Skill Level: Medium
This course will take you a culinary journey through the eastern coasts of the Arab Levant, across the river Nile and along the Maghrebi seaboard. By drawing on the similarities of the region as well as the characteristic definitions that set them apart as individual cuisines, you will begin to develop a more accurate story of the food culture of a people.
Our course begins in the Arab Levant. Here you will develop a basic understanding of the importance of spices and seasoning, as we paint a picture of how a culture cooks and eats. With this in mind we will guide you through the processing of preparing a table loaded with mezze that wouldn’t be out of place in any Levantine restaurant!
We will travel south through the Maghreb and look at the cuisines of north Africa, how the flavours change here, and the differences in the way people eat. The true culinary gems lie in the food created for feasts and celebrations. We will replicate that same excitement as we work through the process of baking a bastila and preparing a tajine with authentically prepared cous cous.
Overall, this course will give you an understanding of the culinary practices and rituals of this vast region and the variations within. Upon completion you will find yourself able to produce – with nothing more than a well-stocked pantry and fresh ingredients – a feast fit for any Middle Eastern celebration.
Day 1 - Introduction to the Arab Levant
In this introductory lecture, we begin by exploring this region, as well as its cultural and historical influences. The flavours of this region are often defined by their use of spices. We will uncover the secrets of spices and learn a number of exciting, traditional Levantine preparations.
Day 2 - The Mezze Table
The image of the Mezze table has become omnipresent in popular food culture today. It is a cornucopia of small plates – hot and cold preparations, spanning the array of countless colours, tastes, textures and aromas. If the offerings aren’t large enough, rest assured that it can be spread or broken off onto a piece of pita. We plan to imbue you with the techniques and abilities to replicate the same image of the mezze table in your own home, with confidence and creative liberty.
Day 3 - Pies and Pastries of the Maghreb
We will begin dissecting the cuisines of this north African region by looking at the many pies and pastries on offer. We will examine the various doughs used and where they came from. Demonstrating their uses through the Moroccan Bastilla, the Tunisian Brik and what we expect will be a familiar dessert: the Makroudh.
Day 4 - Food for Feasting: Tajine
To celebrate the final day of the course, we will all hold a feast! The preparation of the tajine was typically reserved for celebration days, weddings and highly-esteemed guests. You will team up to create your own creative representation of this famous north African dish, accompanied by traditionally steamed cous-cous.
The Mediterranean Culinary Academy classroom at No 4, Sappers Street, Valletta
All of our courses will be held at our purposely-designed professional kitchen class room on Sapper Street in Valletta, conveniently close to the nearby open-air public car park.
Our modular classroom has been created to morph effortlessly between technical and theory exercises, with plenty of space for you to work, cook and learn. Designed for up to 12 students and a lecturer at a time, our classroom is also home to the latest cooking equipment – although it still feels like a comfortable home kitchen.
We look forward to welcoming you!