Mourad: New Moroccan

Mourad: New Moroccan

5.0 1
by Mourad Lahlou
     
 

A soulful chef creates his first masterpiece

What Mourad Lahlou has developed over the last decade and a half at his Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant is nothing less than a new, modern Moroccan cuisine, inspired by memories, steeped in colorful stories, and informed by the tireless exploration of his curious mind. His book is anything

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Overview

A soulful chef creates his first masterpiece

What Mourad Lahlou has developed over the last decade and a half at his Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant is nothing less than a new, modern Moroccan cuisine, inspired by memories, steeped in colorful stories, and informed by the tireless exploration of his curious mind. His book is anything but a dutifully “authentic” documentation of Moroccan home cooking. Yes, the great classics are all here—the basteeya, the couscous, the preserved lemons, and much more. But Mourad adapts them in stunningly creative ways that take a Moroccan idea to a whole new place. The 100-plus recipes, lavishly illustrated with food and location photography, and terrifically engaging text offer a rare blend of heat, heart, and palate.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lahlou, chef and owner of the highly acclaimed San Francisco restaurant Aziza, was inspired by a large extended family, most notably his grandfather who fostered a love for food in the stalls of the Moroccan marketplace. Relocated in the U.S., Lahlou attempts to recreate from memory the beloved food of his childhood. By experimenting, he is able to replicate these meals with a twist—his own take on traditional Moroccan dishes that eventually become staples in his restaurant and are highlighted in this worthy collection. For food enthusiasts unfamiliar with Moroccan dishes, Lahlou includes a handy section on key ingredients and staples of the cuisine including balsamic cranberries, pickled green strawberries, preserved lemons, and more. Of special importance is couscous, which gets a chapter unto itself. He explains the culture surrounding this central ingredient, provides a buyer’s guide for those who buy commercially, and offers a lengthy section on how to roll and cook it at home. He also offers a wealth of recipes for appetizers, soups, breads including grilled flatbread and harissa rolls, fish, chicken, and lamb. Appealing side dishes include dry-fried okra with melted tomatoes, leek gratin, salt-roasted potatoes, and parsnip risotto. Lahlou provides an entertaining and appetizing guide to not only Moroccan dishes but the culture of Morocco as well and will introduce many readers to this intensely flavorful cuisine. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Winner, Northern California Independent Booksellers Book of the Year Award for Food Writing

Best Cookbooks of the Year, Good Morning America

Best Books of the Year, Publishers Weekly

“Intoxicating.”
San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Every once in a while, a fabulous cookbook shows up that takes you into an entirely new world. . . . Mourad Lahlou’s beautiful debut cookbook, Mourad: New Moroccan, belongs in this exalted category.
BookPage
 
“Lahlou takes Moroccan classics, such as couscous and preserved lemons, and adapts them in new and unusual ways.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review
Library Journal
Lahlou, owner of Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant Aziza, is a self-taught chef who turned to cooking out of homesickness for his native Morocco. His debut cookbook beautifully captures a culture, philosophy, and cuisine. The first section explains fundamentals including warqa (a pastry similar to phyllo) and hand-rolled couscous. Re-creating Lahlou's flavors takes patience and commitment; to make his Ras el Hanout spice blend, you'll need to gather, toast, grind, and blend 22 separate components. Given its complex recipes, this book will appeal the most to advanced home cooks, culinary professionals, and fans of Lahlou's restaurant. Lahlou's memories paired with Jones's handsome photographs make for evocative travel writing. Highly recommended.
Kirkus Reviews
Authentic Moroccan cuisine as interpreted by one of America's up-and-coming young chefs. Many of the book's photos feature the handsome, tattooed author; perhaps he is deserving of such an homage: A self-taught chef who began cooking as a student in America because he was homesick for Morocco, Lahlou now owns the Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant Aziza. Creating a cuisine he refers to as "New Moroccan," the recipes are unabashedly complicated and ingredient-heavy. As a California chef, the author writes about having to find a middle ground between fresh West Coast fare and the Moroccan propensity for heavy sauces and spices. However, he doesn't make too many allowances for the American pantry. He presents cooks with a text-heavy instruction manual of how to capture the true flavor of Moroccan cuisine, and includes tips for professional chefs as well as websites for ordering ingredients. He is exacting in his approach (he admits to firing chefs for grinding too many spices as a short cut) and goes so far as to offer an entire chapter on hand-rolling couscous. With such sections as "Dude, Preserved Lemons," however, this is far from a stuffy culinary manual. As precious (and precocious) as he may sound, Lahlou's recipes, when followed accurately, are exciting and deliciously new.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781579654290
Publisher:
Artisan
Publication date:
10/27/2011
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
406,052
Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 10.82(h) x 1.28(d)

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What People are saying about this

Daniel Patterson

“This book is a treasure. It captures Mourad's intelligence and curiosity, and more importantly his warmth and generosity. The way he fuses memory and imagination shows what Californian cuisine can—and should—be.”

—Daniel Patterson, chef/owner of Coi and author of Aroma

Amanda Hesser
“Mourad works like a mad genius in the kitchen, churning through ideas until he lands on just the right combination of flavors, just the right textures—a dish that feels whole.”
—Amanda Hesser, cofounder of food52.com and author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook
Charles Phan

“Mourad’s food is soulful and tasty, grounded in tradition and innovation.”

—Charles Phan, chef/proprietor of The Slanted Door

José Andrés

“Recipes without stories never taste the same. Mourad's memories connect us to a faraway world. I'm from Spain, and after reading and cooking from this book, I understand even more about how Northern Africa has influenced my own food.”

–José Andrés, host of Made in Spain and author of Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen

José Andrés

“Recipes without stories never taste the same. Mourad's memories connect us to a faraway world. I'm from Spain, and after reading and cooking from this book, I understand even more about how Northern Africa has influenced my own food.”

–José Andrés, host of Made in Spain and author of Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen

Anthony Bourdain

“A superbly executed work on a style and subject we would all benefit from knowing more about.”

—Anthony Bourdain, host of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and author of Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

Eric Ripert

Mourad: New Moroccan is an inspiration for the senses, you can almost smell and taste the food on the pages of the book. It highlights the culture, passion and pride of the Moroccan people in their food and enlightens us about the spices that make Moroccan food so exotic and delicious.”

—Eric Ripert, chef/co-owner of Le Bernardin, host of Avec Eric

Dorothy Hamilton

“Mourad takes his Moroccan heritage and creates a modern, sophisticated cuisine uniquely his own. I adore it.”

—Dorothy Hamilton, founder of the French Culinary Institute

Jacques Pépin

“Mourad Lahlou is a marvelous raconteur. His book is full of passion, a book from the heart. His cooking is simple but sophisticated, classic but creative and, more than anything, is true to the flavors, smells, and soul of Moroccan cuisine.”

—Jacques Pépin, chef, cookbook author, and host of numerous PBS-TV cooking series

David Kinch

“A rarity—a self-taught chef with soul able to invigorate and modernize one of the world’s great cuisines.”

—David Kinch, chef/proprietor of Manresa

Thomas Keller

“The soul of Moroccan cooking, thoughtfully reimagined and generously shared.”

—Thomas Keller, chef/proprietor of The French Laundry and per se

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