Dinner and a film: Moroccan cuisine and “Tazzeka”

The famous Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout, in its traditional form, contains no less than 27 distinct spices. With a tendency to mix sweet and savory – think of beef with prunes, or chicken with orange blossom almonds – Moroccan cuisine has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most complex, exotic and innovative cuisines in the world.

In the lush mountains of the Moroccan rural village of Tazzeka, our hero Elias (Mahdi Belemlih) memorizes the ingredients of complex French recipes, while learning the secrets of his grandmother’s Moroccan cuisine and dreaming of becoming a professional chef.

When the famous chef Julien Blanc (Olivier Sitruk) visits the café where Elias works, he prepares a traditional couscous and broth, a dessert of caramelized apple pastilla with pistachio cream.

Cooking, as the heart of the home, is an ideal place to navigate through the difficult and painful subject of immigration and the diaspora.

But hope is eternal at Tazzeka, and Elias’s love for cooking finally leads him to new connections, new friendships and new experiences. The bonds are cemented when he shares a yassa meal with his host family, and his passion is ignited, when in return, he makes them traditional Moroccan-style sweet briouates.

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