Fragrant with saffron, mint and lemon, Moroccan cuisine reflects its Berber origins while incorporating flavors from Andalusian, French, and Arab influences. Perhaps best known for its traditional tagines, savory stews simmered in conical earthenware pots, Moroccan cuisine is also experiencing a renaissance, as modern chefs interpret the flavors of the country in new and exciting ways. Indeed, Marrakech and Casablanca now have some of the finest restaurants in North Africa. Additionally, Morocco’s micro-climates offer winemakers the right terroir for red wine particularly, and vineyards are beginning to take advantage of the favorable climate.
One of the most popular ways to learn about the cuisine of Morocco is a private cooking lesson, in which a professional chef guides guests in a hands-on lesson. In a small village near Marrakech, learn the craft of Moroccan cooking adjacent to an organic garden. Get the finer points of preparing spicy carrots and while your tagine is cooking on the fire, stroll to a nearby village for tea.
In the cities, our chefs will start with a visit to the local market, where you help shop for the fresh vegetables that will comprise the bulk of the meal. Next, head to the kitchen for instruction on how to mix Ras el-Hanout, the tasty signature spice blend for which Morocco is justly famous. Finally, bring a loaf of bread to the communal medina oven to be baked and brought back to enjoy, piping hot and fragrant. The conclusion of the lesson is, of course, the meal, an opportunity to share a feast that will not soon be forgotten.
In addition to cooking lessons with professional chefs, Cobblestone can arrange visits to private homes to gain insight into more typical Moroccan kitchens and cuisine. An enjoyable afternoon might be spent sipping sweet mint tea and munching almond cookies at a local home, observing the fundamental role tea plays in the culture of Morocco. The French fondness for sweets was embraced by Moroccans and city patisseries are crowded with flaky-crusted delicacies – let us direct you to the quiet cafes that offer the best pastries and people-watching.
From learning how to prepare a proper meze platter to securing a last-minute reservation in Marrakech’s most sought-after restaurant, Cobblestone’s connections in Morocco will satisfy the palate of the most demanding gourmand.