What a treat last night to watch the charming Yotam Ottolenghi cooking in and exploring Morocco. What is fascinating about Yotam is not only his obvious love of other cultures and of food but his great rapport with people. Young and old, male and female all seemed to gravitate towards him with laughter, smiles and a mutual appreciation of delicious local dishes. I always enjoy travel and cookery programmes but Yotam Ottolenghi managed to evoke the true atmosphere of Morocco. If there was such a thing as ’smell’ telly this would have been the perfect programme.
Yotam travelled through the busy souq of Marrakech visiting the haman where a stew, mainly catering to single men, was slowly cooked in the embers of the fire that heated the water for the steam baths. From here up to the stunning Atlas mountains where he sat and learnt the true art of cous cous making with the local Bedouin woman – telling him off for ‘over working’ the dish. Finishing at the coastal town of Essouria where time was spent chatting with the local fisherman making fish balls out of fresh mackerel and cooking whole fish on the bbq, all the time spending time talking and listening to the people he came across.
If ever anyone has considered visiting Morocco and was unsure about what they’d find this wonderful hour of TV showcased this vibrant, friendly and colourful country at its best. Next week he’s off to Istanbul – I, for one can’t wait!