Step into the culinary world of Chef Issam Rhachi, a visionary culinary maestro whose expertise knows no bounds. In this exclusive interview, we uncover the depths of his illustrious career, his culinary philosophy, and his groundbreaking plans to launch a culinary school and a chain of signature restaurants, reshaping the future of gastronomy within the region.
Tell us a bit about your professional career:
My professional journey commenced post my culinary training as a demi-Chef de partie with the Meridien hotel chain. Joining the Barrière Group in 2008, I contributed to Marrakech’s first Fouquet’s brasserie, progressing from Chef de Partie to Second Chef.
In 2012, I attained a milestone as a top 10 chef for the Bocuse d’Or Maroc, securing the second prize for Moroccan cuisine at CREMAI. The subsequent year, I clinched the first prize.
In 2014, I earned a gold medal representing Morocco at the Dubai Hospitality World Cup, which led to participation in international events. By 2015, I managed kitchens at the Mandarin Oriental, later returning to Fouquet’s Marrakech in 2016.
Designated “Grand Chef of Tomorrow” in 2017, I received silver medals at Trophée Passion and Bocuse d’Or Maroc, honored as a Disciple Escoffier in 2019. In 2021, I curated Le Douar’s menu, delving into Morocco’s gastronomic past, dedicated to reviving forgotten family recipes in Marrakech.
What is your culinary philosophy?
In my kitchen, I believe in mixing old traditions with new ideas. I use traditional methods but add a modern twist to make exciting flavors and textures that satisfy. My goal is to honor the past while exploring new tastes and ideas, creating fresh experiences for diners.
What is your dream in life?
My dream is to establish a purely Moroccan restaurant chain bearing the signature of Issam Rhachi.
What are your current projects and plans?
As an executive chef, my main focus is on establishing a certified culinary school for training young chefs in Moroccan and Arabic gastronomy. The goal is to preserve and promote our rich culinary heritage by providing comprehensive education in traditional cooking techniques, flavor profiles, and cultural significance.
Alongside the culinary school, I have plans to launch various bistronomic and gastronomic concepts. These concepts will showcase the diversity of Moroccan and Arabic cuisine, offering unique dining experiences that blend traditional flavors with modern culinary techniques and presentation.
Through these initiatives, my aim is to contribute to the global growth and recognition of Moroccan and Arabic cuisine, providing opportunities for young chefs to develop their skills. I believe these efforts will not only enhance the culinary landscape but also foster cultural exchange through food, inspiring a new generation of chefs while elevating the perception of Moroccan and Arabic cuisine.