Culinary Diplomat, award-winning cookbook author and Celebrity Chef Amy Riolo will lead an incredible Moroccan culinary tour between November 1st-12th. Amy has taught Moroccan cooking classes and lectured on Moroccan cuisine at the Smithsonian with the dream of one day taking people to the country on a culinary tour. Once she met Alex Safos who has been organizing educational trips to Morocco for years her dream became a reality.
“The sensory delights of Morocco are a feast for all five senses from the sounds of the music, the streets, the calls to the prayer and nature to the smells of sweet spices and flower waters to the sights. The full rich colors and textures to the feel of the beautiful fabrics and the tastes…sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and savory. There is something for everyone,” Amy said on the wonders of Morocco.
The Moroccan Treasures Cuisine & Culture Tour will begin in the famed cosmopolitan city of Casablanca. There you will enjoy a guided cultural and architectural tour, and stay in a 4 star hotel located in the city center. The trip continues to the city of Fes followed by Marrakesh. Fes, considered the spiritual heart and soul of Morocco, has an old city feel and frontier-like spirit. The Rose City or The Pearl of the South that Marrakesh is often called you will explore the rooftop gardens, boutiques, and luxe restaurants.
The trip continues toward the Atlantic coast where you will visit Essaouira known as the “Windsurfing Capital of Africa.” On this leg of the trip you will visit an Argan oil cooperative and learn about the types of products that derive from the nut-bearing Argan tree. Ever see pictures of those goats hanging in trees like Christmas ornaments? This is a normal occurrence in Morocco and quite iconic. These tree-chilling goats facilitate the oil process by eating the Argan berries and depositing kernels that are then ground and pressed into oil.
“Probably M’semen, which are a handmade type of layered pastry dough. They are often called pancakes or crepes but they are much more rich than that. They contain rich layers that are buttered with aged clarified butter making them extremely tasty. They are eaten for breakfast or as a snack with honey,” Amy said of her favorite type of Moroccan food.
This past April Amy had the opportunity to go to Verona, Italy with The Italian Trade Agency to attend some exciting epicurean events. During this visit she met the master olive oil taster from Morocco. He is considered the #1 in Africa and he promised to create a special tasting for the culinary tour group. She also knows the owners of Dar les Cigognes, where you will be staying in Marrakesh.
As a Culinary Historian as well, Amy has been passionate about culinary history since she was a little girl after being inspired by her father. She now uses this passion to educate others around the nation and abroad. She was first introduced as a Culinary Historian by The National Geographic after giving many lectures there. She feels it is important to understand the way in which cultures use specific foods and when these foods were used.