Do you enjoy your dessert and i’ve been working in the restaurant business for over 30 years? I’m, a seasoned professional and even for me, it’s, difficult to find amazing places to eat. So have some of britain’s, most celebrated foodies to open up their little black books and take me to their all-time favorite places to eat what a spot it is that’s, your schnitzel virginity over, but we won’T just be eating: we’ll, be meeting the people behind the scenes.
I have never ever been in a kitchen as noisy as this. This is a world record and rolling up our sleeves to find out how they deliver the ultimate dining experience. Wow smile, i know i’m just under the child, world-class food and a meal.
You never forget wow. What is this? It’s, a work of art there’s, nothing to say it’s just as perfect as it gets this week i’m in north africa’s, most vibrant city marrakesh. Get up and i’ll, be guided by passionate foodie and restaurateur and the oliver i absolutely love marrakesh.
It’s, the city. I go back to time and time again the food. There is incredible it’s, full of flavor, it’s, got depth, it’s, got heart and you can taste the tradition. You can taste that people have been making food that way for centuries.
It’s. The kind of food – i absolutely love – you dig in it’s, sharing, okay, here, okay, it’s across your bowl, and i cannot wait to take fred.marrakech lies between the atlantic ocean and the high atlas mountains in central morocco.
The beating heart of the city is the ancient wall medina two and a half square miles of magical labyrinthine, alleyways and colorful soups. It’s, a real assault on the senses – and this is incredible – this place is just like.
No other is it. I mean we are three and a half hours away from europe, and yet we seem like we are a million miles away from where we’ve come from and it’s literally three hours. This is north africa.
This is morocco. This is marrakech. I love it here for centuries, an important trading post on the spice route marrakech has a rich food heritage, offering a heady mix of aromatic spices, flavors and exotic ingredients.
The way they use spices here is so interesting. You know fred because it’s, subtle you get sort of whispers of cinnamon and turmeric, and when you say that you make me dream, i feel like getting one thousand in one night, the arabian night, and we are just above the carpet.
I feel like we’re gonna travel on this carpet to the restaurant , but i’ve been to marrakech before, and i know how hard it is to find exceptional food here. Oh hello, hello! Thank you.
No, we’re, not coming. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Orcas are everywhere here. The booming tourism now means visitors outnumber locals by two to one and a once. Rich food culture is in danger of being lost according to locals many restaurants.
Now cut corners, but luckily andy is going to steer us clear of the tourist traps. I’m gonna. Take you to some incredible places to eat. I’m, not talking like fancy pants gas. What i’m talking about is authentic, real moroccan food, full of flavor made with love made with soul, made with so much cake.
He’s, gonna love, it so much it’s. Gon na make you weep. So you ‘ Ve got this old black book there i ‘ Ve got a little black book. It’s all in here all right. It’s all in here. Okay, let’s.
Go i’m in control. Let’s. Have some fun. I’m in control yeah. Yes, our first stop is a 10-minute drive out of the medina. I love the madness of. I love the chaos, but it’s so full-on and when you get hungry you i think it’s best to get out of the medina.
Most people have no idea, and they would rather stay in the medina because they think that there is nothing beyond it. They think that is marrakesh and the place i’m. Taking you honestly fred, the first time i went there, i cried it made me so happy and i was so moved by it.
For me, it’s. The perfect example of home-style moroccan cooking, so i’m, so excited to share it with you. I already like it just the way you talk about it. I know i’m, going to find something very special, a little bit further.
Yes, let’s, see with you messi. Oh, look at that this is great service. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Oh my god. Why are you taking me and it’s just by the side of the road you really don’t expect it do you.
Since opening 32 years ago, family-run alphacea has built a reputation as a true bastion of authentic moroccan cooking added by sisters, mira and cider charb. It is revered by locals and discerning tourists for its refined take on classic dishes messy.
Thank you. Finally, here yeah. Yes, thank you. Yes, i’m really good. This is this. Welcome is a great start. Fatiha. The metro instantly makes you feel special. This is no mean feat in a restaurant with 150 people to look after can i have some ted of events.
Wait. Wait: wow smile. I know i’m just under the child. You know when i talk about the art of service. For me, there’s, two parts there is service and there’s. Hospitality service is what you do is bringing the tea, but hospitality is how they make you feel yeah, and here they make you feel warm, they make you feel at home and they make you feel good.
It’s like really quickly straight when you walk in, i can’t, wait to try the food rooted in traditional home style, slow, cooking, the dishes here, look incredible. I want to order everything but andy’s got other ideas.
I know what we’re going to have you just have to give up control for this particular meal. You can do it just relinquish the control. Do you want me to take this, makes it easier i, like you being in charge.
