I was introduced to Warda when Dan and I met her between the Koutoubia Mosque and Jemaa el-Fnaa market square during our Secret Food Tour of Marrakech. We were extremely fortunate to not only have Warda as our guide, but also have a private tour wherein we were able to connect over delicious Moroccan cuisine. As a local, Warda kindly agreed to offer some insight into the vibrant culture of Marrakech.
Name: Warda Belkass
Profession: Food Tour Manager of Secret Food Tours – Marrakech
As a local, how would you describe Marrakech? Marrakech is an interesting city that combines the perfect mixture between traditional and modern lifestyles. Walking in the old city takes you back centuries to when life was simpler, the food is extremely delicious and has a taste for everyone, and the people are filled with a sense of simplicity and love for others.
What is one thing you would like visitors to know about Marrakech and/or Morocco? This is a culture that is still very conservative so it is advisable to google the do’s and don’ts of visiting for a better experience. It’s also advisable to learn a few words the locals use more often, with this and a smile you will be treated like a local.
In your opinion, is there one thing that visitors can’t miss on a trip to Marrakech? A visit to an authentic Berber (Amazigh) village in the mountains (either around Marrakech or in the desert). This is where visitors will be able to experience Moroccan hospitality first hand. Berber women are good cooks so you will be able to eat well, feel at peace, and enjoy the raw beauty of untouched nature.
If you can’t make it to Morocco, where else can you find delicious Moroccan cuisine? Alternatively, what Moroccan dish could people try their hand at making themselves? If I were to choose one dish, I would go with Chicken Tajine with preserved lemons and olives. This is a delicious recipe and it is very easy to make. I will also choose Zaalouk as a side dish. This eggplant based deliciousness is the perfect side dish to the Chicken Tajine.
A big thank you to Warda for her hospitality and openness. I would highly recommend booking a tour with Secret Food Tours in Marrakech for both the excellent food and opportunity to get to know the city from the perspective of a friendly and knowledgeable local!