Best Culinary Adventure in Morocco

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Butterfield & Robinson has partnered with SAVEUR, a magazine dedicated to savouring the world through authentic cuisine, to showcase extraordinary culinary destinations around the world. These special departures offer a unique opportunity to experience once-in-a- lifetime access to the people, places and flavours of our favourite culinary destinations.

Morocco is one of our oldest friends—we saw a foreign, exotic, stunning country that lent itself beautifully to our penchant for exploration, and knew we absolutely had to introduce travellers to it. Begin this culinary adventure in the bustling city of Marrakech, then journey to the relax- ing coastal town of Essaouira and into the Agafay Desert. Pick fresh ingredients from a chef’s eco-farm to prepare a typical Moroccan meal. Dine at the world renowned Nomad, a trendy Moroccan restaurant with a modern twist. Enjoy wine tastings, visit countless souks (markets), learn how to make outstanding traditional couscous and enjoy an unforgettable final evening under the desert stars in true Berber fashion. On this luxury travel experience we give you the best of the region from magical cities to stunning oases and fabulous food!

The Journey!

Upon your arrival at the Marrakech Menara Airport, you’ll be met in the arrivals hall by our driver and you’ll be taken to your home for the next three nights—the lovely Riad Farnatchi. We’ll rendezvous at 5pm and with your guide, head out for our first walk into the chaos of the city! Take in the lively scene at the famous Jemaa el-Fna at dusk, where locals will be setting up their food stalls for the evening rush. Tonight, the home cooks at the Riad Farnatchy will introduce you to the tastes of Morocco.
One of the most pleasant aspects of Morocco is its closeness to nature. Organic food and vegetables, a luxury in most western countries, are typically the only kind of food in large areas of the kingdom. After our first Moroccan breakfast (try a lovely pastry or a breakfast tagine!), venture out to the Amizmiz Valley, populated by Berbers who continue to practice a traditional way of life. Just a short ride from Marrakech, this valley has been little affected by tourism and modernity. You’ll meet a chef with a long history running the kitchens of many well reputed hotels and restaurants, both inside and outside Morocco. His elegant eco-farm is set amongst 15 hectares of olive groves, vegetable gardens and orchards, in a traditional douar (known in English as a Berber hamlet,which means simply,‘house’) surrounded by the imposing silhouette of the High Atlas mountains dominating the landscape. Seizing on the knowledge transmitted to him by the elders, he is an expert on aromatic herbs. According to him, they never display their true potential unless they are skillfully cooked. Seasoning is an art more complex than it seems, and you will learn about this (and much more) using the ingredients you yourself will select from his gardens to prepare a typically Moroccan two course meal. You’ll even have the chance to bake your own bread! Afterwards, we’ll enjoy the food we’ve prepared under the shadow of the trees, served in style.When lunch is finished, we’ll take a stroll through the Berber village and we’ll have a chance to share mint tea with a local family in their home. In the afternoon, you’ll have options—enjoy your first hammam (steam room, similar to a Turkish bath) at your riad or you can choose to explore Marrakech further with your guide, taking in some of the highlights of the city. Dinner will be on your own tonight and your guide will be happy to make suggestions for you.
After another wonderful breakfast this morning,we’ll head out to experience a cooking class with a wonderful dada— the traditional female cook. We’ll be introduced today to the most traditional recipes such as pastilla, couscous and the tagine,along with the all-important spices and different methods of cooking. We’ll enjoy the fruits of our labour under the shade of an olive tree.After lunch, we’ll journey through the alleys and souks (markets) of Marrakech. Visit three different food souks which will allow us to try traditional Moroccan street food including dried meats, milawi, harsha, spicy sardines, spicy soups, olives and more! We’ll investigate traditional cooking methods by visiting a furnatchi, which is also used to heat the hammam and a 400 year old furan (the communal oven and bakery). Dinner tonight will be a wonderful feast of flavours— Moroccan with a modern twist at Nomad. This trendy rooftop spot features eclectic twists on classics, such as bastille filled with vegetables and goat’s cheese (instead of pigeon). The restaurant is dressed up in designs from local artisans but maintains a more minimalist look – it couldn’t be more contemporary and cool.
This morning after breakfast we will hit the road and travel down the coast to the relaxed coastal town and millennia-old trading post of Essaouira. After the long drive and before arriving at our destination, we will stop for lunch at the French-owned vineyardVal d’Argan. The Val d’Argan has two interesting particularities: it is the only vineyard outside of the more traditional growing region of Meknes in the North and it is the only vineyard that is devoted to the grape variety of the RhoneValley. Enjoy lunch in the panoramic restaurant that affords incomparable views of the vineyard and the beautiful surrounding countryside, with a choice of Moroccan dishes adapted to the tasting of the different varieties of red, white and rosé of the vineyard. Following lunch (we recommend the grilled fish!) partake in an optional wine tasting before finishing off with a short drive to the doorstep of our new riad, located within the walls of the ancient town and just steps from the sea. We settle into our new digs before venturing off to explore Essaouira’s 18thC seafront ramparts with our guide. Dinner tonight will be in a beautiful location along the seaside.
Essaouira is one of the most enchanting spots in Morocco, offering a much more relaxed feel that the big city of Marrakech. The city is famous for its history, maze of souks, rich culture, stunning landscapes and bright North African colours and flavours. The spices, fish, pulses, bread and patisseries special to this part of Morocco are also very unique. After breakfast this morning, we’ll head out with a local chef to visit the fruit and vegetable market and afterwards, we’ll head over to the fish and spice markets.We’ll then visit a local restaurant where we’ll have the opportunity to use our purchases to create beautiful seafood dishes. In the afternoon, enjoy a walk along the beach or perhaps try your hand at surfing. Enjoy dinner on your own tonight, your guides will assist you with reservations.
This morning, we say goodbye to the coast and head back towards Marrakech. Our destination today is the Agafay Desert—long called the “Sahara at the Door of Marrakech. ”We begin with a visit to La Pause—a remarkable location discovered by a Frenchman who quite by accident discovered the location when his horse, in need of a drink, took him to the stream that flows in a hidden ravine. He was so entranced by the area that he found the land owner and bought what he now calls La Pause. Once we arrive, we will learn the secrets of how to make good Moroccan couscous and we’ll meet a woman from a nearby village who will teach us to appreciate the art of hand-rolled couscous. After lunch, we’ll enjoy some down time by the pool and then before sunset, we’ll hop on our camels and head out into the desert for our final evening in Morocco—under the stars in true Berber fashion!
Spend the day relaxing at you leisure until you must depart for the airport.Your guides can help arrange a transfer for your onward travels. Farewell!

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