Chef Abdelghani’s cookbook dream a reality
MOROCCAN chef Abdelghani El Adraoui has always wanted to write his own book, and after a journey around the world he finally has one.
“It’s been my dream to have my own cookbook, it takes lots of concentration, but it’s really good,” Abdelghani said on Sunday at the launch of his book.
“Abdel’s Favourites from the Marrakech Café” took more than a year to make and was launched by Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown in Mt Cook School hall on Sunday.
“I’m delighted to launch Abdelghani’s book, they are a lovely family, and the food is excellent at the cafe,” Ms Wade-Brown said.
“Moroccan food is really healthy, really delicious and Abdelghani and his family have contributed so much to our city,” she said.
Abdelghani, who was born in Marrakech, Morocco, with Arabic and Berber heritage, has always looked up to his mother as an inspiration for his cooking.
“I always want to be like my mother, I can never be, but I try to,” he said.
The father of four began cooking in the famous Jamal El Fana market in Marrakech.
He then worked his way around the world as a professional chef before opening the Marrakech Café in Hataitai in 2007.
A year ago, Abdelghani spoke with publisher Anne Kerslake Hendricks about the possibility of publishing his own book.
“Abdelghani worked really hard to get this far off the ground,” Anne said.
“He spent a lot of hours at night and weekends testing the recipes and it’s a great result, he’s done brilliantly,” she said.
Rachel Lawson, program leader at Whitireia Publishing School, helped Abdelghani to publish his book.
“We took it through the publishing programme, the student edits the main script and recipe-tested, also managed the print process which took place in Hong Kong,” Ms Lawson said.
Book designer Anna Brown worked for two weeks in the cafe.
“It was a great pleasure working with Abdelghani and his family, I worked on the design and the food styling of the book,”
“We spent two weeks in the cafe with him and I learnt heaps from watching him cook as well as lots about how to food style,” Anna said.
Abdelghani said all recipes in his book are traditional Moroccan, handed down from the grandmother to the mother and to the son.
The cookbook is now available at the Marrakech Café and from all good bookstores.