The Great Moroccan Cook Off

With David Atherton

The Great Moroccan Cook Off - With David Atherton

Join a recent champion of ‘The Great British Bake Off’, David Atherton on a culinary extravaganza through the riads, souks, villages and mountains of Morocco.

On this adventure you will learn the secrets of Moroccan cuisine, considered to be some of the most delicious and diverse food in the world. Throughout the culinary journey, you and your taste buds will be tantalised and challenged. Learn and master the art of Moroccan recipes, so you too can replicate amazing Moroccan dishes in your home to wow your family and friends.

Moroccan food is steeped in tradition and various cultures that have influenced the country in times gone by. From the original inhabitants the Berbers, to influences from Africa, the Middle East and Europe, this diversity combined with original heritage have created the unique flavours that is Moroccan food of today.

David and talented local chefs will immerse you in wondrous creations that will have your mouth water, as well as your future dinner guests when you take your enhanced culinary skills back to your home. No matter the level of mastery you have for cooking, this adventure will be suitable for all levels, right through from budding to expert chef. There will be both cookery and some physical challenges throughout this journey. The physical challenges will take the form of trekking.

The Great Moroccan Cook Off - Adventure Highlights

  • A unique opportunity to learn hints and tips from Berber chefs cooking traditional Moroccan food
  • Experience the beauty of a historic Kasbah located in the midst of the majestic Atlas Mountains
  • Visit a women’s cooperative making Argan Oil and learn how to make the healing oil yourself
  • Practice your bread making skills making Amlou, Batbout and other traditional breads
  • Go on a day trek into the neighbouring Azzaden valley enjoying spectacular views of the Atlas mountain range
  • Experience the riads, souks, medina and spice markets of Marrakech
  • Prepare your fresh ingredients with a local chef and the help of David Atherton


8 Days


No special technical skills are needed. You will be in the hands of some of the finest Expedition Leaders who will make the trip as comfortable for you as possible. We’ll be doing some walking in the Azzaden Valley, and some of it uphill.


4-12 People


  • 3 nights in a Luxury Mountain Lodge
  • 1 night in a basic trekking camp
  • 3 nights in a Luxury Boutique Hotel in Marrakech


The best times of year to visit Morocco is from March till June and September till November. In the summer months it gets very hot in Marrakech, whereas the Atlas Mountains see a significant temperature drop in the winter months.

Your itinerary at a glance

Day Destination Accom. (B/L/D) Highlights
1 Arrive in Morocco Kasbah Du Toubkal (D) Get transferred to the Atlas Mountains and meet The Adventure Boutique team and star baker David Atherton
2 Imlil, Atlas Mountains Kasbah Du Toubkal (B/L/D) After a morning hike, enjoy your first cookery workshop in the afternoon
3 Imlil, Atlas Mountains Kasbah Du Toubkal (B/L/D) Visit a women’s cooperative making Argan Oil before a bread making session in the afternoon back at the lodge
4 Azzaden Valley Camping (B/L/D) Trek to the nearby Azzaden Valley and share a typical meal with a local Berber family
5 Marrakech Luxury Boutique Hotel (B/L/D) Transfer back to Marrakech followed by a sweet making workshop and a traditional tea ceremony
6 Marrakech Luxury Boutique Hotel (B/L/D) Explore Marrakech’s spices markets with a local chef, practice your cookery skills and indulge in the street food of the Jemaa el-Fnaa
7 Marrakech Luxury Boutique Hotel (B/L/D) Enjoy a Bastilla making workshop
8 Marrakech (B) Time to reflect on your journey before your departure home

*B= Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

The Great Moroccan Cook Off - Your Itinerary in Detail


Arrive in Morocco – Arrival and transfer to the Atlas Mountains

Arrive at Marrakech International Airport. A private transfer will be organised for you from the airport to take you directly to the mountains (1.5 hrs). Here you will stay in a historic Kasbah that has been renovated and will be used by us for the cookery delights that await. You will meet David Atherton and your Expedition Leader from The Adventure Boutique. Relax in the evening getting to know your fellow cookery contestants and soaking in the mountain views.


First Cookery Challenge

Enjoy a morning walk around the area with your Expedition Leader and a local guide. This orientation walk will give you more of an insight on how local people live as well as offering further views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

Return to start your first cookery challenge in the afternoon with a local chef. One of the traditional Moroccan foods on the menu is the traditional Berber dish of Tagine.


Women’s Argan Oil cooperative and bread making workshop

This morning you will visit a women’s co-operative that makes Argan Oil. Not only can you try your hand at making this fabulous and healthy oil, but you’ll have opportunity to make Amlou, a delicious spread of Moroccan cuisine made from the Argan Oil, almonds and honey.

In the afternoon there will be a demonstration of bread making, followed by your turn in making a selection of Moroccan breads such as Batbout, Msemen Maamar and Beghrir. The Amlou from earlier can be quite mouth-watering when spread on any of these breads.


Day trek to the Azzaden Valley and dinner with a local Berber family

Today you will trek to the nearby Azzaden Valley. The adventure will involve trekking up and over a pass to descend and finally arrive in the late afternoon or early evening in this Berber valley. From the top of the pass, you will have stunning views looking back at the village you’ve just come from and to the one you will soon be heading to. These views can be enjoyed while eating a lovely lunch specially prepared by our Berber chefs as a reward for your hard work in reaching the top of the pass.

