Tara Stevens

Tara is a British food writer and cookbook author living between Fez, Morocco and Barcelona, Spain. When she isn’t contributing to titles like Fool Magazine, The Telegraph and Conde Nast Traveller, Tara hosts visitors and foodies at her home-stay cooking school in a charming and stylish dar in the heart of ancient medina.

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Where And What To Eat At The Street Food Markets

One of my favourite daily rituals in Fez is to go out for street food, particularly in the morning when I can enjoy my favourite Moroccan dish, bessara; a very simple but delicious soup of fava beans with cumin, harissa and olive oil drizzled on top that’s typically eaten for breakfast. The best spot for great street food in Fez is certainly at Achabine Souk. This is one of several local produce markets where you’ll find your fresh vegetables, meat stalls, live chickens and excellent Moroccan street-snacks. It’s where the Moroccans go to eat lunch. Be sure to try sardines marinated in chermoula before being fried and try to hunt down a chap called Rachid. He does this delicious charcoal-grilled ketfa which he stuffs into hot local bread, khobz. It’s just delicious – I call it the Fassi burger. You can spot him by the smoke and wondrous smells coming from his little stall. He’s the only one doing this so you can’t miss him.  

Traditional Moroccan Home-Cooking

Deep in the heart of the Fez Medina, Dar Tagine will lure you from the streets with the smells of meat stewing and will keep you for hours enchanted by the fabulously kitsch décor – which is actually one of the reasons that I love coming here. They do fabulous Moroccan home cooking and your typical tagines – my favourite being a lovely lamb, artichoke and pea tagine when the season is right. But what they do very well, are their Moroccan salads. They’re fresh, deliciously flavourful, and seasonally based; like a beetroot salad that has been cooked with a splash of vinegar and lots of mint, creamy cauliflower with just a hint of harissa and fresh coriander, and black-eyed peas gently stewed with turmeric. There are about 12 small salads in total, and to share them together with hot bread is just perfection.

Relax In A French Courtyard

If you’re looking for a beautiful spot to spend an afternoon, head to Café-Fez, a very popular spot with expats. To be honest I go here more for the garden – it’s just gorgeous to sit outside in the sunshine with a bottle of pinot gris.

An Unexpected Taste of Northern Thailand in Fez

In the most unlikely of cities is Maison Moi Anan, a restaurant serving food from the border of Northern Thailand and Laos. Chef Anan Sorsutham is a fabulous chef from Chiang Rai, Thailand, who against all odds has found himself in the middle of the Fez Medina, cooking the recipes of his mother and aunties back home. He has his own vegetable garden where he grows Thai herbs, vegetables and chillies which are all used to make authentic and tasty Northern Thai dishes and a couple of crowd-pleasers like pad thai and green curry.

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