By Sarah Goodman
Rabat – Nearly 200 diplomats, chefs, and Moroccan officials will return to the historic cultural capital Fez this weekend to celebrate the 3rd Festival of Culinary Diplomacy from April 19-22.
“If politics divide men, then good food brings them back together,” explained Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Michael Møller. “In a world that finds it difficult to identify with the core values of human rights, sustainable development and peace, cooking remains a shared, everyday, and universal value.”
In addition to UN endorsement, a number of distinguished guests–including the French, Tunisian, Mexican, and Spanish Ambassadors to Morocco–will convene around the table to partake in culinary delights and engage in debate under the event’s theme: “Culinary Arts and Wisdom of the World: Gastronomy and Regional Cultures of Morocco and Abroad.”
Headlining the festival are three world-renowned chefs: Morocco’s Najat Kaanache, France’s Christian Tetedoie, and Mexico’s Alberto Rebolledo. Each of the three nights will explore a fresh menu that fuses Moroccan and international cuisines through distinct culinary collaborations: Moroccan-Tunisian, Moroccan-Mexican, and Amazigh-French.
For Kaanache, the weekend in Fez is also about acknowledging the contributions of Moroccan women. From agricultural fields to the kitchen, women play an integral role in preserving and elevating the country’s varied and distinct cuisine.
“When we talk about food, we cannot forget the most important instrument of the country: women,” Kaanache told Morocco World News.
“When you do something with food, you can say so much…It’s about bringing magical human beings into the country and showcasing the people, places, and flavors of Morocco.”
Faouzi Skali, the president of Par Chemins Concepts, initiated the festival in 2016 for the purpose of promoting diplomatic meals.
General Director of the Festival Oussama Skali told Moroccan news outlet Le Matin, “Our goal is to list Moroccan gastronomy as UNESCO world heritage.”