I have ordered this dish that has been called the single best dish in marrakech. It’s, absolutely stupendous. You’re, going to love it and i had to order it 24 hours in advance. So i’ve, been thinking about this for a long time.
Okay and you’re, going to be so happy that you ‘ Ve allowed me to order for you. I promise you can. I just say something: yes, you are only in control in charge because i’m, letting you don’t start drink your tea all right and this choice of starter is a spectacular feast for the senses.
Oh, my god, 15 little salads made with fresh locally sourced vegetables marinated and prepared with spices the backbone of authentic moroccan cooking. This is so pretty it’s, so pretty it’s, beautiful, look! How lovely that is! Okay! You ever seen salad, look so beautiful, oh messy.
Oh i can’t speak. I ‘ Ve, never had a carrot. This is amazing. I mean you know what i love about. This carrot is the subtlety and the balance of the flavors and and its new flavors. I’ve, never had flavors like that in my mouth and it’s harmonious.
Yes, the spices are so well incorporated, you feel them, and yet they don’t overpower your palate like just now, i’m eating that aubergine. I can taste all of the different cultures that have come through this country.
You ‘ Ve got this sort of beautiful citrus from the malls in spain. You ‘ Ve, got incredible spices. You’ve got like cayenne, you’ve got paprika, you’ve got cumin, you’ve got turmeric, you’ve got ginger.
All these things come through the spice fruit. You know from africa uh right up through the arabic countries, all of that stuff lands on the plate and then is perfectly balanced. Yes, it’s, a melting pot in fifteen plates.
This is amazing. For our main, we’re sharing alfasia’s, signature dish, slow cooked roast lamb, shoulder topped with caramelized, onions and almonds, served with morocco’s, most famous side dish, couscous here triple steamed in a broth with vegetables and raisins.
Oh look at that they’re, cutting it with a spoon holy moly. Look at it that looks delicious. Oh yes, bon appetit! Well! Thank you very much. Look! How succulent and tender tenderities yeah! Oh, i don’t even have to you, leave it in your mouth and it just melts.
I tell you one thing: it’s incredible. This flavor is is unique. The layers of the spices, it’s, so well incorporated it’s, so balanced it’s, so subtle. Yet it’s very present, even that couscous. That is the most gentle subtle, flavoured scented bowl of couscous.
You can get couscous all over marrakech. It doesn’t taste like that. No, the couscous is not fluffy like that. I don’t know what to say. There is nothing to say it’s, just as perfect as it gets. I think so.
You know people talk about soul, food and when they talk about soul, food, they generally mean uh, afro-caribbean, food or african food. To me, soul. Food comes from all over the world because it’s, food that comes from the heart and people mean it.
This is a perfect example of soul. Food can, i just say this is the best food i’ve ever had in morocco. Unlike the arid pear, limitations of moroccan dishes now served at many restaurants in marrakech.
This is food that’s, been made with scare and shows real skill in the kitchen how they managed to imbue this food with so much other than just the spices and just the good quality produce there’s. Something else happening in that i want that recipe.
I know i want their recipe. I’m telling you i’m, not leaving without the rice. I want to know how they balance those spices, it kind of blows my mind and i just want to see how they do that every time because it’s, always cooking and who’s in there who they got in there.
Some kind of sleight of hand magician our meal comes to a total of 80 pounds which isn’t cheap. But for such a memorable experience, i’m, a happy customer. This is my treats 40.. Oh you yeah. You know what you can have that this is the least i can do.
I mean i ordered it. I am really blown away here. Flabbergasted, yes, delicious yeah it’s beautiful. Are we going to cry now a little bit ? For me, this place has redefined what moroccan food can be.
The ingredients are simple, but the depth of flavor is so intense. I can’t, wait to come back to uncover the secrets of their kitchen. Sometimes a great meal is as much about the setting as the food itself and for breakfast this morning, and there is something completely different in store for me.
Tourist numbers reached 3 million in 2019. Five-Star hotels are opening all over the city to cater to an increasing number of discerning travelers right here in marrakech. They are good at luxury; they love it.
Just the beautiful details, the aesthetic all of it. You know how the energy here is so frenetic, though it is yeah, but there are places of calm that you can escape to to breathe. They just take a moment, but they’re very well eaten.
They are very well hidden, but i know where they are behind these walls. In the medina, there are over 1500 boutique hotels, known as riyads traditional moroccan houses built around a central, courtyard or garden, most of which are off limits.
Unless you’re a paying guest, so there are loads of these places all over marrakech right. But what i’ve worked out. Is there’s secret little ways to access the luxury right without breaking the bank? How can you do luxury without spending money? I’m, going to show you right now what a beautiful door.
