How do we love our couscous? Let me count the ways: Hand rolled, steamed, or maybe prepared with shellfish and a touch of argan oil drizzled on top, as they do in the Moroccan port city of el Jadida.
This weekend’s Couscous Festival in Pasadena celebrated the traditional North African dish with food lectures, demonstrations and — of course — couscous and tagine samplings. Visitors to the epicurean bazaar got a taste of authentic Berber cuisine and an opportunity to learn expert technique from master chefs.
For the Star-News, Beige Luciano-Adams reports:
(Guests) wound their way through billowing clouds of smoke at outdoor grills, loading their plates with savory Maghrebi street foods.Inside, a small army of assistants watched over carefully steamed couscous and tagines — the traditional North African clay cooking pots — brimming with spiced, soupy rabbit, seafood and chicken.
Chef Farid Zadi was on hand to preside over the scrumptious festivities at San Gabriel Boulevard’s Chefs Center of California, where this week he opens the city’s newest culinary arts academy, Ecole de Cuisine.
Zadi is a familiar face at Le Cordon Bleu School, where he taught for years. His wife is food writer and historian Susan Ji-Young Park. (That’s the couple, at right, in the Chefs Center.)
The new culinary program will be founded in classic French technique, with a focus on individual attention, smaller class sizes and longer course tracks.
Ecole de Cuisine’s professional classes begin this week. Ecole de Cuisine at the Chefs Center of California, 45 N. San Gabriel Blvd., Pasadena. (818) 641-6899, ecolecuisine.com
(Photos by Sarah Reingewirtz and Watchara Phomicinda / Staff)