Moorish Fusion Cuisine: Conquering the New World
with Olive Oil-Poached Artichokes; Clams and Moorish Sausage; Foie Gras
of the Sea (Monkfish Liver) with Maui Onion and Date Jam, Toasted Country
Bread; Anise Flat Bread with Smen (Aged Butter) and Fennel and Arugula
Salad; Bastilla Be Thon; Chicken Bastilla (Sweet and Savory Pie); Moorish
Chicken Kebobs with Ras el Hanout; Braised Oxtail with Pomegranate Molasses,
Golden Raisins, and Toasted Sesame Seeds; and Honey and Ginger-Coated
Chef ZZ has also included a chapter on Basics with recipes for spice blends,
sauces and dressings.
Compiled by a Moroccan-born chef, the cookbook represents authentic
Moorish cuisine fused with new elements reflecting Chef ZZ’s adopted home
of Maui, Hawaii, artfully combined to create fresh new ideas for home cooks
everywhere. Few cookbooks on the cuisine of the Moors have been written.
Chef ZZ approaches traditional recipes with an eye for lighter ingredients,
while never sacrificing Moorish authenticity.
Zouhair Zairi left his family in Morocco for America at the tender age of 19. His
first job was washing dishes in a Mediterranean restaurant in Atlanta. After a
while, his responsibilities were increased and he was encouraged to learn all
aspects of the business. His skill in management and his artist’s eye for food
presentation led him to a rewarding career in the hospitality/culinary industry.
His gastronomic abilities include casual to fine dining, planning and execution
of large banquets, and cooking Southern food. For two decades, he worked on
both sides of the house. As an exceptionally gifted executive banquet chef, he
created intricate food presentations for the 1996 Olympic tennis team’s “Gala
Affair.” Training in classic cuisine, Zairi advanced to become an executive sous
chef, mentored by the French master chef Christian Chemin. With Chemin’s
guidance, he planned and hosted the 19th Master Chefs of France elite dinner.
In 2002, Zairi became the executive chef and director of his own restaurant,
Spices, in Maui. It was named Best New Restaurant by Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine. Two years later, he moved on from Spices to work at a five-diamond
resort, where his abilities and passion earned him the coveted Culinary
Excellence Award from the JW Marriott Resort & Spa and a Certificate of
Appreciation from the White House. Now, at the age of 40, ZZ has come full
circle. Having accomplished his dream of becoming a success in the culinary
world, his greatest joy is spending time at home with his wife and two sons in
Maui, while creating and sharing new culinary delights with home cooks.
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