Morocco’s Top 10 Cooking Classes for Traditional Cuisine
Morocco’s Cooking Classes have permeated the tourism scene leaving visitors a wide variety of options to dig deeper into learning how to make Moroccan traditional cuisine. Morocco’s unique history of being at the crossroads of civilizations has given Moroccan cuisine the well-deserved title as the culinary star of North Africa. Imperial and trade influence have made their mark on Moroccan cuisine for centuries. Exotic spices, herbs, and dried fruits have been filtered into the delightful taste of Moroccan dishes. Cinnamon, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, saffron, white pepper, red chili, cloves, and sesame all play an essential role in Moroccan cuisine.
Arab, Berber, Moorish, French, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean African, Iberian, and Jewish influences have also made Moroccan cuisine what it is today. Culinary inspiration from these cultures gave rise to Moroccan specialties such as couscous, slowly simmered tagine dishes, harira soup, bastilla pie, rfissa chicken with lentils, slow-roasted mechoui lamb, and vermicelli seffa.
These Moroccan specialty dishes are offered at Morocco’s Top 10 Cooking Classes. Participating in a Moroccan cooking class is a culinary adventure and will enable you to learn authentic Moroccan recipes from local chefs.
1. La Maison Arabe Cooking Workshop
This boutique hotel located in the historic medina was the first restaurant in Marrakech. Previously owned by Italian, Prince Fabrizio Ruspoli, La Maison Arabe has hosted one of Marrakech’s pioneering cooking schools since 2001. Since this time it has led travelers to the red city to discover the secrets of Moroccan traditional cuisine. The Workshops are conducted by a Dada (traditional Moroccan chef) and held in the property’s designated cooking school with state-of-the-art equipment. The classes begin around a table where participants learn about spices used in traditional Moroccan cooking. There is also a visit to a traditional bread oven where the local community sends fresh doughy round shaped pieces to be made daily. A live bread kneading demonstration is also a part of the class. The Moroccan cooking class menu typically includes tomato and pepper salad and Zalouk, roasted aubergine, chicken, beef or lamb tagine, and a Moroccan desert. Culinary tricks like how to make roses out of tomato skins will bring out the cooking master in you. Workshops are typically offered in half-day sessions, mornings from 10:00am – 2:30pm and evenings from 4:00pm – 7″00pm. All classes are led alongside a translator who is fluent in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. Arabic/English/French)
Address: Derb Assehbi, Marrakesh
Phone: (+212) 05243-87010
2. Amal Center (Targa & Gueliz)
The not-for-profit, female-run, Amal Center serves as both a Moroccan restaurant and a cooking school. The onsite culinary facility at Amal offers morning classes that begin with Moroccan mint tea made with fresh herbs from their garden. After a brief explanation, participants are led on a culinary journey sharing the secrets of how to make a tajine. Tagine, conical-shaped pots are slowly cooked over charcoal, then shared with a group of 10 or less. Amal also organizes baking classes where you can learn to make Moroccan sweets such as gazelle horns, ghriba, beghrir, and msemmen. The center was started in late 2012 by American Nora Fitzgerald Belahcen. After spending several childhood summers between Morocco and the United States, she became aware of the disparity between the two. Upon recognizing the difficulties Moroccan women from disadvantaged backgrounds often face, she set out to help the community by creating Amal, a female dedicated cuisine center run by women. The Amal Center offers a 6-month training course to local women who are typically deemed unemployable (widows, divorced or single mothers, orphans) and teaches them valuable skills for the job market. Taking a cooking class at Amal is a wonderful way to contribute to a local cause while learning about traditional Moroccan cuisine. Classes are available daily in the afternoon and led by a translator fluent in Arabic, French, or English.