I know what’s? Yours does hello. This thread is elephant. It’s, stunning right. Look at this incredible. I don’t know where to look. There is too much to take in elfen is one of the most exclusive places to stay in morocco set in a former palace.
The most expensive room with a private plunge pool, has a price tag of over 600 pounds. A night and madonna celebrated a 60th birthday here. It’s, also one of only a handful of five-star riyads that allows non-guest ian to eat.
So fred, when i say beautiful, this is heavenly. It’s, stunning isn’t. It look at that you were not kidding it’s. Absolutely wonderful and i mean look at all these beasts. I i’m lost for word. I mean this is just so pretty i know, and do you know it’s? Absolutely astonishing.
You can get breakfast here for just over a tenner. How can you do breakfast in this kind of setting for retainer? I mean luxury comes at a price. Quality comes at a price. How can they do it? They’re, very clever fred.
I’m, going to show you a leisurely. Breakfast is one of life’s great pleasures, and if the setting is anything to go by, i mean for a real treat, oh my god, what a place coming and eskitubia ketuvia the beautiful mosque.
Look. We’re right above the medina. This is beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. So much see what a spot it is. The breakfast menu is a la carte, but first we have served a selection of homemade produce. This is the home made the granular right.
Look at that and finish the squeeze for lunch. Lovely and homemade yogurt homemade yogurt make the yogurt flavor. There is also an exquisite selection of spreads, including a moroccan specialty, an almond butter called amlo.
This is amazing. I’m dying for you to try this omelette, so we ‘ Ve got honey, we’ve got argan oil, we’ve got ground almonds, it’s like oh yeah, best peanut butter. You ever had right. I’m gonna have more.
This is the mark, and this is moroccan bread. It’s uh. It means that’s, harsh oh yeah! This is not the same. This one is a wheat flour before and this one is full of semolina. This is like a moroccan muffin.
Look at that. I think it ‘ S got thyme in it. I love bread, yeah, you know being french. I mean this is our staple food yeah this, but i mean this is just another level. It’s next level. Exactly bread in morocco is like a it’s like rice in asia.
You know you have to have it with everything and the fact that there are how many times we go. We’ve got three different types of breads just with breakfast. I think to me that’s, heavenly, absolutely heavenly.
You know andy, i’ve, been to marrakech before, and every single hotel i’ve, been to they serve baguette because of the french heritage, because for them it’s really luxury, but here is just moroccan. Breads moroccan food takes center stage and i think it ‘
S really lovely that in a five-star hotel. What they’re, really really celebrating, is themselves and their own culture and showing us that that can be luxury from the a la carte menu. Andy has ordered an omelette cooked with a moroccan specialty.
This is your omelet. Thank you. Coffee of cured lamb, marinated, garlic, cumin and coriander, i’m having shak sugar eggs poached in a tomato and bell pepper, sauce spiced with paprika and cumin. Thank you very much.
Thank you. So much so you know when you, when you get this kind of survey, this five-star service, you know it’s. It’s very easy going. It’s, simple! It’s. It’s, kindness. It’s, not stuffy at all. You know, and this is our luxury should be.
It should be something that is just shared. It’s. It’s about good relations. I think people misunderstand that i like this dish. Yes, but you know it’s spicy, yet it’s, not burning, and there’s flavor.
Here they’re so clever here, because what they do is the spices uh support the the the hero produce and here’s, your omelette. Oh it’s. Amazing it’s perfect on the outside. It’s, slightly soft in the middle, and then you get this the clear that i think that’s, how you pronounce it the dried lamb it’s, got this kind of salty depth to it.
A bit like a pastrami a bit like another salted, you can try a bit. Of course you can try a bit idea. Absolutely here. You go take that put that in your pipe and smoke it. I love that sort of salty hit that you get running through the middle of it interesting isn’t it it’s, not a taste.
I’m used to i don’t. Think you get it anywhere else. I’ve, never had it anywhere else. It’s a bit like jerky, that’s right. It’s delicious! Oh it’s uh. This is moroccan tea, as i told you, oh so perfect.
It’s, the most important and the popular drink in morocco. It’s, part of tradition. So when we want to welcome somebody, the first thing that you give him is a minty. You’re, a master at this. He really is no.
You’re, focusing a little bit. Thank you. Thank you. It’s. Amazing. Thank you. Thank you. You know something that really strikes me here. Actually is often you know when you, wherever you go in the world, you get that five-star continental breakfast experience and it costs whatever it costs.
What they do here so beautifully is center moroccan authentic culture. Moroccan authentic food and it’s, just beautiful this place is a perfect combination between luxury and authenticity, but there’s.
