The Food of Morocco

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Paula Wolfert talks about her new cookbook, The Food of Morocco—from tender Berber skillet bread to spiced harira, from chicken with preserved lemon and olives to steamed breast of lamb stuffed with couscous and dates. She explains the essential elements of Moroccan flavor and tells where to get hard-to-find ingredients.


Paula Wolfert

Comments [12]

Paula Wiolfert from Everywhere

Mr. Lopate, thanks for rerunning the radio show. Hit went viral on twitter. Thought you might be interested in this "happening" in May

Chef Farid Zadi
We are organizing events in Los Angeles for the entire month of May to celebrate the couscous and the good foods of North Africa.

However, we would like as many participants as possible. We would love it to be a truly national event, or even make it international, by creating a calendar of events, classes, special menus or lectures around the country or even around the world throughout the month of May.

We would be honored to have you participate in some way by doing any of the following (I guarantee that there will be a lot of media coverage about this and that it will go viral online):

Participate in one of our Los Angeles events
Can't or don't want to travel to Los Angeles? Create a special menu (can be for one day or every weekend for the month of May) at your restaurant
Organize a North African cooking class or lecture at your restaurant or cooking school
Create a video specifically for the month of May to promote North African cuisine
Submit blog posts about North African dishes, recipes, or articles
We're open to many forms of participation! Throw a private party celebrating North African cuisine and send us photos and recipes!

Everybody keeps saying North African cuisine will be the next big thing, that 2012 is THE YEAR. Let's all work together to make that happen.

Los Angeles Events

Friday, May 4: Cafe Livre: Tagine cooking class and dinner, 20 people in enclosed patio $100 per person
Saturday, May 5 Cafe Livre: Lectures about historical North African cookery and dinner, 30 people in enclosed patio, $75 per person
Sunday, May 6

Friday, May 11: Cafe Livre: Couscous Lunch with Paula Wolfert and guests.... Meet-n-Greet type event
Saturday, May 12: Downtown LA Central Library: Paula Wolfert at Culinary Historians
Sunday, May 13: Cafe Livre: Algerian dinner for Culinary Historians

Friday, May 18 Cafe livre: Tagine recipe contest- People bring in prepared tagines for judging. Enclosed patio. (Judges: Amy Scattergood......)
Saturday, May 19- Actors' Gang: leaving open for now for concert at the Actors' Gang
Sunday May 20

Friday, May 25-Cafe Livre: Couscous Festival- no ticket sales, but $10 to reserve spot, then applied to food at the festival
Saturday, May 26- Cafe Livre: Couscous Festival- no ticket sales, but $10 to reserve spot, then applied to food at the festival

Sunday, May 27- Cafe Livre: Couscous Festival- no ticket sales, but $10 to reserve spot, then applied to food at the festival

Email: or call her at 818-641-6899

Jan. 30 2012 04:52 PM
Pat from Manhattan

I really enjoyed the program - most especially Paula's enthusiasm, not only about cooking, but about life in general.
I was so inspired that I ordered a tagine through her site, bought her cookbook and located a cooking class of which I'll attend. This is not a typical response from me but I thought, well, this is a great way to start the new year - with enthusiasm and the desire to share and enjoy. Much thanks and Happy New Year!

Dec. 30 2011 02:57 PM
Chef Alisia from St.Paul, MN

As a young chef working in a French Moroccan restaurant, Paula Wolfert's book "Cooking with Cous Cous" was my "bible"! I love being in her group and learning new things from her and others! Great interview!

Oct. 12 2011 12:42 PM
Khadija Boyd from Brooklyn

To Naria, w/all respect: Get a life, hey!? ; }}}. Peace,
Berber, Moroccan, African khadija

Oct. 11 2011 01:39 PM
Naria from USA

Dear Leonard,
I am surprised that your guest Ms. Wolfert writes about the Morrocan food and does not research about the source of the food or the names.
first the school they were teaching the name was esteghlal which means freedom not what she pronounced, probably she did not even know the meaning.
second the food name I heard Tagin or something like that, is a persian name and is pronounced Tah-chin. It is combination of two words; Tah meaning bottom (bottom of the pot and Chin (meaning placing or spreading). It is the order of placing chicken, sauce and the rice in the pot. the main spice for this food is zafran and the sauce is mixture of yogourt and eggs. The rice is aromatic basmati rice. the food is very aromatic and not eaten with three fingers.
is cooked in low heat in oven like situaion for hours.

Oct. 11 2011 01:29 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

I love her cookbooks!

Oct. 11 2011 01:05 PM
phyllis segura from PIERMONT, NEW YORK

Serendipity...tuned in today to hear my favorite cookbook author! I have a copy of "Couscous....etc." that is a marvel of bookbinding as it has been schlept around since the early 70's! Curious about the 'group' you mentioned. I will do a search but please let me know. Do you ever give lessons in NYC or where you live? I've been told that I remind people of you.

Oct. 11 2011 01:04 PM
Rebecca from Manhattan

Painfully miss family run Moroccan Lotfi's. Haven't been able to find anything like it in Manhattan. Are there any restaurants that prepare food like that place did?

Oct. 11 2011 12:54 PM
ldancer from NYC

Bravo to Ms. Wolfert for championing Moroccan cuisine, but her derision about bellydancers in Moroccan restaurants was ugly and offensive. As a professional Oriental dancer who has greatly enjoyed performing in Moroccan restaurants, I beg to differ about why restaurants hire us. They hire us because we add fun and beauty to the experience. In fact, I started studying Arabic dance and classical music because I saw a dancer at Moroccan Star on Atlantic Avenue. She needs to drop the attitude. We're students of the culture just as much as she is.

Oct. 11 2011 12:51 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

In Israel, Moroccan food is practically "Jewish food" since well over 1/4 of the Israeli population is of Moroccan or North African origin.

Oct. 11 2011 12:48 PM
LL from UWS

I could use suggestions about already prepared foods of Morocco--restaurants and packaged dishes at supermarkets.

A Paula Wolfert line of frozen entrees, for example!?

Oct. 11 2011 12:02 PM
Janet from Westchester

Hi Paula,
A voice from the past! Have been following your cookbook mastery ever since "CC and
Other Good Food..." Have all your books and looking forward to this one. Can't believe how long it's been since we've seen each other. Would love to hear from you.
AJ is still with the palace crowd,Myriam is a hard working lawyer and Salim
is still avoiding gainful employ - he is now living in Paris but hopefully will return to Rabat soon to get his riad up and running.
Big hello to Bill and your kids, wherever they are now. Fondly and wistfully, Janet

Oct. 11 2011 12:00 PM

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