Beat Till Stiff

CULINARY ADVENTURES IN MARRAKECH

Published by Penguin NZ, 2010

The irrepressible Peta Mathias is back with a stunning new book and TV series that take us to one of the most fascinating destinations in the world.

I wake up in the morning and throw the shutters open. It's dawn and the first prayers of the day have just hurled over the rooftops of Marrakech. Breakfast is home-made jam, honey, tea, freshly squeezed orange juice and a basketful of freshly baked, still-warm breads — m'lawi, flat bread, pancake and croissant.

And with this, the irrepressible Peta Mathias begins her culinary adventures in one of the most exotic locations on earth, in a book that will never leave your side as you while away hours dreaming of all things Moroccan.

In a culture of luxury, cooks must fly to the limits of their creative abilities. Morocco has a clear culture of food and Moroccans see the world in quite a different set of colours before a good meal than they do after. Not all countries are like this. Not all countries breathe and celebrate their food as an integral part of their culture. Traditional dishes are the product of collective genius. No individual Moroccan invents a dish; dishes are invented by everyone, owned by everyone and can't be reinvented. To understand the importance of Moroccan food, you need to delve into the country's history and changing cultural make-up.

From the beautiful and eccentric Hôtel du Trésor and the souk at Ait Ourir, to the traditional home kitchen of Mohamed and Latifa and the exquisite cafes and pattiseries in the medina, Culinary Adventures in Marrakech takes the reader on a journey to discover the food, people and atmosphere that defines Marrakech.

Based on the six-part television series Peta Unplugged in Marrakech that will screen on Prime TV in the second half of 2010.

Available from fishpond.co.nz