One question on my mind, is how can they do it for a little bit more than a tenner? It’s quite perplexing. Actually, what a memorable experience good i’m glad you liked it. Thank you. It was fantastic.
Are you the manager? Yes, i am it’s. Incredible. Thank you. Listen! I ‘ Ve got a question for you. This is uh for you um. How can you manage to do a breakfast at this price for this quality, i mean for me it should be at least three times the price.
Yes, the first idea of the hotel was to help the people from the medina and work with them from the uniforms that the guys are wearing to the plates to the vegetables that we use in the kitchen. Everything is coming from five minutes to around here.
Everything is locally sourced. Yes, because i mean this is a five-star hotel. Do you find the exact quality you’re? Looking for yes, we, we have a great choice here in the medina and morocco is very rich in this kind of products and vegetables and stuff.
Well, you’re, doing a great job. I’m really enjoying the breakfast. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. I’m so impressed by the ethos of this place, while most five star hotels, source their produce from around the globe.
Elfen choose to support the community on their doorstep and shine a light on all that is moroccan. Even the simple gesture of serving tea is a celebration of an ancient tradition. They serve up to 500 cups of mint tea.
A day i’m joining our breakfast waiter isam to try and master the art of pouring it. I want to know how to do it like you do it can you show me is very easy: what’s, the idea we do it to make the tea mixed with the oxygen and to give the smell.
Oh right a bit like wine, so it’s like the wine, so it gets the flavors the flavor all right show me! Yes, so are you happy with the form here yeah? Do you want to have the bubbles, yeah or bubbles right, because the higher you you have make it the most form you get right, but the more chance you have to spill it yeah.
Let me try. Yes, don’t laugh, please yeah. If i get it wrong, no, no, it’s, easy just take it a little bit that’s it and then you come down. Let’s, just stop! Ah okay! Then you come down and then you start yes.
So how would you score me here out of ten uh, seven, six, seven, seven out of ten seven yeah, so r? Can you improve because it’s a bit? Sadly, okay, but in a sudden all right. So let me try again it’s, not easy, as it looks yeah thanks to its history.
As a spice up, morocco was the first country in africa to drink tea. It’s, a daily ritual that has become sacred so in the hotel, but also when you are at home. This is where you serve your because the first finisher of the guest is, and then you come up and down that’s.
It okay, that’s, good, that’s very good. So what’s? The score for this one yeah! This one is nine nine out of ten. Now there’s, just one other person. I need to impress andy: i ‘ Ve got a tea for you.
Ah, why did you learn to do this? Apparently i’m ten artists. That was really excellent. That was really excellent. There you go. Does it feel satisfying to learn that? Oh yeah, i love it. Yeah, you’re like an old pro, of course, not an old pro approach.
Well, yes, not old eh cheers. She is. I mean look at this view. Fred, look at the mountains, the mosques, the medina. You know this place is spectacular, i mean, i know the food was really really good and i really enjoyed it.
But for me, what impressed me the most is: it got the perfect balance between five-star luxury and authenticity and the reason is like that is because they employ local boys and local girls. They train them very well.
They got their heart in the right place, but they are down to earth and they are here to make a connection and that’s. What’s, often missing when you go for a five-star experience, the humanity, the human touch, and because these are local boys and girls and local people they know inside out.
They know what why we’re drinking the tea. They know about the ingredients, they know about the shakshukas and that’s. What’s special here? I think, and they made us feel like a queen and a king. Yes, cheers to that cheers to that
I can see how authenticity and tradition are being threatened by the booming tourism in marrakech. New restaurants are opening every week, but one place has fought after competition and stayed on top of its game for over 30 years highness.
Thank you, sir. We are back at alfasia to join the staff in their run-up to service. I’m desperate to get in that kitchen. You know what i think it’s. Gon na be pretty extraordinary, of course,
This is no ordinary kitchen. Alfasia was the first restaurant in morocco to be run entirely by women. Set up by meera and said as father in 1987, this truly revolutionary place finally gave women an opportunity to be independent.
The sisters have called the restaurant for 20 years and, to this day it’s. Still, a female. Only team, uh bonjour bonjour come on darling darling. How are you i’m fantastic, the welcoming the welcoming
I have never ever been in a kitchen as noisy as this. This is a world record. Oh, you, ladies, are beautiful. This is what happens when you work with women. You know we had such an amazing meal. Yesterday it was so fantastic.
You enjoyed it yeah. Thank you very much. How do you produce dishes like the food we ate last night, because that food was stunning yeah stunning yeah? Well, the secret yeah, the secret. We use the best ingredients, the know-how of our cooks and the love.