After arriving, you will be taught by the local Berber people from this valley in conjunction with David, on how to prepare cuisine such as Harir soup and Medfouna which is a special Berber pizza.


Return to Marrakech

There will be another cooking challenge in the morning followed by a transfer to Marrakech. Later that day you will learn to make Moroccan sweets. These traditional pastries can be made from locally sourced ingredients such as dates, figs, oranges, cinnamon, honey and roses. They are a real delicacy and an art form to create.

This will be followed by a refreshing and traditional Moroccan tea ceremony where you will learn about the etiquette, history and meaning behind this cultural delight.


Spice Markets, lunch cooking session and Jemaa el-Fnaa

In the morning you will explore the spice markets. The sights, sounds and smells as you wander through the souks and markets will be a wondrous array to your senses. Morocco is a haven for quality and healthy spices that include the likes of cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, paprika, coriander, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, ginger, fenugreek, caraway, cumin plus many more!

Why not buy some of these spices to take back home with you. You will certainly need some for your next challenge. For lunch, you will put your newfound culinary skills to use by creating a dish designed by yourself based on what you’ve learnt throughout your cookery journey. David will be on hand with a local chef every step of the way to help where needed.

The evening will allow you to experience another specialty of Morocco, their street food. The atmosphere is magical as the street food stalls are located in Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square in Marrakech steeped in history, that served as the lifeblood of the city since its foundation about 1000 years ago. To this day, the square comes alive with storytellers and dancers, narrating the history and legends that enrich this culture. In fact, Unesco has inscribed Jemaa el-Fnaa as a place of unique cultural exchange.


Bastilla making workshop

Wake up to a leisurely morning before learning over lunchtime how to make another delicious Moroccan specialty, Bastilla. The origin can be traced back several centuries and it can be considered the ultimate Moroccan meal, traditionally being served at special events. Tasting this meal can transport you to the variety of terrain in Morocco, whether it’s the mountains of the High Atlas or to the Sahara Desert.

The evening will bring more great food and entertainment as you will celebrate your last day here enjoying a special meal.



Time to take your journey, memories and innovative culinary skills home.

Pricing Information

This trek will depart with a minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 12*.

£5,295.00 per person based on two people sharing (£500.00 single supplement).

A non-refundable deposit of £1,325.00 will be required.


  • Expedition Leader from ‘The Adventure Boutique’
  • Local guides, local chefs and porters
  • All scheduled accommodation
  • Scheduled meals
  • All scheduled transfers


  • Travel insurance
  • International Flights
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tips

*We can accommodate private groups less than 4 people. Please contact us for further information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the weather going to be like?

It depends a little on the time of year you go. But generally in Marrakech temperatures can exceed 30°C, while in the Atlas Mountains the temperature is lower. At night, it can further drop in the mountains. Generally, the skies remain pretty clear but you are at cloud level and it can rain (or even snow), but normally just brief spells.

What clothing/equipment do I need?

The Adventure Boutique team will give you a full comprehensive kit list when you sign up and be on-hand if you have any questions before the trek.

Will I require any spending money?

Throughout the experience, you won’t need much spending money as the trip is comprehensively covered in the initial cost. You may require money for the very occasional meal not shown on the schedule and any alcoholic drinks. You may also wish to buy some souvenirs or make a satellite phone call home or for work purposes. It will be best to bring your usual currency and this can be changed into local currency soon after arrival.

Do I need special insurance?

You should not need specialist insurance for an altitude of up to 2000m, but check with your insurer that you are covered for trekking experiences. If you do not have adequate insurance cover, The Adventure Boutique team can refer you to appropriate insurers.

Do I need a visa?

This is dependent on your nationality, our team can advise you on this before signing up. British citizens do not need a visa.

Do I need any vaccinations?

Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide. You should take health advice about your specific needs as early as possible. Sources of information include:,,, your General Practitioner or a specialist travel clinic. Clients travelling to worldwide destinations are recommended to seek advice from the sources mentioned above and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid.

How large are the groups?

The group size should be a maximum of twelve people. The number of participants is kept to a level where quality can be maintained. We at The Adventure Boutique do not want you to become a number on the mountain or a blur after the trek has finished. We normally have a maximum number so as not to allow the groups to become too large. We believe that by doing this, the Expedition Leaders will be able to look after you more carefully, in turn you will find the group dynamics work better and your success rate and enjoyment level increases immeasurably. If you are a group of friends of more than twelve, then obviously we will work together to accommodate you. If you would like to have a more personalised trip below the recommended group size, we would happy be to facilitate this for you too.

What is the minimum age a person has to be to go on this adventure?

The minimum age is 16 years old accompanied by a legal guardian or 18 years old otherwise. We have the expertise and would be happy to make necessary arrangements to accommodate a young person into a private group.

Is there a maximum age?

There is no maximum age limit, providing you are fit and in good health.

Will my mobile work? Can I stay in touch with the office or my family?

You will have decent coverage in Marrakech. However, you will find very little mobile phone reception in the mountains so don’t be surprised if your phone does not work during the trek. We specially carry a satellite phone in case of emergencies, but we also realise people may need to keep in touch with their loved ones or have some work commitments to deal with. The satellite phone can be used for a charge.

Can I organise this adventure exclusively for myself, my friends and family?

If you have a group of friends or family who want to travel together, a bespoke date can certainly be arranged to suit your party. If you do have your own group and want to discuss any variations in the schedule or particular objectives, feel free to discuss this with The Adventure Boutique team.