THINGS TO DO MARRAKESH: COOKING CLASS
One thing I will now recommend if anyone goes away to a new country – do a cooking class! Learn about the local dishes, the best ingredients and taste great food.
One of the highlights of our trip to Marrakesh was the cooking class. On the romantic valentines day, Liv and I attended the cooking class interrupting the other couples romantic activity. No in all honesty, it was just a plus that the day we chose to do the cooking class landed on valentines day.
We had spent the morning exploring the local gardens as our class didn’t start until 9 and we arrived early in central town. The tour meets outside Cafe de France, our guide was very easy to spot as she had a Intrepid Travel bag. We met the group that included 2 other couples, introduced ourselves and then started our tour.
We booked ours through a provider we work with at my job, but this tour is usually booked through Intrepid Travel Urban Adventures. You can have a look at the other tours they offer here.
It is always worth stating when you book any dietary requirements you have. As I booked through a 3rd party, this information wasn’t passed on but our guide asked us on the day for any requirements. Turns out I was the only veggie there, which was no problem, it just meant I was to have my own plate & vegetables.
Our cooking class started off with a tour of the local streets and medinas to get our fresh ingredients. We picked up local grown fruits, cooked bread, visited the vegetable market and purchased the chicken for the meat eaters.
When visiting the local vegetable market, we were passed baskets and given the chance to pick up our own vegetables for the dishes. I had a bit of free reign on mine, as our guide said to just pick what I always like to eat and we will incorporate that in to our dish. I picked up aubergine, carrots, potatoes and many more – it was exciting to get it fresh from the market.
The tour moved on to get the chicken, now, a word of warning for the veggies, you might not want to be here when this happens. On the corner of the market is a small stall with chickens in cages, they kill, skin and prepare the chicken there and then for you. It is as fresh as you could get meat. I just stood away from it all, just so I didn’t have to see it, which was no issue at all.
Bags full of our food, we headed over to the riad kitchen. A bit of a maze to get there, we went through this small door to be met by a beautifully sunlit open space. The table was decorated and ready waiting for us to start cooking.
Once we settled into the beautiful sun-lit kitchen, we all started we the preparation of our meals. I was given my own separate smaller pot whilst the others created 3 large pots for them all to share with the meat options.
The guide sat us down and gave us the instructions for preparing the ingredients for our final tagines. We cut up the onions, carrots, tomatoes, aubergines and more. Our guide showed us how to place it in the dish, and it definitely looked pretty! To cook the tagine, the pots were placed on a gas cooker for about 30 minutes.
Whilst it was cooking, we took a trip up onto the roof of the building. We were met by the glorious sunshine as we looked out over the city of Marrakesh. Lounge chairs on the top allowed us to relax for about 10 minutes before getting called back downstairs for the final preparations for the food. The tagines were checked to see how well they had cooked and sat down on the table that had been set when we were upstairs.
We tucked in to our meals one plate at a time. With the mix of all the spices, vegetables and general delicious flavours – our food certainly went down well. I really struggled to finish the veggie option, as Liv and I both were given one bowl each and the other couples were sharing. Help was needed to try and finish our dishes, but even so there was still leftovers.
Desert was a lovely dish as well – orange slices with cinnamon sprinkled on top. I’m not usually a massive cinnamon fan, but combined with the citrus flavours of the orange, they really complimented each other. It is safe to say that our deserts weren’t on our plates for very long.
Once we had finished our meals and tidied up the rest, we headed out back into the streets of Marrakesh. Our guide took us to where she likes to buy Argan oil from, a local seller which was really nice to get it from where she recommends. We said our goodbyes and headed on our separate ways. It was well worth doing the cooking class, we really enjoyed it as well as had good food, lovely company and a great guide.
For anyone wanting to experience real local, authentic experience where you get to taste wonderful food – I would always recommend doing a cooking class. We had a successful and fun experience through Intrepid but there are plenty of others to choose from, this is just the account of our time.
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