Of course, we are putting on all this there. Doesn’t seem to be a head chef here. Do you have a head chef, somebody who’s in charge of the kitchen? No, no! No! We don’t have a chef. We have a cook which is halima no hf seriously a professional kitchen with no one in charge.
It sounds like a recipe for disaster. How do you train your team? Your all your chefs, how to cook? They were very well thought by my mother. She worked with my mother. She worked with my mother, all of them almost worked.
Yes, but surely sometimes you know you have new chefs that come on board. You have to train them. You have to explain to them how things work no way. All our stuff basically have been here for at least 10 years over the same ones until they reach retirement or they are no longer with us.
Unfortunately, then, the other picks up, but tell me: how do you find stuff when you’re looking for stuff? How do you find them? It’s referrals, we usually ask our own stuff, so you’ve got to teach them everything from scratch.
Yes, how do you do that? How do you even begin time? We have to give them time every one of these cooks have been trained here from the ground up. They are the guardians of mira and cider’s, family recipes and with nowhere chef, they are trusted as a team to deliver mind-blowing dishes night after night.
This is mesmerizing for me to see this in action like this. The way they are working harmoniously together, you know what really strikes you in this kitchen is how absolutely joyful they all look. It’s, lovely! Look! They’re having the time of their lives.
Look at this. Ladies, do you not expect to see people looking so happy when they cook? You know, i mean i’ve worked with ships all my lives, but they never smile like this. Can you see any machines in this kitchen fridge she’s, creating those cucumbers by hand.
Everything happens in here in the old school way. This army of 15 cooks starts at 8 in the morning. They prepare all the ingredients by hand, just as they would at home, except here it’s on an epic scale.
Every day over south and onions have to be peeled, 450 individual salads are prepped and cook. Alimah makes 350 sheets of worker a paper-thin moroccan pastry today. My job is to make one wait at what at the homeland yeah okay.
This is so hard. She’s. Saying great, you know she’s, giving you she is very kind. Yeah – and i thought it was very relaxing – i wanted to try it and it’s, so difficult right. I’m gonna have one more go.
Meanwhile, andy is discovering the little tricks that give the salad such an incredible depth of flavor. These carrots are desperate to know what’s in this. What what & #? 39 s in this carrot? So when you cook the carrots, the cinnamon goes in the water, this other spices go in the water and then you keep that water and you marinate the carrots.
Afterwards, i knew you had a little trick. I knew there was a trick, so i was like how do they make carrots? It tastes like that. I’ve, never had a carrot that tasted that good in my life, i know they’re, doing something different.
Oh my god. Look at this How long have she been making it for this thing? Uh 25 years, i feel very bad. I can’t. Do this thing? Thank you for the lesson i mean look at that i’m covered in pastry.
There must be thinking, look at him that’s, why we have no men in this kitchen the care and attention that’s, going into preparing this food is inspiring, but that’s only after story in this kitchen for Meera and cider nothing is more vital than sourcing the best ingredients.
I’ve traveled half an hour out of the city to the foothills of the atlas mountains to find out why their lamb tasted so good. Look at this place. I’m in the middle of nowhere salaam, alaikum, a third generation sheep farmer, mustafa, is known for producing some of the best quality lamb in marrakech.
At times, mustafa supplies al-fassia, with up to 25 cuts of lamb a day in morocco. There are 20 native breeds of sheep, but mustafas are the most sought after the saudi sheep were first written about in the quran one and a half thousand years ago and are the most expensive breed in the country.
This is what it feels like. I’m perfectly sweet yeah right, so they feed them with cereal, a little bit of grain and some dry grass really that’s it. There is no additive, no chemicals straight from the ground into the land and into our belly.
Not only are they sheep and fed, but their health is checked daily, and today he has a novice shepherd to help him out it’s. True, actually, the bone is very far down right. Interesting, never felt a lamp like this before honestly.
Okay, mustafa keeps his sheep in the shade to protect them during the hottest part of the day, but every afternoon he lets them out for two hours to graze freely. I’m, like the french cop there we are, he believes his routine gives them a sense of security and that this stress-free life improves the quality of the meat.
Is i mean, look around you? No wonder this lamb tastes so good because of the choice of food that they have. They’ve got pomegranate, they’ve got grass, they’ve got olives and they basically can eat anything they like and they are under.
The sun they are enjoying life. Everything at al facia is chosen with love and care, and the most fundamental ingredients in their kitchen are their spices. Andy is joining meera on a shopping trip to the medina.
Oh, it’s, so hectic in here eat chores. This sook in the mela neighborhood has been a trading hub for spices for over 600 years, many restaurants buy their spices in bolt from supermarkets, but meera and cider saw stairs from the merchants here, god.
