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“Amazing end to our time in Marrakech!”
Review of Cookery Lessons at Riad Kaiss - CLOSED

Cookery Lessons at Riad Kaiss
Reviewed 9 July 2013

I booked this cookery course with Eben as a surprise for my husband (who is a chef) for our last day of our stay in Marrakech. Eben had been very helpful via email before our visit to organise the class to be specific to our needs as the class is one to one.
When we arrived we were greeted by Hayat who made us feel very welcome. We were then taken on a tour of the markets that riad kaiss use by Pierre. Originally I was not all that bothered about doing this, but it was great. Pierre was a great guide, very informative and interesting, we visited places that we had not found ourselves.
Pierre stayed with us for the rest of the class where we made 4 salads, couscous from scratch and a sauce and pigeon pastillas - we were taught by the riad's cook who was lovely. We had a great time doing this class, and we both learned a lot.
Afterwards we got to eat what we had made, sitting in the beautiful courtyard - this food was by far the best food we ate during our 3 day stay in Marrakech.
We were told that we could stay and relax at the Riad by the pool, but unfortunately we were getting our flight back to London in a few hours so could not take Hayat up on this offer. Although we did have a little look around before we left. This riad is truly beautiful, it would have been great to stay there, a proper oasis in the middle of busy Marrakech.
I would recommend this class and riad to anyone, the staff here make it a very special place. Thank you very much for welcoming us so warmly and making great holiday memories for us.

1  Thank mrsbourko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 5 of 5 reviews

Reviewed 14 January 2013

As a food blogger I set a goal to complete 5 cooking classes in 5 different countries in 2012. My cooking class at Riad Kaiss by Sanssouci Collection was by far the best experience of all the classes I took this past year. Eben was a fabulous host and went out of his way to accommodate our interests. He led us on a fabulous tour of the markets and then we spent the entire afternoon cooking a true Moroccan feast with Fouzia.

Check out all our amazing photos from the experience here:

Such a great experience that Summer Tomato published our culinary adventure:

Thank you Eben and Fouzia! Can't wait to return to Marrakech and your beautiful kitchen at Riad Kaiss.

Thank Freshabits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2011

I've eaten in a fair few restaurants in Morocco and in most of the touristy places they don't actually slow-cook the food in the tagine, but instead they prepare all the food separately, assemble it in the tagine dish, heat it up a little and then present it to you. In an attempt to get to eat something more authentic, as well as learning how to replicate the dishes at home, my wife and I decided to participate in a cookery class on our third trip to Morocco.

There are heaps of riads in Marrakech that offer cookery courses and I looked into several options. I asked a few of them if they teach participants to cook tagines on the charcoal braziers seen all over Morocco, as I figured (rightly or wrongly) that this would be a guaranteed way of making sure our tagine was slow-cooked and we would at least get to cook it in a more traditional way. Riad Kaiss said they were able to cook on the charcoal braziers, but most of the other riads advised that they cook tagines on a gas stove (acceptable) or it a pressure cooker (not so great, as it means the meat doesn't become as succulent and fall off the bone and also doesn't acquire the flavours it would when slow-cooked).

All cookery classes at Riad Kaiss are private and there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing what to prepare. Courses are generally at least 4 hours long. On the other hand, most other riads offer a fairly structured course which lasts only 2-3 hours and includes a starter, a main (usually the old favourites of tagine or couscous) and possibly a dessert. However, when I enquired about the courses at Riad Kaiss, they went out of their way to suggest cooking dishes I hadn't even heard of until then!

In the end we opted to do two separate courses - on the first day we made Moroccan pastries (cornes de gazelle, sweet briouats, bahlawa and m'hancha - which lasted us for a week!) and on the second day we did a full-day course preparing pigeon pastilla, beef cous cous, salads, bread, briouats, monkfish and argan oil tagine and trid (a traditional dish of chicken and lentils served on shredded msemen). We learnt to make everything from scratch, right down to the warqa (wafer-thin pasty used for pastilla and briouats), the msemen pancakes for the trid and the cous cous. The course itself was very hands on, as all cookery classes should be, so you get to try everything yourself, although at times it was necessary to leave it to the experts!

The class on day 2 included a market tour, which on hindsight we should have left out, as it wasn't really worth it. The ingredients are all ready and waiting in the riad, so this is really just the chef showing you tomatoes and carrots (and a few Moroccan ingredients, such as pigeons). In order to make the market visit more interesting, we had discussed going to the market to buy the pigeon and then kill and prepare it for the pastilla, but this didn't happen - however, in the end we were quite glad we didn't have to endure this! :-)

Overall, we had a fantastic time. The staff at the riad were all very friendly and had a great sense of humour. The setting in the riad was wonderful, with little alcoves for drinking tea, a lovely patio with fountains and trees where we ate lunch and a lovely old room with an open fire where we ate our evening meal. The food we prepared was some of the best we've ever eaten in Morocco. The highlights were the cornes de gazelle, the pigeon pastilla and the cous cous, (but these favourites might have been influenced by the fact we were so full when it came to eating the tagine and trid!).

Our only regret was doing a full day course and not thinking about splitting this across two days. It became a very long and tiring day and towards the end we were participating less and doing more watching as there was so much to take in. More disappointing was the fact that we made so much delicious food and by the evening we were so full that we could really only taste a bit of everything and not really fit in a decent-sized portion.

The only improvement that springs to mind would be if the riad could provide class participants with a printed recipe for each of the dishes they are going to prepare. Not only is it time-consuming and distracting to have to constantly be making notes (near impossible when covered in pastry dough), but you inevitably have to give up as things are cooked by sight and not precise measurements and therefore it's impossible to know what notes to make. While I accept that you don't always have to use precise quantities, this works fine for Moroccans who have watched their mothers prepare food hundreds of times since they were children, but wouldn't work so well when trying to replicate a recipe at home.

I can't comment on other riads, but I would say this is definitely one of the best, if not the best, place to do a cookery class in Marrakech!

- Flexibility - courses can be completely tailor-made
- Price - on-par with other riads, but the classes are longer and completely private, so overall much better value for money
- Course content - you learn everything from scratch

7  Thank explorer0412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management_234, Manager at Cookery Lessons at Riad Kaiss, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2012

Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your experiences in our cooking class and in such great detail. It is much appreciated.

We have taken on board your suggestion to provide recipes wherever possible, and now send the dishes that participants have prepared after the class is over (we do it after because very often many of the things we prepare change at the last minute depending on what the guest wants to cook, what we find fresh in the market at that moment, or because we use a different technique).

As TF outlines, the class for us begins when a guest first makes an enquiry, as learning about the various dishes and the structure of a meal is an important part of learning about Moroccan food. We love Moroccan food and are committed to helping visitors to Morocco come away with a rich experience that shows dishes prepared in the traditional ways. We are not imposing any particularly style or technique, but do encourage guests to learn what they want to learn in the way that they want to learn it.

TF was very keen to learn how to make things from scratch using the most traditional techniques, and we were delighted to do that for him. Because all of our classes are bespoke, we can be totally flexible about what we cook and how we cook it.

Thank you again for sharing your experiences.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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