2. The Miracle of Father
Kapaun by Roy Wenzl & Travis Heying
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. Wichita 1930-2000 by Jay Price & Keith Wondra
5. Rake by Scott Phillips
6. The Yard by Alex
7. Help Thanks Wow by
8. Let's Explore Diabetes with
Owls by David Sedaris
9. Life After Life by
10. The Art Forger by
"New Moroccan" by Mourad Lahlou
This past summer I was preparing for our Cookbook Trunk Show. I saw a brochure promoting the forthcoming cookbook titled "New Moroccan" by Mourad Lahlou. In the brochure I read Maurad Lahlou's childhood (his father was from Casablanca and his mother from Marrakesh), and he eventual upbringing in the family compound in Marrakesh. The meals were such predominent events for the family, the planning and shopping for the meals were part of the daily routine that set the stage. After reading about the trips to market taken by grandfather and grandson, I was completely charmed. When the publisher offered to get me a bound manuscript so I could try a few of the recipes with friends, I was a goner.
You see, Maurad Lahlou left Marrakesh in 1985 to go to college in California. He was so homesick, he started channeling the memories of watching his mother and aunts prepare traditional Moroccan dishes. First he started cooking for himself, and then for friends, and eventually friends of friends. Even though he received a master's in macroeconomics, he couldn't fight the lure of the kitchen. He opened a restaurant in San Rafael in 1997, followed by a more modern restaurant in San Francisco in 2001. His restaurants have earned him international acclaim as well as the Michelin star.
So, the bound manuscript arriced, and the "New Moraccan" experience was actually a door prize given away at our Cookbook Trunk Show. And last Wednesday evening, I enjoyed a delightful meal with the winners Hetty and Dave Bailey, lovingly prepared by Beth Bower and Sue Najim.
To get a feel for the evening, you first need to peruse the menu selected by Beth Bower...
Reception: Fried Almonds, Figs and Cheese.
Appetizer: Spinach Rolls with Caper Pine Nut Sauce.
Salad: Baby Lettuces with Date Slices.
Intermezzo: Lime Granita.
Entrée: Chicken Skewers with Fennel and Tomato Stew over Couscous.
Dessert: Almond Cookies and Moroccan Mint Tea.
Doesn’t that sound amazing? And I know it's rotten luck that Beth Bower is married to wine aficiondo and host of The Good Life, Guy Bower. The four wines he selected for our evening were outstanding. In fact, somewhere I have them written down. (E-mail me if you want the pairings!)
Beth Bower intentionally selected recipes from the book where the ingredients were readily available. I can only imagine how flavorful some of the dishes could be with exquisite ingredients. But I doubt they could have topped what was prepared. Absolutely one of the best meals I've ever tasted!