So much restaurant observation. What are you looking for when you’re? Looking at spices? What are the properties? I need to see? Colors first, the eyes yes, look at it. It’s like a palette. Yes and the artist is in the kitchen, so basically i’m, getting her her painting and then she’ll, create her dish beautiful.
This is ginger and it’s like a dried ginger. What are you looking for in this? The smell the yeah? It has to smell very strong. Ah, it’s like if it’s fresh. Oh my gosh. It smells like fresh ginger right smelt, ground, ginger, that that strong ever that’s, amazing, and in the back that’s cumin.
I love this. Oh, oh! It’s like being back in your restaurant. Do you use the seeds ever, do do you take the seeds and then you grow? We definitely always buy the seeds because we want the uh spices to as fresh as possible because it helps the chef in the kitchen.
So you buy it in grains and then you grind it when you’re ready to use it and i buy a little by little every on a daily basis. Oh you get it every day you deliver every day fresh. Yes, that’s, amazing yeah, because you know at home.
Definitely people have spice in the back of the cupboard and it’s there and they don’t, know yeah, it’s, got no flavor, it’s dusty, it loses the flavor and it loses everything. So you might have the right recipe, but you might not get the same taste, so you want to find that in the cooking in the cooking professor following you, professor follow you follow me.
Follow me back in the kitchen. My prayers have been answered. Hallelujah come on is making this signature dish that incredible rose shoulder of lamb. You know, i now understand everything about this lamb.
This lamb is just the best thing. They start with amazing produce, so that’s. Saffron first alima adds garlic, puree and spices to some warm water. She’s, not using the recipe she was stored, the dish by mira and cydar’s mother 25 years ago.
Look at the color yeah what a cocktail she’s, mixing everything up now that perfect balance of spices is all down to er. Experience ends. How long does it take to cook it takes about five hours before i want to slow cook it right? Onions loads of onions.
Okay, now she’s going to cover she’s asking you! Oh sorry, i just want to be a visitor, the lamb, slow cooks in the broth for three hours and when it’s ready it’s taken out and the sauce is left to reduce for another two and then the alpha see A secret, so you want to roast the lamb shoulder right.
So you cook it yep till it’s tender, and then you put it in the oven because you want that tenderness inside and the crisp on the parabolization yeah more of the butter and the oil and she’s. Gon na put it on with their hands: oh my.
They’re golden and crisps, that’s busy. Yes, one of the secrets i shared with you secret. Thank you because you are now family. Thank you, and we are so lucky to have been letting into this secret, a privilege how many people would know that how many men fred is the only one i feel like a real man.
I never feel like a man like i feel today. Thank you, ladies. Thank you. After a day with these incredible women, it’s, easy to forget how remarkable it is to have a kitchen with no men in it in morocco mira, i ‘
Ve got some questions to ask to alema. Would you mind to translate for me please what a pleasure? How did you feel when you started to work here, because in morocco there’s a there’s, a separation between men and women? And suddenly, you’re in a restaurant where you’re working, and how do you feel about that adams? It’s great to meet you.
You are as strong as a man and as delicate as a flower.and in all my years in the restaurant business i’ve, never ever been to a kitchen like this. That was pretty extraordinary. Wasn’t it.
It was quite exceptional, you know, but it’s, not just a restaurant. It’s like a sanctuary yeah, and you know what they’re doing in. There is quite amazing for those women as well, because they’re, not just training them to cook.
In a professional kitchen, they’re, creating entire independent lives for these women. What was done for the sisters? They’re now passing that on to other women and that’s, so powerful i mean they reminded us of what we already know.
You know family the values, hard work. You can get that classical training all over the world. What you can’t train is how to create loyalty from staff in that way, and preserving authentic moroccan recipes is an important thing, so they’re, so they’re making history all over the place.
Today. Andy wants to take me somewhere just as authentic, but this time we are after one particular dish. The tagine is the classic moroccan slow cooks too, but as the go-to dish for tourists, truly great ones are hard to find.
You know i’ve had tagine in so many places. What’s, the difference with this tagine? Well, you know there are so like you say there are millions of versions of tajin and often when you get them out, they’re, not that great, because moroccans don’t really go out to eat them that much because it’s, what they cook at home, but my friend who lives here has given me a really hot tip.
This place is where the moroccans go to eat tajin. We are only five miles north of the siki center, but it feels like we are in the middle of nowhere. What is what i mean? We’ve, been driving for 15 minutes.
Well, it’s, nice for a little day trip. I’m in your hands. You’re in my hands. Fred. Remember that it’s just up here i mean that’s, not place for a restaurant. Well yeah in here, please monsieur you see.
