When in the culinary hotbed of Morocco–Fès–one can’t help, but indulge in a private culinary class. We spent 3 hours on a Sunday in Fès learning all the ins and outs of traditional Moroccan cuisine with Mina from Riad Anata.
Photography by Svadore
Moroccan cuisine is one of the most diverse and important cuisines in the world. Due to its various colonizers and immigrants, its food is inspired by a variety of influences. The Arabs added their spices, nuts and dried fruits, the French introduced cafés, pastries, and wine, and the Berbers tagine and couscous. Over time, the dishes were perfected to blend each of the distinct tastes based on its region, season and market. Given the importance of cuisine in Morocco, Patrick and I decided to embark on our own private culinary class taught by a Fès local.
After a fresh and hearty breakfast, Pat and I met Mina, Riad Anata’s main Chef, on the terrace to start our oh-so anticipated private culinary class! Mina, whose lived in and around Fez, knew all the ins and outs of the Medina, where to find the freshest ingredients, and taught us how to cook not one but TWO local dishes! The service includes learning how to make Moroccan local cuisine, Tajine as your main course meal, and appetizers, but as we were cooking…one thing led to another…and Mina ended up being so kind as to teach us our favorite breakfast bread she served us the mornings prior! If you want to truly immerse yourself in the culture and culinary world of Fez, I highly recommend you take this private culinary class. Not only will you get to experience a local part of the Moroccan culture first hand, but you will also learn how to make a traditional meal to bring back home to your friends and family from a local whose been using technique handed down by her own ancestors. After an intensive morning cooking, we would enjoy the fruits of your own labor for dinner!
The course begins with a quick run to the Medina to barter with the local vendors and pick up fresh ingredients including Lima beans, parsley, barley, yellow melon, carrots, onions etc. Grocery shopping in Morocco is far from shopping anywhere else. A few supermarket chains exist, but the everyday shopping is done in souks where they can pickup fresh ingredients.
Following the quick run to the Medina market, we brought the food up to the terrace kitchen where we proceeded to prep our meals. Mina made us some cold lemon and mint tee before getting started to quench our thirst.
Our meal for the night consisted of a traditional Lima bean and carrot appetizer followed by a lemon chicken tajine and yellow melon for dessert. For a sneak peak on how to make this local recipe and my experience with Mina, check out my video at the end of this page! Unfortunately, I can’t give you the FULL recipe to this delicious meal..or it would ruin the fun in taking the course, but you’ll get an idea.
Mina was super friendly and we spoke endlessly about my life in the States versus her and her daughters lives in and around Fès. The experience was more than just a cooking class, but a cultural exchange between two people. Pat and I not only learned a new traditional Moroccan recipe, but also picked up some cooking techniques throughout the process that will make our own home cooked meals that much faster and easier to cook..! After finishing our cooking class, Pat and I gave Amina a big hug and proceeded to further explore the Medina. When we later returned, we had the whole terrace to ourselves and ordered a bottle of red wine from the region of Meknès nearby to complement our delicious, home-cooked meal.
When you eat chicken, lamb or even Camel in Morocco, you will never look at meat and poultry the same way. The meat and poultry here are so fresh and tender, you taste the difference immediately. Our chicken had been freshly plucked the day prior, skinned, and marinaded for 24 hours before we prepped it for our dinner. Our stomachs were always happy after indulging in eloquent meals. Our lemon chicken tajine was no exception. The appetizers prepared us for an even more delicious main meal..all cooked by Pat and I with the help of Mina!
To book your class with Mina while in Fès, please visit Riad Anata’s website.
- Riad Anata, Derb El-Hamia, Fès Boulemane 30200, Morocco; Riad-anata.com
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Riad Anata. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.
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