NUR Restaurant - Fez, Morocco
Inside the serpentine medina of Fez, you can find an archaic restaurant that brings a rotating cast of international chefs into a gastronomical haven for foodies. Owned by a former fashion director, Stephen di Renza, who has a keen eye for details, has made NUR Restaurant stand out with its black and white tile floorings, strikingly marble water wall and two handsome birds in a cage. The walls are serenaded with limited, large scale prints and bring out a sparsely embellished bright and airy feel to the place. The prints created by Japanese artist Keiichi Tahara and Italian Maïmouna Patrizia Guerresi play the role of bringing traditional Morocco into the current world of today. The restaurant communicates with Riad nº9, an 18th century traditional home that is run as an intimate, boutique guesthouse by the same owner.
Stephen di Renza and project manager Tara Stevens are the brain and brawn behind the chef-in-residence program that is doing so well. Brilliant chefs from all corners of the world have created a fusion between Moroccan produce and their creative dishes. The residencies are for a period of between one and four months, during which time chefs get to interact with local farmers and producers, and interpret cuisine through their own culinary philosophy. The amazing team in the restaurant itself and the fabulous chefs that have been engaging in Restaurant Numero 7 has made the concept an overall success.
We had the absolute pleasure of reserving a table in early February 2015 to eat at the hands of chef-in-residence Hector Ignacio Bracchiglione who has a proud history with Restaurant Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain. Originally from Puerto Varas, Chile; Hector has learned from the best in renowned restaurants Michel Bras in France and Restaurant Kichisen in Kyoto, Japan. Inspired by his mentors that shaped his cooking philosophy, Hector expresses his style and personality through each one of his dishes. After our meal, he so kindly introduced himself to everyone around the restaurant and was such a blessing to get to know him.
Rubbing together two seemingly unrelated worlds; Hector's dishes were a mixture of Chilean, European and Fassi cuisine. Our first dish was the royal asparagus with pickled beets and peas accompanied with a glass of rose wine. The monk fish with artichoke puree and turnip was brought out shortly afterward and was so delicious. The third dish had a French touch with the cote de boeuf and beans. Our dessert was a minimalist dish of 'collapsed' coffee cake with lemon puree. Thrilled by Hector's cooking style, we wish we had booked for two dinners whilst on our trip in Fez, instead of one! If you are in the area, be sure to book as soon as possible, as March is Hector's last month at the venue. For the months of April, May and June 2015, future chefs Oliver Truesdale and Phoebe Oviedo will be the new chefs-in-residence.
NUR Restaurant underwent three years of strict restoration procedures and had been mostly rebuilt to make it what it is today. The spirit behind the restoration and decoration was to use traditional local craftspeople and authentic materials to give the historical property the genuine feeling that it has today. The final effect is amazing, standing between ancient and modern to lend the restaurant a rich culinary heritage in the heart of the Medina.
NUR Restuarant | Pop-up chef-in-residence restaurant | Tues - Sun 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm | Address: 7 Zauk Rouan, 30200 Fez-Medina, Morocco | firstname.lastname@example.org | + 212 (0) 694 277 849 | http://www.nur.ma/