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JEFF KOEHLER

  • writer
  • photographer
  • cook
  • traveler
December 8th, 2013

the weekend the olive harvest began

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Wintery vineyards the weekend the olive oil harvest began. Tarragona. December 7, 2013. © Jeff Koehler

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November 5th, 2012

Condé Nast Traveler

I am very pleased to be in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler, offering some of my top picks for eating in Marrakech. (I would add tangia as #6.) Turn to page 48 in your copy to read it, or click here.

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October 21st, 2012

Moroccan saffron harvest, 2012

The Moroccan saffron harvest began a week ago about 25 km north of Taliouine, in the Anti-Atlas. The blossoms are picked “closed” but soon begin to open and offer a very floral aroma. Predictions are for a very good harvest. The harvest will gradually work its way down towards Taliouine itself and finish in a few short weeks. October 20, 2012. © Jeff Koehler.

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October 9th, 2012

Morocco, curve by curve

I have a new opinion piece up on Zester Daily about the pleasures of discovering Morocco and what drove me on, curve after curve.

You can find the whole piece here. It begins like this:

While it is often easy to oversimplify the unknown, or at least the unfamiliar — a place, a cuisine, not to mention a culture — the real pleasure in travel or eating comes from discovering the unexpected and exploring the complexities and contradictions that we unfailingly encounter. When we scratch beneath the obvious and accessible, those polished but rarely three-dimensional surfaces found in glossy magazines or mid-century travel books, we find the essential elements that profoundly inform on the place. We need to sift a bit through the layers to find its truer essence.

Like any number of countries and their magnificent kitchens — Turkey, Mexico and even Spain spring to mind — Morocco frequently suffers a simplified fate, considered by many to consist of a largely homogeneous landscape and handful of familiar (though generally misunderstood) dishes.

(click here to continue reading)

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September 22nd, 2012

Morocco review

There is a review of MOROCCO in the September-October issue of Saudi Aramco World, the intelligent, insightful, and always interesting publication on items from around the Islamic world.

Morocco: A Culinary Journey With Recipes From the Spice-Scented Markets of Marrakech to the Date-Filled Oasis of Zagora. Jeff Koehler. 2012, Chronicle Books, 978-0-81187-738-1, $29.95 hb. What better way to introduce a culture and a people than painting a vivid picture of their culinary art? Jeff Koehler does exactly that, offering a colorful and mouth- watering introduction to the cookery of Morocco while diving into the historical, cultural and social contexts of each recipe he presents. Contrary to the title’s southern Morocco orientation, Koehler thoroughly explores the cuisine—or, as he puts it, “the cuisines”—of the country as he narrates his wanderings from the Spanish-influenced northwest to the Saharan fringes of the deep south, with stops at many suqs and kitchens in between. Highly eclectic and diverse, the nature of Moroccan cooking is well captured in writing and photographs that blend sweet and savory and mix in a variety of spices in recipes such as bistilla or veal-shank tagine with pears, to name just two. This book can be an excellent resource for the curious cook and savvy foodie alike. —Manal Bougazzoul (SO12)

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August 21st, 2012

travel with kids

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It might be a cliché that Thailand is a great place to travel with kids, but look at this woman’s sweet, indulging, and gentle smile as my youngest daughter grills her own dinner in a village along the Mekong. That about sums it up.

Chiang Khan, August 2012. © Jeff Koehler.

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August 16th, 2012

Moroccan sardines

Surely the best packaging for Moroccan sardines.

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And the reverse side:
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July 13th, 2012

spotted: in Univeristy Book Store

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Morocco as spotted in Seattle’s University Book Store. July 11, 2012.

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July 9th, 2012

Publishers Weekly review of Morocco

A slightly belated posting of Publishers Weekly review of Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes.

Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes from the Spice-Scented Markets of Marrakech to the Date-Filled Oasis of Zagora

Some international cookbooks stimulate appetites and others induce wanderlust—this survey of Moroccan cuisine does both. Food writer and photographer Jeff Koehler (Rice Pasta Couscous; La Paella) captures the complexity of his subject matter with the exacting detail of a scholar and the color and sensuality of a spice market. A brief historical overview is followed by regional guides that cover the country’s diverse geographic territories, from the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines to the Sahara desert. Setting the stage for modern cooks, he covers some suggested pantry items (argan oil; 12 different kinds of dates; the spice blend ras el hanout) and equipment (couscoussier; tagine). The more than 70 recipes reflect the variety of cultural traditions carried over from Arab (stuffed phyllo pastry), Berber (blistered flatbread), and Spanish inhabitants (mussels in tomato sauce). Emblematic dishes like tomato-based harira soup, chicken tagine with preserved lemon and olives, and seven-vegetable couscous are included alongside street eats like snails in broth and a contemporary update on lamb tagine featuring oranges, saffron, and candied orange peel. The sumptuous photographs complete the almost-like-being-there experience. Photos. (June)

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July 9th, 2012

5 stars from the City Book Review

A screen grab from The City Review’s 5-star appraisal of Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes. July 6, 2012.

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All text and images are ©Jeff Koehler 2007-2009 and cannot be used without his written permission.