowl­edge we like to ac­crue!”

So which Lon­don restau­rants does he rate? He sin­gles out the Mid­dle Eastern in­flu­enced Josh Katz of Ber­ber & Q as a favourite be­sides Yo­tam Ot­tolenghi’s Nopi and Eastern Mediterranean char­coal grill, Peck­ham Bazaar. “I find the cook­ing at this level re­ally in­ter­est­ing with such eclec­tic and ex­cit­ing flavour com­bi­na­tions that re­flect the di­ver­sity of Lon­don.”

Ever the mu­si­cian at heart, he says: “What I lis­ten to most is Miles Davis and I want to find that bal­ance be­tween im­pro­vi­sa­tion and or­gan­i­sa­tion in the food I most rel­ish eat­ing. I like to taste cre­ativ­ity and its evo­lu­tion.” www.opin­ion­ated­about­din­

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