Meryanne's picture

Mulberry paradise

Sun, 05/19/2013 - 14:20 -- Meryanne

Walking through the garden of Jnane Tamsna, our boutique hotel in Marrakech, I find that the early summer heat has ripened an explosion of mulberries. The mere picking of these subtle berries from the trees gives me a taste of paradise. We use them in the kitchen to add a burst of flavour to breakfasts, fruit salads and desserts. 

I run into a family whose children giggle, their little mouths spotted with mulberry juice. Their father says that he had never stayed in a hotel where he could pick things to eat straight from trees in the garden. Yesterday Lamia, the art teacher, had a workshop with 7 little ones, aged 4 to 7 years old, in the garden. Her students were Dutch and English, and while the Dutch were too young to speak English, every one communicated through drawing and eating mulberries!

The bird song is loud and a gentle breeze blows through the trees. I find a client reading under a tree with a bowl full of mulberries next to him. He smiles and says, “I am in paradise.”

Gary's picture

Baby vegetables

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:25 -- Gary

It’s thinning time of the year in the Jnane Tamsna gardens.  From seed sown in December, we are now pulling fingerling Chantenay red core carrots, hollow crown parsnips, Mantovano fennel and plump purple top turnips.  Instead of thinning and throwing in the compost, we use these tender vegetables as a side dish, mixed with young fava beans. 

Although it is a bit labor intensive to clean all these organic roots and shoots – and husk the favas – they are a hit with guests.  Our chef Bahija Lafridi has just the right touch: she poaches the carrots, fennel, parsnips and turnips in salted water for three minutes, and then blends in the green faba beans and lightly stir-fries the mix in Jnane Tamsna’s own olive oil. Fresh from the garden, they keep their color, flavor and crunchiness. Guess what’s on the menu tonight?

Gary's picture

Mediterranean diet

Wed, 03/06/2013 - 17:04 -- Gary

Our friend Dr. Tom Carlson, a pediatrician and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, sent us an article that just appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Entitled ‘Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet” the paper notes that a traditional diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts reduced the incidence of heart attack and stroke.

At Jnane Tamsna we practice what of the Spanish authors of the paper preach: a regional cuisine “characterized by a high intake of olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, and cereals; a moderate intake of fish and poultry; a low intake of dairy products, red meat, processed meats, and sweets; and wine in moderation, consumed with meals.”

Although our main purpose is not to prevent of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet, we are pleased that a stay at Jnane Tamsna could be good for your heart and soul.  The olive oil we pressed last November is on offer daily at lunch and dinner, as are French and Moroccan wines (in moderation).

Meryanne's picture

Sunday brunch

Sun, 03/03/2013 - 14:36 -- Meryanne

Looking for a good place for Sunday brunch in Marrakech? Our recommendation is Crystal Restaurant Lounge, at the end of the Boulevard Mohamed VI, an area of Marrakech that features new hotels and nightclubs. While it may be best known for its vibrant nightlife, we like going late on a Sunday morning. Fati will greet you at the entrance and seat you in the beautiful outdoor terrace; and don’t hesitate to ask for Ludovic, the general manager, who is always on site.

Some of our favorites are the carrot gazpacho with courgette and feta, the star anise-flavored braised quince and the saumon en croute (salmon with olives and vegetable in a pastry shell). There’s a sinfully attractive dessert buffet to top it all off. We didn’t indulge, but the chocolate macarons look decadent.

The well-chosen music – contemporary afternoon lounge – adds to the relaxed chill out atmosphere. The pool is available for a dip, making it a great place to bring the whole family.

Meryanne's picture

Marrakech Agritourism

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 17:40 -- Meryanne

If you happen to be flying First or Business Class on American Airlines, check out the article “Back to the Land” in Celebrated Living magazine's spring 2013 issue.  Written by Los Angeles-based freelance journalist Tanvi Chheda, it features Jnane Tamsna among the global places to go for agritourism – the growing trend of visiting farms, ranches, vegetable gardens and vineyards while travelling.

Tanvi writes of Jnane Tamsna’s green spaces, “These enchanting gardens, along with a nearby 150-acre plot of farmland, supply the hotel’s restaurant, but also serve as part playground and wonderland for children and their parents too. Depending on the season, kids might pick mandarins or dig up carrots; parents might harvest olives and then taste the olive oil pressed from them.”

Subscribe to RSS - Cuisine