Drink + Dine

5 Tips for a Merry Moroccan Holiday Dinner by Chef Daniel Elmaleh

September 27, 2016
Written by: Yasha Wallin

Born to a Moroccan father, Chef Daniel Elmaleh has always infused his dishes with a nod to his heritage, incorporating ingredients and spices that recall familial roots. This is evident at his award-winning Cleo restaurants, where he uses farm-fresh items to base shareable menus around. Incorporating this philosophy into the holidays ahead, Elmaleh mapped out the perfect plan for all of us to create a merry Moroccan dinner at home.

Chef Danny
  1. Put “yourself into the dinner.” Think about what you would want to eat and make sure there is a decent contrast of flavor profiles.
  2. Create one amazing dish everyone will be talking about after they leave.
  3. Plan the menu days in advance. Take traditional Middle Eastern dishes and put a modern spin on them. For example, with Moroccan dips and spreads: Muhammara is traditionally a spicy red pepper and walnut dish—I use seasonal ingredients to give it my own twist.
    Cleo Dips-001-72dpi-cropped
  4. I base my dinner party menus off of what is good in the market. Depending on the season, if there is a fish or produce item that is outstanding, I will pick up market items first, then build my menu around them.alante_Moroccan_8195
  5. It’s all about the table-scaping and silverware and flatware. I look at the ingredients first then pick up special flatware to accommodate and compliment my dishes. I actually line up all my dishes at the store on a table and consider what I have at home before I purchase anything.wedding_nouveau

Now that you have the perfect pointers for throwing your own Moroccan-themed holiday dinner, try them out at home. And you can also plan a holiday party out, at Chef Elmaleh’s latest outpost in DTLA at Cleo L.A. LIVE. Book your holiday party now and enjoy a special sbe bonus card!


Click HERE to reserve now at Cleo L.A. LIVE!