Address: Rue Allal Ben Ahmed, Marrakech
Phone: (+212) 05244-46896
3. Lotus Cooking Class Led by Female Chef
This cooking class led by a Moroccan female chef begins in the heart of Djemaa el Fan square. Participants are taken on a culinary tour of the souks and offered a guided experience of how to choose the vegetables and fruits that will be used to create a classic Moroccan menu. Lotus Chef’s classes are set in a traditional Moroccan riad within the medina. Moroccan women who are culinary specialists share stories and cultural traditions about the Moroccan kitchen while sharing a pot of steeping hot mint tea. Guests are invited to choose among a Moroccan menu of Tajine, Couscous, Bastilla, Tanjia, or Sephardic Jewish dishes. There are also options available for those following a vegetarian and vegan menu. Lotus Chef is a great way for foodies to experience a cooking lesson with the spirit of hospitality similar to a Moroccan home.
Address: 22 Fhal Zefriti, Medina، Marrakech
Phone: (+212) 05244-41406
4. Traveling Spoon, Connecting Students with Local Teachers
Founded by Aashi Vel and Steph Lawrence who met at the Haas School of Business in 2011, Traveling Spoon is a charming way to learn how to cook Moroccan cuisine. Their passion for cooking inspired them to create a worldwide network for travelers seeking culinary experiences; they connect students with local cooking teachers. Over the past eight years, the Traveling Spoon community has become a reputable name throughout Marrakech and Casablanca. Classes are not set in one specific location but rather teachers come from carefully vetted families who offer their private kitchens and recipes. Many Traveling Spoon experiences will begin by exploring a local market with your host. A sample menu might include a welcome drink, Moroccan cookies, Moroccan salads, Tagine with lamb and vegetables, and oranges with cinnamon or cake for dessert. Menus change according to seasonal availability.
One Traveling Spoon student shared how her cooking teacher Maria told stories of her Moroccan grandmother making a lamb tagine with cardamom during Maria’s school vacation. Inspired by her grandmother’s enthusiasm for cooking, Maria now welcomes travelers for cooking lessons. Students are invited into her home to learn about Morocco’s history, culture, and cuisine. Upon request, it is possible to find cooks teaching vegetarian and halal meals. Classes are conducted in Arabic, French, and English.
Address: Locations may vary, hosted by local teachers
5. Cafe Clock Cooking School
Cafe Clock has become a Moroccan cultural institution among travelers and the local community. The establishment was first opened as a restaurant by British ex-pat Mike Richardson in 2006. The inspiration of Moroccan youth and tradition led Richardson to open his first cafe in Fes. Cafe Clock offers a menu with classic Moroccan dishes and is also host to a cooking school along with cross-cultural exchanges and events. Cafe Clock’s first cooking school starts in UNESCO Fes. Classes at the Clock, begin with an overview of Moroccan culture, history, and ingredients that will be used in the four emblematic dishes that foodies will create. The cooking class menu features salad, soup, main and dessert. Among the choices for starters are Zalouk- roasted aubergine with spices; Khizou M’shrmel- marinaded carrot salad; Shlada d l’barba – beetroot salad; and Taktouka- spiced green pepper salad. For soup, a choice between Harira – traditional hearty Moroccan soup or Bissara – split pea or broad bean soup with spices, garlic, and olive oil, are offered. Main dishes include an option from the classic couscous, tagine or Bastilla. For those with a sweet tooth, the Blighat b t’mer – Date and pastry rolls to a healthy Letshine b l’karfa- orange & walnut salad, is a fine way to end the cooking lesson. The class ambiance is ideal for families traveling with children.
Address: 7 Derb el Magana، Rue Talaa Kebira, Fes
Phone: (+212) 05356-37855
6. Fes Cooking School & Fes Food Tours
Operated by a local family with a zeal for cooking and sharing the warmth of true Moroccan hospitality Fes Cooking and Cultural Tours are perfect for an intimate cuisine experience. The personalized cuisine tours begin with a visit to the vegetable and meat souk in the Fes Medina. This is the city’s best place to select seasonal produce. Participants will also be taught how to choose market items based upon their color, shape, and size. Classes are held in a small, traditional riad and led by the head chef in the family. The menu includes an appetizer, main dish, and a vegetable dish. Starters are comprised of Moroccan briouates, crispy triangles stuffed with fresh goat’s cheese, vegetables of fish, harira, a tomato-based Moroccan soup with chickpeas and meat, along with Zaalouk cooked eggplant and tomato salad. For the main meal, an option between a seven vegetable couscous or tagine with quince is offered.
