Culinary Journey to Marrakech, Morocco

As you can probably tell, I love travel just about as much as I love food and wine!  I've traveled to almost every continent!  There are some places that I've been to once and some places I could go back to again and again!  In Thailand, I love the kindness of the people, the food and the markets.  In Peru, I could eat ceviche all day long!  In India, my eyes were opened!  But in Morocco, I was mesmerized and enthralled by the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of everything exotic and sensuous.  I went there years ago and have been dying to go back ever since.

I have found a luxurious estate for our week in Marrakech, located in the exclusive Palmeraie district. Jnane Tamsna has been written about in numerous magazines and newspapers as the ultimate destination for those seeking chic tranquility. The cooking school at Jnane Tamsna is well-known by culinary adventure seekers, and during our cooking classes you will learn how to knead couscous by hand (made from barley not semolina as we are accustomed), and use the  conical earthenware casseroles called tagines to make meat and vegetable stews by the same name, explore the edible landscape of our home for the week, and for those seeking ultimate relaxation - a visit to the hotel's hammam for the pinnacle of traditional Moroccan spa treatments.

I'm really excited to share this wonderful, enchanting part of the world with you. Get ready for the trip of a lifetime!

International Cooking Classes

We'll have several hands-on cooking classes taught by both myself and the riad's Moroccan house chef Bahija. The incredible organic gardens will provide many of the ingredients we will use in our cooking classes at Jnane Tamsna. You will learn how to make dishes like B'stilla – the classic Moroccan savory pastry – of Fish and Preserved Lemon; Lamb Tagine with Tomatoes and Caramelized Spring Onions; Roasted Pepper, Cucumber and Tomato Salad; and Spiced Pears with Oranges and Caramel Sauce.

The cooking school at Jnane Tamsna has been written up extensively. Check out this PDF of the feature that appeared in Bon Appétit magazine, May 2008.

Accommodations

We'll be staying at the beautiful Jnane Tamsna in the palm tree oasis of the Palmeraie area just outside the old rampart walls of the medina in Marrakech.  Our gorgeous home for the week is set in the middle of an edible landscape lush with flowers, vegetables and fruits.  Jnane Tamsna is run by Meryanne Loum-Martin and her husband Gary Martin, who moved to Marrakech 20 years ago, and have created this luxurious oasis for us to enjoy.  Jnane House combines the architecture and layout of the traditional 'ryad' (courtyard house) with the spaciousness of a country home.  Jnane Tamsna has received wonderful press since it's opening 7 years ago:

Elle May 2009
 -- ''Jnane Tamsna, 15 minutes from Marrakech, offers five-star luxury with a house-party vibe.''

Fortune October 2008
 -- ''In the leafy Palmeraie district just outside the city, you'll discover the oasis of calm that is Jnane Tamsna...''

House & Garden May 2008 -- 
''A new ecological model of development, rooted in and respectful of local traditions and the land upon which it is built.''

Day Trips

We'll travel to the "souks" (markets) that Marrakech is famous for, have a couple Moroccan wine tastings, visit a well-known bread maker for a bread-baking demonstration in traditional Berber clay wattle ovens fired by dried rosemary branches, take an excursion to the Atlas Mountains and enjoy the candle-lit garden at Jnane Tamsna in the evening for dinner.

Trip Details

The group meeting point will be at Jnane Tamsna. The hotel will arrange for your pickup at the Marrakech airport (regardless of your arrival time) and will transport you directly to Jnane Tamsna. Please make sure to provide us with your flight information so that we can coordinate your transfer to the hotel.

"I was really looking forward to this journey, I did not know what to expect. I had the experience of a lifetime"
-Maria