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JEFF KOEHLER

  • writer
  • photographer
  • cook
  • traveler

Addresses: Marrakech and the High Atlas


MARRAKECH

where to stay: La Maison Arabe.

for small, decadent, and highly romantic riad buried in the medina: AnaYela.

for a spacious place among ample grounds in the palmery: Jnane Tamsna.

for cooking classes taught by a traditional dada: La Maison Arabe.

best cafe for people watching: Gran Café de la Poste in the Ville Nouvelle.

favorite stall on Djemma el Fna for dinner: Hassan #31 for spicy grilled merguez lamb sausages eaten with disks of bread.

don’t miss: snails in broth on the square. Sip the  liquid–it is a restorative and a digestive.

another specialty: tangia, a stew cooked in a sealed claypot in the embers of an oven.

buy for your kitchen in the souqs: a large, heavy wooden bowl called a gsâa made from walnut (grown in the nearby Ourika Valley). Use thisfor preparing couscous and for kneading bread.

best booksop for Moroccan cookbooks (mostly in French or Arabic): Librairie Chatr in Gueliz.

title to pick up: Abdelhaï Sijelmassi’s Les plantes médicinales du Maroc.

read more on Marrakech: this piece of mine on the city.

HIGH ATLAS

where to stop when crossing the High Atlas over the Tiz-n-Tichka: Irocha. Ahmed, a trained geologist, returned to his village to open this small but splendid guesthouse. Best Berber cooking around. My favorite place in the entire High Atlas.

eat: barley couscous.

also typical for those working in the fields: flatbread stuffed with shallots and some lamb suet.

buy for your kitchen: the little flat soup spoons from the corner shop near Irocha.

in winter: ask for fresh herbs in your mint tea, especially silvery absinthe (chiba).

Sir Richard Branson’s spectacular retreat on the western slopes: Kasbah Tamadot. Eco-friendly. Divine.

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