Dreams and passion
Chef Houssam demonstration
Get to know the team members of the Fez Cooking School, how they live their lives in the medina in Fez, why they are here and what they aspire to. They are honest from the heart. We are delighted to be able to share them with you, and proud that they are part of the team at Palais Amani.
Houssam has been working from the very beginning at the Palais Amani. He experienced a pre-opening training with Michelin star chef Richard. In a three months knowledge exchange period, Richard learnt about the variety of Moroccan cuisine. He brought knowledge to Houssam about modern presentation, sustainability and awareness of a more holistic approach to cooking.
Realising that the traveller was in search of more than just a trip, the Palais Amani decided to curate different types of cooking workshops that started in 2010. The interest in food and in the Moroccan cuisine has been growing for years. We felt the need to nourish the hungry travellers curiosity. The Fez Cooking School was born and inaugurated in 2017 and has been led by Chef Houssam ever since.
“I’ve always liked the idea of sharing”
“What do you like about these classes?” asks Loubna El Bouchikhi, Experience Coordinator at the Palais Amani. « I’ve always loved the idea of sharing, the cooking classes offer me the possibility to share and introduce the richness of Moroccan cuisine to people from all around the world.”Answers Houssam.
Loubna: “What is it like for you as a young modern Moroccan to live and/or work in the medina?” Houssam: This is my Medina, and being here takes me back to my childhood and all the beautiful souvenirs. When I walk around here I can feel that this is home and the people here are my family.
Chef Houssam making Zaalouk
“Everything in the medina has it’s unique taste”
Loubna: “If you had to name one dish or delicacy that you can buy in the medina what would it be?” Houssam: “Everything in the Medina has its own unique taste and everything is the delicious, but if I had to choose, I would say Jben (Moroccan soft cheese).”
Loubna: Can you share with us a childhood dream that you had and has that dream come true?” Houssam: I’ve always dreamt of studying in a cooking school and becoming a chef. I’m so thankful that my dreams have come true at such an early stage of my life.”
Loubna: Where do you imagine yourself in five years time? Houssam: “I would love to become a professional Pastry Chef specialised in French desserts. The Moroccan Cuisine is my art and speciality, yet it would be wonderful to take it to an international level and add my special Moroccan Touch.”
AV, November 2019.