Celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi describes discussing fatherhood as second coming out.

In a Guardian op-ed titled Why I'm Coming Out As A Gay Father, Ottolenghi, 44, says that the birth of his son Max has “forced” a “second coming out” for himself and Karl Allen. The couple married in September 2011, in Massachusetts, and live in London.

Ottolenghi, the author of Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, Plenty and Jerusalem and the co-owner of four delis and a formal restaurant in London, was born in Israel and trained at the Le Cordon Bleu in London. He writes a weekly food column for the Guardian.

The pair first started planning for a baby five years ago. Max was born in Boston, Massachusetts through surrogacy.

“When Max came into our lives six months ago, Karl and I wanted to keep it private. … But we soon realized how naïve, even egotistical, this was.”

“But it was me, of course, with the unresolved issue. 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 – even if that happens to be on cheesy talkshows. Max has already brought us immense joy. He has also forced our second coming out, this time as gay parents,” he wrote.

The couple was present at Max's birth. “When he finally arrived, Max was … big and hairy; he was also the incredible creation.”