When Royal Mansour informed me that Yannick Alleno was flying in from Paris just in time to cook dinner that evening in the kitchen of their Moroccan restaurant, La Grande Table Marocaine, giddiness ensued. For those of you who are not familiar with Yannick, he is a three Michelin star French chef, most famous for running Le Meurice in Paris. I could not believe my luck.
Fast forward to that evening and as the waiter began to take our order for dinner, Yannick appeared at our table (I jumped on him and made him pose for a photo!) and he asked if we wouldn't mind him cooking dinner for us off menu instead. Um, let me think, a six course meal cooked by one of the world's most elite chefs? YES!
And then the gastronomic extravaganza commenced and didn't stop for three and a half hours ...
A LOCAL MOROCCAN ROSE WINE
AMUSE BOUCHE OF CHILLED YOGURT, ORANGE BLOSSOM AND MOROCCAN ARGAN OIL
We began with a smattering of Moroccan salad delights:
CUTTING THE ROYAL PIGEON PASTILLA
ROYAL PIGEON PASTILLA
SNAILS IN GRILLED RAVIOLI PASTA
Imlil watercress green broth perfumed with kdied
PRESERVED LEMON CHICKEN TAGINE
SEVEN VEGETABLES COUSCOUS
TRADITIONAL BEEF TANGIA
Gnocchi with Ourika saffron
ROYAL MANSOUR ORANGE PEARL
Dates, mint and cinnamon
Our meal at La Grande Table Marocaine at Royal Mansour was truly a once in a lifetime culinary experience. Even when Yannick is not in-house, this restaurant has exquisite white-gloved service and is a magical experience both for the setting and the Moroccan specialities for which the kitchen is so famous.