Why does he need petrol? What’s up here for lunch? What andy? Yes! This is where you’re, bringing me a petrol station since, where i’m, bringing you fred, i thought you said you trusted me. Listen if i was buying you flowers, i would never buy them from a petrol station and you’re, bringing me to a petrol station for lunch.
Listen! I ‘ Ve, been excited about this place for ages. I can’t believe we’re. Finally, here i don’t know what to say. I mean look at the state of it. I mean i was what you mean. I think it looks great.
I know i said no fancy places but come we need to find hassan or muhammad, hello, hello, sir hello, hello. What is your name hello? You are her son. You’re muhammad. How are you nice to meet you? So i said you’re, a manager and mohammed.
You are a member of the front of our stream here. Yes right, can you get a question? I mean you’ve got loads of tables there. How many covers do you do every day here, the for hundreds, uh, 400, 400 years? So what i haven’t told you fred.
Is we’re, not just going to eat lunch here? We’re, going to cook lunch here. We’re, going to get into the kitchens actually and get our chef’s wipes on him. I mean he’s, getting better and better today.
Well, i’m ready. I’m ready. I’m ready. I’m ready, let’s, get into it, i mean. Where are we? This is like a one-stop shop. You can get your petrol over there go to the loo, have your food and then go to the mosque and parade you have it.
It may look like a pit stop petrol station cafe, but from the moment it opened 20 years ago, albarraca has drawn moroccans from miles to eat its specialty dish, which has become well known as one of the best chicken tagines in marrakesh.
Oh look ah wow. That’s. The charcoal for tajin, we ‘ Ve, got a lot of work, ! Are you ready? Why have you got different patterns because i’m? The top dog i mean you’re, the boss. I’m in charge.
I’m, not having it. I’ve, no idea what andy has got us into, but i can’t wait to find out how this place has earned its reputation for quality when it’s churning out dishes at such a high volume. This is remarkable, unlike most restaurants, here there is no batch cooking chef, asan cooks, each of the chicken tagines over coals in individual tagine pots, a traditional method going back centuries.
Okay, like this, we start by placing a whole jointed chicken. In each dish i mean i’ve, never seen so many tachins in my life. That’s incredible! I’ve, never made a tajin before i’ve made tajin at home, but not like this andy.
You forgot a wing. Wait! Oh, i left your wings be careful, concentrate! I’m good. This is free rain chicken. This is incredible the scale of it we have just under an hour to prepare 130 tagines. This is an industrial scale and with the chicken already starting to cook it’s, a race against time and chef.
What have i got here? Um, you know andy, the chef is a real control freak. He keeps looking at everything i do and he keeps saying stop. He’s, just like my dad when he was teaching me how to drive.
Stop. Do this do that he’s, not just letting us lose here. There is a precise method to what we are doing, because this isn’t just any chicken tagine. This is how it’s done by the berbers. The native people of morocco, who invented the dish over 1000 years ago next, olive oil again the precision they’re, really particular about the amount of each of the ingredients.
Here not too much not too little once the olive oil is added, it’s mixed with the garlic and spices. Now you can see, the coal is burning underneath and i’m, actually burning my fingers. Actually, what we have to do is reconstruct this chicken inside the tagine press goes here.
No, no! This one goes over there wing their leg. Here she’s, not just plonking the chick in the middle tagine. There’s, an order to that that’s about quality here, parsley and coriander. You can see how fast is cooking now, and you really have no time to hang around now in 30 years of working in kitchens.
I have never seen food prepared on this scale with such attention to detail it’s like joining like a top sports team at the top of their game at the most important game of the season. That’s. What i feel like it’s, amazing.
Our goal is inside, but first the onions and, of course, there’s a trick to this too. It’s, quite a generous and full yes, and then you ‘ Ve got to shake off the excess and then, when you put them down there, it’s, nice and compact.
Yes, it’s good. This is quality control like you’ve, never seen before. We add two slices of tomato and then the leaves go on. Foreign is all about keeping the heat inside. So it goes up and it goes down, but it’s cooking it, but also it keeps everything very moist.
Oh my god. The steam stays inside and the flavors just stays inside and it keeps going round in circle and flavoring that chicken and look at this beautiful ancient pot and there straight in front of us the petrol station.
I love that to finish off fresh green olives, chilies and preserved lemons are placed on top. I am so impressed by the skill and patience going into this food for the next hour and a half. The cooks monitor every single pot, adding water to ensure the tagine doesn’t dry out.
I’m hungry. After all that work, aren’t you i can’t, wait to try it. That was amazing, though right, i loved it in that kitchen, i’m, so lucky so privileged to be able to learn such a proof. You sit here yes, next to each other.
