Gourmet Festivals in Marrakech – Forbes France

Luxury hotels are numerous in Morocco’s tourist capital and there is no shortage of quality restaurants. A little (a lot) of luxury on vacation? A little (a lot) of sunny cooking?

If you want to settle in a beautiful luxury hotel, there is no shortage of addresses: La Mamounia, which celebrated its centenary in October in style, Royal Mansour, which has just opened the Grande Brasserie with Hélène Darroze, Es Saadi, with its new pool completely renovated in vintage chic spirit, in homage to the original layout that hosts the restaurant “Autour de la Piscine” with seasonal Mediterranean cuisine, The Oberoi Marrakech, only to discover Rivayat, the new emblematic restaurant of the palace. and its Diwali Signature menu, the quintessence of Indian gastronomy by star chef Rohit Ghai, or like us, at the Mandarin Oriental, welcomed by its young and new CEO Alain Thomas Brière, an already well-educated 30-year-old full of ideas for 2024.

Here we can again be held back by the gastronomic offer with four restaurants: The Bar, a lounge where you can sit at any time, The Pool Garden, a terrace on the edge of the vast pool, The Tent, (under the big tent), for a magical night with DJ Shirvan on the Silk Road in the company of star chef Akram Benallal, on a world tour of Mediterranean, North African and Oriental specialties influenced by the touch of the West; and finally Ling Ling, a high-end Asian experience from Hakkasan, drawing inspiration from the Izakaya concept, very popular in Asia. And then there’s the wonderful spa to relax us, especially after our feasts!

However, the country is so beautiful, Marrakech so alive, gastronomy so present, that we will not limit ourselves to our only hotel and discover some typical addresses that highlight Moroccan culture, its legendary welcome, inspired cuisine and inspiring. We start with a reference address in the heart of the city, the Grand Café de la Poste.

Grand Café de la Poste: a beautiful story

It is the French group led by Helena Paraboschi (“La Cantine du Faubourg” in Paris and Dubai) that has brought back this legendary address belonging to the heritage of Marrakesh. Located in Guéliz, outside the walls of the Medina but still very close, it was built in the 1920s under the Protectorate as a famous cafe and, not surprisingly, a postal relay. After Pacha El Glaoui (“Café Pacha”) turned it into a Hotel Café Restaurant for a few years of fleeting glory, it remained closed for twelve years before regaining its luster, and even more thanks to an exemplary welcome (Thank you Eric (Conte Moustakidis)!) , a service that reflects the image and gastronomy at all times, from breakfast to dinner (from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.) without the tables being empty.

The decoration, designed by architects and decorators Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier of Studio KO, is in complete harmony with the culture of the place, as is the cuisine. The menu is designed like a famous Parisian brasserie, it consists of the basics of French gastronomy, typical dishes, original products… We start from the classic Salad du Grand Café de la Poste and its marinated free-range chicken with candied lemon and saffron with generous the old-fashioned Blanquette, with Petit salé cooked from pigs raised near Agadir and carefully selected for the quality of their low-fat meat, accompanied by local lentils, with crispy grain-raised Coquelet, 7-hour lamb shank, pan-fried foie gras and fig, date or apricot chutney or roast beef served as desired. The menu does not forget lovers of sweet treats either, and puts the Grand Marnier soufflé, a large chocolate eclair, a Norwegian omelette and its plumière ice cream with candied fruit or the unmissable French toast in the spotlight.

Sahbi Sahbi: the world of women

Not far from here, in the same district of Guéliz, in a small busy street (37 Bd Mansour Eddahbi), you will find a very recent address, Sahbi Sahbi, a restaurant born from the complicity of the ubiquitous Helena, Pierre Pirajean, by Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty (Studio KO, which designed the very beautiful decoration) for the first time they combine their complementary knowledge for a restaurant whose specialty is to be exclusively female, both in terms of cuisine and service. We could also highlight this approach to traditional Moroccan cuisine, prepared by women with this generosity that characterizes them, and by the way recall that in Morocco, the kitchen is usually a secret, hidden place, the protected territory of the Dadas, these women who pass down the recipes to their ancestors. We can see them at work, as the stove occupies the center of the restaurant, and as we admire their mastery, we pre-load ourselves with their dishes, whose enticing aromas reach us. Tagines, Pastilla, fixed couscous offered every Friday in two versions depending on the cereal chosen: durum wheat semolina or wholemeal semolina.

Bô Zin: the night is ours

Just outside the city, on the Ourika road, at kilometer 3.5, one would hardly expect to find such an address behind the ocher walls of the paddock. Originally a private villa, extended over the years to become a popular meeting place for Marrakesh night owls and insiders alike. After leaving the keys with the chosen butler, you enter a wonderful universe where everything seems to have been done to forget the limitations. The tone is set right from the entrance, designed as a kind of very elegant hotel lobby. Candles, floor lamps reminiscent of a photographer’s tripod and created for the given place, pendant lights from the designer Tom Dixon, warm color of the walls, all contribute to the creation of the atmosphere. The music adapts to the times of the evening and starts calmly, between lounge and jazz covers. After you are greeted by Cyril (Duran), an extraordinary character, the king of the night, of nights – the conversation with him is experienced by many s-, the hostesses lead you to your table, each in its own universe, sometimes elevated, for two, because four, for the tribe , at the bar, at the DJ, under the pergola, under the tent, in the garden (in good weather), in the cellar – unique in Marrakech -, all clad in wood, an elegant cellar designed in which the sommelier, a man of art, has collected numerous bottles.

In winter, we use the cozy corner to hang out before and after dinner, put the world to rights, listen to the music that the house DJ recreated every night, relax on the large custom-designed sofas and their many pillows near the hotel. large fireplace and sample one of the delicious cocktails, such as the Citrus Garden and its combination of grapefruit syrup. Loungers, very low sofas, a central fireplace, large bay windows opening onto the garden, … the night progresses, we move away from the tables, put together rattan chairs to participate in a pre-dessert or after-dinner party. The presentation of the dishes is elegant, as is the venue. The cuisine is very diverse and always generous. You can eat vegan or gluten-free without compromising on taste. And you can share Dim Sum, appetizer or main course, choose red tuna ceviche, black cod caramelized with white miso and the famous weeping gazelle (yummy!). We complete the basic and delicious “clouds” available in 3 colors.

Music becomes increasingly present as the lights dim and a traditional drummer, the tabukaaa or derbouka, accompanies the DJ in a live concert that encourages dancing. School, R&B or house, the music will invade the space, always exclusive, sometimes live, and Bô zin will turn into a very elegant private club from which we will leave very late.

R’Matt: Gourmet paradise in your garden

When the sunny days return, it will be appropriate to return to this incredible – and completely private – location! However, I can’t resist talking about it now: it will be wise to book it! Pierre Pirajean, a lover of Morocco for 40 years and with his taste for beautiful things, fell in love with this ten-hectare property located 27 kilometers from Marrakech 15 years ago. He very quickly came up with the idea of ​​turning it into a vacation spot in the form of a members’ club to guarantee exclusivity (open by reservation only on weekends, until sunset). An oasis of calm surrounded by nature, with large and beautiful gardens, a huge swimming pool, gastronomy to share with a giant BBQ (grilled cock, piece of beef, mortar criola sauce, giant paella, chicken, shrimp of your choice, wolf grilled sea meat, rosemary from the garden, 7-hour roasted lamb with cumin, grilled lobster, virgin vegetables, lemon caviar… on a wood fire). A place where you can dine, spend the day and soon sleep there, with some sure-to-be gorgeous rooms to round out the offer. We promise: we’ll talk about it soon.

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