British chef, bestselling cookbook author, and food columnist for the Guardian Yotam Ottolenghi has long been open about his sexuality, but spoke for the first time this weekend about being a gay father.
In what Ottolenghi called a “second coming out,” he explained how he came to be a father with his partner Karl Allen.
Though he and Allen had originally intended to keep the matter private, they realized “how naïve, [and] even egotistical, this was” due to Ottolenghi’s fame: “I know we can't be shy about telling our story, that privacy just isn't an option,” he wrote in an article for the Guardian.
Ottolenghi, who runs an eponymous chain of restaurants and has written a number of cookbooks (including the Ottolenghi: The Cookbook and Jerusalem, both co-written with his business partner Sami Tamimi), wrote about how he and Allen spent a difficult five years trying unsuccessfully to seek co-parenting arrangements in the United Kingdom before ultimately choosing to be matched with an American egg donor and an American surrogate to carry the child, Max, who was born six months ago.
“It was a weird and wonderful time,” he wrote of their surrogate’s pregnancy, but “Max has already brought us immense joy.”