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“An experience I have never forgotten”
Review of Souk Cuisine

Souk Cuisine
Ranked #6 of 21 Food & Drink in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Cooking School at Dar Les Cigognes has been teaching guests the wonders of Moroccan Cooking for over a decade. With over 10,000 participants, we have a huge experience to draw upon. In keeping with the ethos of the hotel Dar Les Cigognes, we are fanatic about fresh, seasonal cooking, and making everything from scratch. Our classes are completely hands-on, involving guests in the preparation of each dish and imparting practical knowledge.All instruction is private--we do not do group classes unless it is a group that is travelling together and want to do their class together. We have a variety of typical formats, but will also create bespoke classes. The classes are suitable for everyone from beginners to professional chefs, and indeed we have even had multi-day classes with professional chefs designed to help them reformulate their own menus to include Moroccan dishes.Our most popular class is called "learn the dish" where a guest will learn one of the dishes on the daily-changing menu. This is a short class of one hour and a bit, which starts with an introduction to Moroccan spices, and then proceeds with practical instruction in the preparation of the dish. We can almost guarantee that whatever the dish of the day is, it will not be one that you will likely find in any Moroccan restaurant other than our own, as we constantly strive to prepare the truly traditional dishes or to innovate within the Moroccan repertoire to give our diners and our students an introduction to the real, authentic Moroccan home cooking. "Learn the dish" is just a class to learn a dish, and is usually given in the afternoons, but other time slots can be accommodated depending on the in-house demand for cooking classes. With 5 professional chefs on our team, this gives us an ability to match the right chef to the student.Another popular format is our 1/2 day class. We do daily morning and afternoon sessions and this is a 4 hour class followed by a meal. Here the student will be involved in the design and preparation of their meal, and learn about how Moroccans construct menus. Our couscous class has been very popular over the years as learning to make couscous from scratch is something easy to take home, and the difference in flavour is astounding. This class begins with a market tour which is focused around the menu that is being prepared and then follows with the participants making each element of their meal, and time permitting includes at lunch starter and main plus desert, and for dinner includes appetiser, starter and main, plus desert. There is usually not time to prepare the desert, also because deserts require setting time, but there is always time to eat desert!We also do a 1/2 day Moroccan pastry and bread baking class. This class is given on Tuesdays and Saturdays only, and apart from learning to make either pastries or breads, the participants also go to the communal oven to bake their preparations, and get rare insight into this magical aspect of Moroccan medina life.We also do bespoke full day and multi-day classes by direct arrangement. Classes are given at both Dar Les Cigognes and sister hotel Riad Kaiss. The Dar Les Cigognes cookbook is available on Amazon UK and US and Riad Kaiss and Dar Les Cigognes both feature in Paula Wolfert's seminal new work The Food of Morocco
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“An experience I have never forgotten”
Reviewed January 20, 2013

I am rather late in posting this review but a number of years back I booked a cooking class in Marrakesh called Souk Cuisine. I did all of the things that are described in the other reviews and the shopping experience and visit to the bakery were fantastic insights to what it would be like to live in this charming place. The spices and herbs I bought I still have some of them and I can still order more from the man in the store who had an extensive knowledge of his trade. If you are travelling on your own it is a great way to meet others and the women in our group came from various countries which made a lovely dinner party at the end of all of our hard work cooking. Thank you to the wonderful lady who hosts this Moroccan experience, it is one of the best things I have ever done and if I visit Marrakesh again I would love to come and see how the business has progressed and grown. I would highly recommend this as an activity that stays with you for years to come! ps please take no notice of the review date...I visited Souk cuisine about 5 years ago. x

Visited January 2013
Thank artfuldodgerlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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200 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Best cookery course I have been on in a long time. Superb souk tour.Such a charming guide-Gemma. Food sublime. Did this on the first day and it was like meeting Marrakech personally, shaking her hand and spending the day in her kitchen.From then on the town was as familiar as my backyard

Visited January 2013
Thank nnnkkk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Great Day Out”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

On a recent trip to Morocca 3 friends and I did this cooking school. We all had an amazing time and the food that we learnt to cook was amazing. The whole day is really nice you start off by going through the markets and purchasing the ingredients you require. You get to see and experience going to a butcher, the fruit and veg markets, the local supermaket and also the bakery. Going into these places and learning about the way of the locals is a really amazing and unique experience.

When you arrive at the cooking school it is absolutely amazing it is in her home and has an open roof. The school is very well set up and cooking with the locals is a really fun and enjoyable experience.

Make sure you do this on your visit not only is it a great experience and lots of fun but you really don't need dinner afterwards.

Visited September 2012
Thank Tennille C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“A fun cooking experience”
Reviewed October 21, 2012 via mobile

We booked this cookery day following a recommendation from friends.

We were only in Marrakech for a few days so I would recommend booking in advance. This was all very easy to do via email before you arrive.

You start the day in the main square where it was very easy to meet everyone, before being taken into the souks armed with your shopping list, purses and bags (all included in the cost of the trip so you don't need to bring lots of change!)

The group was broken down into 2 smaller groups so it was very easy to hear our guide and you didn't feel too on show in the markets (although you obviously still are!). I hadn't realised before this that you don't haggle for food in the markets so this makes the experience much easier and enjoyable and you can spend the time really finding out about the foods and where it comes from. The shopping takes approximately 2 hours but it is really good fun and you learn as you go, as well as seeing different areas of the souk.

After picking up some bread (fresh from the bakers oven!) You then go to the Riad to start the course. The only downside I would say is that you don't each make every single dish as you do on some courses, but this does mean that the group is able to make more as it is shared across more people. You each get a recipe book to take away with you and you're split up to cover separate dishes, however you can happily walk between the different tables to pick up tips as you go. The local ladies who help you are quite strict so be prepared to follow sharp instructions, but the outcome is definitely worth it!

You end the day with lunch on the roof terrace (weather allowing) and a few glasses of wine.

A really worthwhile day and a fun excursion as part of a quick city break!

1 Thank Nicky W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Netherlands
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Excellent hands-on cooking class!!!”
Reviewed June 20, 2012

I found this cooking class, when I was preparing for my trip to Marrakesh with my mom. I always take a cooking class while traveling abroad, because this is the best way to learn about another culture. Since my mom doesn't speak English very well and Gemma, the owner, is Dutch this was a perfect option for us.
We were met at the Jemaa el Fna with shopping bags and lists of the stuff that we had to buy in the Souk. I've done more cooking classes, but none where you actually buy your ingredients yourself on the local market. Great experience and great fun. We had a small group of six, so after shopping and learning about the ingredients we went to Gemma's house, in the middle of the Souk.
There two helpers waited for us and started prepping the food, while we enjoyed some tea or drinks. After that, it was hands on and start cooking. Chopping large amounts of fresh herbs, vegetables, onions, garlic, etc. We made a perfect meatball tagine with egg and had so much fun mixing the meat mixture, making meatballs and a lot more. After that, we also had to make typical Morrocan biscuits for desert, so more opportunities to get our hands dirty.

After all the cooking was done, Gemma set the table and we all enjoyed a perfectly cooked lunch that was more than enough to last us for dinner as well. It was by far the best food I've had while I was in Marrakesh and when I go back to this beautifull city, I will certainly take another cooking class at Souk Cuisine.

Visited May 2012
2 Thank Brenda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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