About our Cooking School in Morocco
Rich in both history and flavor, Morocco cuisine is one of the most exotic in the world. The sophisticated Moroccan palate arose as the country played host to travelers and rulers from such disparate lands as China, India, Spain and Persia and then, finally, from serving for 40 years as a French protectorate. In particular, the French influence remains. French is the second language of Morocco, and an air of French sophistication infuses the Saharan oasis with a European flavor. The Rhode School of Cuisine in Marrakech captures this richness in its Moroccan cooking holidays.
It is in this oasis and in our customized kitchen that you will join other cooking enthusiasts for a unique culinary vacation. Our local staff will pamper you and escort you to the market, lead you on a trek in the nearby Atlas or take you camel riding. During the hands-on cooking lessons our expert chefs will introduce you to the exotic combination of ingredients and techniques that exemplify traditional Moroccan cuisine. You will learn first-hand how the fascinating history of this country has influenced its cuisine, and we will also introduce you to some of our own fusion recipes.
Traditional Moroccan Recipes
Even the most jaded palates will respond to the delicious and astonishing blend of flavors that you will learn to create in your own kitchen with some great Moroccan recipes. The Tajine serves as the framework for a college of ingredients, spices and styles. Imagine making Tajine de viande, Tajine des poissons, poulet aux olives et citron couscous, M’Choui (lamb), B’Stilla (the legendary centerpiece of every banquet), Harira (traditional lentil soup), salade Marocaine, cornes de gazelle (sugar-coated pastries with a delicate almond paste filling) and M’Henca (almond filled pastry), or briaouts au miel covered in honey. Simple and easy to prepare organic salads and vegetables take on an immediate exotic flavor within the context of Moroccan recipes.
The Rhode School of Cuisine diligently pairs the meals you create with appropriate libations, including some Spanish varieties and the excellent Moroccan wines. Our greatest discovery of local wine is CB Initials, which uses traditional French techniques of wine production. The delicious and delicately rose-colored Boulaouane de Gris is the perfect accompaniment for many of the dishes.
Our Location – Dar Liqama in Marrakech
Our Moroccan cooking school at Dar Liqama is located just outside the ancient imperial city of Marrakech, a walled garden city of tall graceful palms set beneath the snow-capped Atlas Mountain range. About ten minutes from the medina, you will find the Palmeraie, a grove of over 150,000 towering palm trees. It is here you will find the luxury villa Dar Liqama, aptly named the ‘house of green mint.’
Our luxury palazzo, set against the backdrop of the majestic Atlas and Jbel Ette Mountains, was constructed to reflect the traditional style of Moroccan architecture while offering modern conveniences. Magnificent Moroccan antique doors open from the grand columned entrance, as well as in the great hall and dining room. The graceful archways of the villa create a calm and elegant ambience surrounding an interior courtyard filled with scented flowers and the calming sounds of a bubbling fountain.
The eight spacious bedrooms of Dar Liqama are decorated in traditional Moroccan style and all have bathrooms en-suite, ambient wall lighting, limestone Tadlakt wall finishes, and most rooms feature private fireplaces. The luxury villa’s large upper terrace has a panoramic view of the Atlas mountain range and sweeping views over the Palmeraie. The peripheral salon features a rustic fireplace and pergola with underfloor heating for those cool evenings. Swimming pools, a Hammam (Turkish steam bath), an exercise spa, tennis courts, games room, and conference facilities are sensitively integrated among the palm trees.
The Owner’s Villa A short distance from the main house, sits a truly remarkable villa with each of the five bedrooms opening to a large traditional central courtyard, shaded by orange trees with a cascading waterfall fountain. The sumptuous three-room master-suite features a private dome-covered bath and the four additional bedrooms contain individual fireplaces and luxurious en-suite bathrooms. The villa’s rooftop terrace, with a brick oven cooking area and alcove seating, sets the stage for unforgettable lunches and dinners beneath the sparkling Moroccan sky. The seclusion of the private pond-shaped pool, surrounded by flowers and palms, provides the perfect refuge on a hot summer day.
See what the BBC Good Food Middle East guide said about Dar Liqama at: http://www.bbcgoodfoodme.com/features/the-magic-of-morocco
Outside of scheduled cooking school weeks, Dar Liqama is available for rent all year round at different rates dependent on the season and duration of rental.
Morocco lies barely 14 kilometers (9 miles) from Spain across the straits of Gibraltar. Many people think of Morocco as a Mediterranean country, but most of its coastline is on the Atlantic Ocean with many of its best-known cities, Tangiers, Rabat, Casablanca, Essaouira and Agadir stretching south along the coast.
