Food + Wine

Global Culinary School

by Robin Cherry

Dar Liqama

Where: The Palmeraie in Marrakesh

The food: Moroccan dishes the Berbers have been enjoying for centuries

Back home you'll be whipping up: B'steeya, a chicken-filled pastry seasoned with almonds and cinnamon

The dish: Countries as diverse as India, Spain, and France have left their imprint on Morocco's cuisine, which artfully combines sweet and savory flavors. Bouchra Derragui, head chef at Dar Liqama, a swank pink palazzo surrounded by 150,000 palm trees in Marrakech's toniest neighborhood, will teach you all about it… in Arabic. No worries, villa manager Khalil Guerrouai translates with unbridled zeal. Derragui explains how the tagine—the conical clay pot used to slowly simmer the eponymous stew over low heat—keeps meat tender and juicy with its clever design. Her recipe for chicken tagine with sweet potatoes gets its distinctive flavor from Ras el Hanout, a blend of 30 spices that includes chilies, dried rosebuds, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper. You'll also make couscous by (patiently) rolling semolina and water together with your hands and later—in typical local style—eat it with your fingers. Most classes are taught in a brightly lit kitchen whose shelves are lined with jars of preserved lemons, which give Moroccan food its salty-citrus tang. Dar Liqama is about ten minutes from the walls of Marrakesh's medina; a guide will take you into the heart of the medina and souks, pointing you to the best pottery, carpet, and jewelry merchants. And perhaps your very own tagine to take home.

Accommodations: Dar Liqama's graceful rooms have colored limestone walls, tiled fireplaces, and carved wooden doors, and silk bedspreads.

When: February and March; October and November

Dar Liqama
Tel: 214 373 1161
$2,395 per person, double occupancy, for seven nights, including lodging, classes, and excursions. Max class size: 15

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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