Address: 17 derb el miter zenjfour, Fes
Phone: (+212) 0615-866144
7. Plan-it-Fes, Go Local With a Family for a well curated Cooking Class
This homegrown charmed, cooking class is offered by a female-owned, boutique company in Fes that specializes in local activities ranging from cooking classes to beauty experiences and food tours. The Go-Local, Fes cooking class is the perfect opportunity to interact and be hosted by a Moroccan family, preparing food, visiting the souks, and baking at the local Farran. Participants will finish with a meal that will be shared together in true Moroccan style.
The Fes Go-Local Cooking Class offers a well-curated Fassis cooking lesson inclusive of shopping at the local souk, bread making and taking the bread to the local farran for baking and preserving lemons. You will make fresh seasonal Moroccan salads, Moroccan chermoula (specialty marinade), Tagine of your choice, subject to the season. The workshop also shares the preparing and enjoying Moroccan mint tea, a ceremonious tradition.
Address: Nº 6, Blvd. Ahmed Mekouar, Bab Al Hdid، Fes 30000
8. L’Atelier Madada Moroccan Cooking Workshop
Set on the edge of the Essaouira medina, L’Atelier offers half-day Moroccan cooking workshops. The program begins with a guided tour into the spice souk where a Moroccan chef will share the history and secrets of this ancient 18th-century coastal city’s cuisine. Upon return to the L’Atelier kitchen, the class will begin and is conducted by a local Souri Dada Chef. Discussion of ingredients and traditions are following by participants preparing a group of selected dishes. A sample menu includes Tchakchouka: cooked salad with peppers; Chicken seffa with vermicelli; and Harira soup. The workshop ends with a relaxed sit-down L’Atelier’s farm to table, cafe to dine on the dishes you made. Cooking Classes are hosted in English and French.
Address: Rue Mohamed Ben Masoud, Essaouira
Phone: (+212) 0700-189017
9. Khadija’s Cuisine, Cooking Class in Essaouira
Khadija’s Cooking Class offers a local Essaouira cuisine experience more intimate and a cut above the rest. Located in her home within Essaouira’s new town, Khadija offers a hands-on cooking class whereby foodies can participate in making a three-course glorious Moroccan meal of their choice. Moroccan salads, pastilla, couscous, tajine, and other delicacies are offered in a step-by-step personally led cooking adventure by Khadija. The classes are private therefore 2-8 can be easily arranged. All meals are made in Khadija’s home kitchen which is well stocked with Moroccan spices. The wide array of dishes offered in the cooking class change daily and are based upon the vegetables, meats, and fruits of the season. Khadija also accommodates vegetarians as well for those who want to cook up Morocco meat-free. A separate pastry class is offered upon request.
Address: Across the street from Pharmaice Bouhaira
10: Clock Kitchen Cooking Class: 3 Locations – Marrakech, Fes and Chefchaouen
Similar to its sister kitchen in Marrakech and Fes, Cafe Clock Chefchouen’s cooking class begins with a tour of the local market. After selecting the ingredients to make a three-course Moroccan meal, you will return to the Clock’s blue washed cultural center for a glass of hot mint tea. The Cafe Clock chef will then lead you in preparing your choice of starters, mains, and desert. For those curious to learn how to bake bread in a high mountain altitude environment, the Cafe Clock workshop also offers dedicated pastry-making classes and breadmaking lessons.
Address: 3 Derb Tijani, Chefchaouen
Phone: (+212) 05399-88788