Marrakech, the former capital and perhaps the most famous Moroccan city of all, is centrally located at the base of the snow- capped Atlas Mountains. Also sometimes spelled Marrakesh, Marrakech began as an oasis where water was abundant for the caravans of old after crossing the vast Sahara and the high Atlas. At an elevation of 1500 feet it remains an oasis of wonderful weather with clear dry air infused with North African sun.
Marrakech is the second largest Moroccan city with a population of 1.4 million. The red walled city was founded almost 1000 years ago. Within the old red walls of the city and the labyrinth of busy streets, is a humming core known as the Djemaa el-Fna square. Djemaa-el-fna, dominated from a distance by the city’s most prominent landmark, the Koutoubia Mosque, is a jumble of jugglers, story tellers, snake charmers, magicians, herb and potion vendors, knickknack sellers, acrobats, benign lunatics and rows and rows of mouth watering food stalls. Even more spectacular in the evening, this incredible carnival atmosphere has attracted farmers, traders, thieves, slaves and just about every possible species over the centuries. Many aspects remain as they have been for centuries and visitors can almost touch the history of Morocco and its daily life here in Marrakech.
If you can tear yourself away from all this, Marrakech offers a variety of activities and attractions. There are amazing Treks into the glorious Atlas mountains or, depending on your favorite mode of transport, you can choose between camels, horses and off road bicycles to explore the Palmeraie, a grove of over 150,000 towering palm trees, located only ten minutes from the beautiful pise walls of the city. You can visit the ancient quarter and delight in the beauty of the Palais Dar Si Said (museum of Moroccan art), the Bahia Palace and the Saadians tombs. With its fantastic sunny days and Jasmine scented evenings, its heady, exotic cuisine and its famous Souq, you are sure to fall in love with this city!
Morocco Course Dates and Pricing for 2015 and 2016
At present our Morocco schedule includes the following weeks. If these dates don’t meet your requirements, please contact us.
– MARCH 12th TO MARCH 19th 2016
– MARCH 19th TO MARCH 26th 2016
– APRIL 16th TO APRIL 23rd 2016
– APRIL 23rd TO APRIL 30th 2016
All of our week-long courses start at € 2680 including room and board
Our Moroccan Gourmet Weeks are intended for those who wish to stay at a luxury villa and enjoy full service, great Morocco food, select wines and scheduled excursions with an emphasis on relaxation. For the ultimate in Moroccan cooking holidays, join us during our Culinary Weeks, when Culinary Guests also participate in eight to nine hands-on cooking lessons during the week. Gourmet Guests are also welcome in Culinary Weeks.
Your week will include cultural exploration of Marrakech plus the beautiful landscapes of the Altas Mountains. Current activities include:
- A guided shopping tour of the souk in the Medina – ceramics, pottery, rugs, metalwork, fabrics, etc. And someone there to translate and negotiate for you! You’ll also enjoy the vast Djemnaa El Fna Square with the snake charmers, magicians, acrobats and rows and rows of mouthwatering food stalls.
- A day trek in the Atlas mountains- worth the trip alone to see the beautiful historic villages of the Berber people where their lifestyles and farming techniques have remained practically untouched since the middle ages. The trek is rated ‘easy’ and will take about 3 to 4 hours with a lovely lunch at a French Auberge. For those who do not wish to walk, an alternative excursion can be arranged.
- Camel-riding in the Palmeraie.
- A tour of the major Historical attractions of Marrakesh including the famous Koutoubia Minaret, the Bahia Palace, the Saadians tombs and the Dar Si Said Museum.
- Relaxation time at the villa to enjoy the Hammam (Turkish steam bath), tennis court, hot tub and swimming pool.
- Mint Teatime with Moroccan pastries and local musicians strumming on African guitar along with percussion and flute. The venue for tea time will be varied: Poolside with views towards the Jebl Ette mountains, on La Terrasses des Berbères with views of the Atlas or in the lovely interior courtyard.
- Eight or nine hands-on cooking lessons during the week to learn how to produce traditional Morocco food dishes. Some of the recipes will be the many healthy Moroccan salads all made with organic produce, Lamb Tagine with prunes, Chachouka (pepper salad with paprika and cumin), Chick pea soup with parsley, Pilpil Shrimp with pimentos and garlic, Couscous aux sept legumes (seven vegetable), Kebabs, lemon chicken, a variety of briaouts (triangle pastries) and more.
* Please note that while the price of your luxury cooking vacation includes all food and wine consumed on the premises, it does not include entrance fees to various museums and sites and the cost of lunches or visits to selected restaurants.
Rhode School of Cuisine
Moroccon cooking classes from the most luxurious cooking school in Morocco