Jaafar Boucetta – Sous-chef de cuisine for the Selman in Marrakech, Morocco
Jaafar Boucetta is souschef de cuisine for the Selman in Marrakech, Morocco. Learn more about this wonderful country.
Today you are working as Sous-chef de cuisine for the Selman in Marrakech, Morocco; lots of great chef experiences before and as member of the national kitchen team of Morocco. When did all start for you/ why did you become a chef?
It all started at the age of 17 as I did my first social service and I discovered cooking to be one of the noblest professions in the world and to become a chef has been a dream.
What does fascinates you still today to work as a chef?
Day after day my passion for cooking grows even stronger, because you always uncover something new and find exciting challenges.
Which culinary school did you visit first?
I attended I.S.T.A.H.T. INSTITUT SPÉCIALISÉ DE TECHNOLOGIE APPLIQUÉE HÔTELIÈRE ET TOURISTIQUE D’AGADIR , specializing in hospitality and where I recieved my degree after 2 years of training.
The traditional Marconian kitchen is great. How would you describe it best?
Moroccan cuisine is among the best in the world, it is very rich in flavor and aromas as well as being incredibly diverse according to region.
How do you see the modern Marconian kitchen?
I can say yes at some level, because today every chef is trying to develop the Moroccan cuisine while keeping the tradition, flavors and energy.
Is the Marconian kitchen today as well influenced from other countries kitchen?
In each region of Morocco you will find a different specialty, for example in marrakech you will find tangia. It’s really too difficult to explain so I can just invite you to try it with us.
Marrakech’s local/ street food dishes/ places are so good. What are you favourite ones?
My favorite place to eat is my house, but you will find several places just as wonderful such as the Selman.
Are you inspired sometimes from these local/ street food dishes/ places?
Always looking for new things, and improving.
Can you share some of your latest creations with us?
We have a re-imagined chicken pastilla, changing the structure of the pastilla while we keep the taste, flavor and textures intact.
What are some of the less known spices you use?
Many, for example, ras el hanout, mrouzia spices, either chicken or beef.
And what are some of the less known vegetables?
According to the season, I think the Mouve, it is a wild plant, a little pumpkin from the region of doukkala.
Can you share some of your unique cooking techniques with us?
Yes, for example we have the tajine, it is a vessel made from terracotta. It is very unique, and it is cooked on an open fire.
As member of the national Moroccan kitchen team, you won in 2014 the Gold Medal in Dubai: what was the winning dish?
Moroccan cuisine was the winner.
If you would have the time to come up with a culinary book about Morocco, what would it be about?
It’s going to be about the traditions of every region of Morocco.
Thank you Jaafar!
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