Openly gay celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi has announced the birth of his first son using a Californian surrogacy service.
Ottolenghi wrote for the Guardian on Monday to announce the birth of a son to he and partner Karl Allen. The couple paid £65,000 to have their sperm used to fertilise the eggs of a donor in California.
Five years on from the decision to have a child, their son Max was born in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
The couple have since returned to their home in London to raise their child.
Writing for the Guardian, for which he already has a cookery column, Ottolenghi said: “At the end of a five-year process, I know we can’t be shy about telling our story, that privacy just isn’t an option. That’s because we could only have had Max, and hopefully also a future sibling, thanks to other people who have shared their stories,”
“Max has already brought us immense joy. He has also forced our second coming out, this time as gay parents.,” he continued.
The 44-year-old Israeli-born chef has British citizenship, and is best known for three best-selling cookery books, and owns a chain of restaurants in London.
Continuing, Ottolenghi said Allen was not on board with the idea of having a child at first, but that he eventually came around to the idea.
He said the couple tried extensively to conceive using IVF with a female friend, but after several failed attempts, the couple turned to surrogacy and visited a Los Aneles clinic where the couple noted they would probably spend in excess of £65,000.
The couple chose a mother of four named as Melanie, to have their child, chose an egg donor through the clinic.
Both were present at the birth. Ottolenghi wrote: “When he finally arrived, Max was… big and hairy; he was also the most incredible creation.”