Well, we might as well look let ‘ S just enjoy the beautiful view of the petrol station. I keep forgetting we’re in a petrol station. I know that it’s, a bit strange when we come in, but i love it.
Actually. I think it’s, great hello. How are you, what do you want to eat for today? The chicken tagine we just made it’s, the best choice. Thank you number one head. We made it. Okay, we want the bread.
Bread is very delicious. With the tagine okay coffee looking around, i can see it’s, not just the food that’s. Drawing the customers in the service is pretty special too. What i really like is to see the management on the floor actively coaching training, giving direction to all the waiting staff.
Nothing is left to chance here and we’ve all been to so many restaurants where actually there is no management presence anywhere at all and the waiters are not only immaculately dressed. They don’t meet a beat.
Look at that wow and look at how they move. They are like swans, yeah, yeah yeah, like dances, and what i like is albaraca may look like a roadside cafe, but it runs like a fine dining restaurant. They’ve got their basics right.
Here. Look how many stuff they have you didn’t have to look for service. The service actually comes to you before you even think about it, and that is beautiful. I can’t. Remember the last time i looked forward to a plate of food as much as this chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives served with traditional berber bread cooked in a clay oven.
This place just gets better and better. Look how beautiful this is. I mean this is all the hard work that we’ve done in the kitchen i mean this is so beautifully presented. The onions have just dissolved.
The sugars from the onions are now in that lovely sauce. They’re, going to be sweet and tender and that chicken looks science. Am i dribbling a little bit? Let’s. Go. Shall i help you? What piece of chicken would you like leg? Uh, whatever you want, whatever you want, i think it’s.
Gon na be all delicious yeah. Let’s, have a luggage, yeah leggy baby. You know what that chicken. It reminds me of my grandmother’s chicken when she used to real chicken. These are farm chicken and you actually have to chew them.
You know they don’t just disintegrate in your mouth because they’ve, been fed. You know some kind of horrible chicken feed you have to actually chew it. There is tastier, oh my god. This is so succulent as well, the application of spices.
You can taste that chili you can taste the paprika. You can taste that cumin it comes through and then you get this it’s so well. The onion is so well balanced. Oh, i have never had a tagine this good.
I understand why moroccans leave their home to come and eat tajin here. He’s, full of moroccans and hundreds. Thousands of moroccan who’ve, been coming here for the last 20 years. Can’t be wrong? Can they not exactly? Can you imagine the motorway in england? If you compare to what you get in a petrol station in england, i mean the dry sandwiches, you know what i mean it’s, just unthinkable.
You would get that in england. For us, if you were doing that in england, it would be full people would love it. It’s, an idea. It’s. Okay, sir. Thank you very much that was so delicious. Oh, my god. It’s hot! I’m, paying it’s.
My treat once more guess how much this is just guess how much this secret. This is 17 pounds for the whole tagine the bread, the tea. The water 17 has 8 pounds 50 each yeah. You pay al baraka has taught me to never judge a book by its cover.
Andy has revealed one of marrakesh’s. Best kept secret lunch spots, an extraordinary place that, unlike many restaurants in the city, still places value on quality and tradition, our time in this magical city is nearly up.
But we have one more stop, because you haven’t been to marrakech. If you haven’t experienced this place. This square is quite extraordinary. There’s no place like this on earth. It’s. The daddies of all squares – this is a daddy old squares.
I mean all life is here right in the very heart of the medina lies the city’s, centerpiece jamaa alfona square at four o’clock. Every afternoon 63 food stalls are constructed from scratch, as this place transforms into the busiest market square in north africa, with open-air restaurants and theater, covering every inch it’s like a spectacle.
There is so much energy here so much life. I mean this selling stuff people play music, they’ve got snake charmers. Thank you very much, but when it comes to eating beware of the hawkers and be prepared, this food is largely for the tourists, but just a stone’s.
I feel like a real kid in a sweet shop. We would like a large box of beautiful pastries, please an institution among the locals. This is where moroccans come to buy their afternoon snack to have with their mint tea.
It’s that dates inside that top one there this is yeah. Can we have some of those they look beautiful? Thank you very much. Oh. What about the figs? This is a fig and honey vegan honey, and here uh walnuts.
Yes, please, this is beautiful. Thank you very much indeed, thank you and, with our little box of delights, it’s time to soak up the atmosphere in the square for the last time, Are you gonna open these up? Yes, what are we gonna? Have what are we gonna? Have? I might try this one? Actually, this has orange blossom.
Oh, i love it. Oh no jake that’s like the best shortbread anyone ever gave you i’m football. I love jason.