Yotam Ottelenghi, the Middle Eastern chef and restaurateur, is a god to his legion of fans.

With endless delis and cafes in London, a string of TV programmes and an impressive collection of cookery books to his name, NOPI is perhaps Ottelenghi’s best known eaterie.

Manned by head chef Ramael Scully, the launch of the NOPI cookbook was therefore an opportunity not to be missed, It was one grabbed with both hands by food writer Clare Hargreaves of Feast with a Chef, who brought Scully and his team to Oxford and ensconced them in the Hertford College kitchens on Saturday night.

The pop-up evening proved an instant hit and the event sold out almost immediately. Getting my hot paws on four tickets, we managed to squeeze our way onto the trestle tables ready for our five-course dinner.

There was a real sense of excitement and anticipation in the air and those seated nearby had come from all over the country – expectations were high.

If you have been to NOPI you will know it is a very relaxed affair, where dishes are brought as-and-when they are made to your table, like an ongoing tapas feast. But this meal needed to be more formal, with 125 diners to feed at the same time.

We were greeted with a delicious pineapple and sage martini which was a refreshing start. Wine could then be ordered at the table.

First to appear was NOPI’s famous courgette and manouri fritters served with a lime and cardamom sour cream and strips of cakey cornbread.

The croquettes were a masterpiece, I wanted to hide them under my coat and do a runner rather than have to share them with anyone else. Soft, pungent, almost juicy insides, crisp on the outside and a fragrant creamy dip; they were little balls of heaven.

The roasted aubergine with black garlic, pine nuts and basil was very bitter and less of a success.

Then, a celeriac puree with curried cauliflower and a fried quails egg which was the perfect comfort food. Another winner.

The venison fillet with date labneh, peanut crumb, blackberries and broccoli was perfectly autumnal.

This was followed swiftly by a baked chocolate ganache with plum, spicy hazelnuts and orange oil, anotherexample of Scully’s deep, exotic flavours.

It was a long night, with Scully being interviewed by Hargreaves about his history and inspiration, and a brief introduction from the dean.

Having started at 6.30pm we left four hours later with a cookery book included in the £85 ticket price.

It was however a fantastic evening. As a result, Hargreaves has been inundated with offers from other hosts and chefs, so watch this space.