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Moro Napa coming to the Oxbow

NAPAVALLEYREGISTER.COM

Exterior view of Public Market
Napa’s Oxbow Public Market.Jennifer Huffman, Register

Chef Mourad Lahlou, founder of the Michelin-starred Mourad and Aziza in San Francisco, will bring the flavors of Morocco to Oxbow Public Market when he opens Moro Napa this summer.

Lhalou described his plans for Moro Napa as “a gathering place to enjoy Moroccan street food reminiscent of the Medina in Marrakesh” and said live fire, spices and fresh local ingredients will be the focus of the menu.

“Moro Napa will transport our guests to a food stall in the middle of Jemaa el-Fnaa where guests grab a stool and delve into authentic Moroccan grub and vibe,” said Lahlou. “I am thrilled to be partnering with my dear friend and Napa Valley native Jorge Velazquez, who will be heading the kitchen and work closely with me. This is going to be fun. I truly can’t wait!”

A pioneer of modern Moroccan cuisine, Lhalhou immigrated to the United States when he was 17 years old. Missing his country’s cuisine, he taught himself how to recreate versions of his favorite Moroccan dishes with local ingredients using his own inventive techniques. Most of the lessons he learned about food came from his mother, who cooked traditional Moroccan recipes, and grandfather, who took him to the markets.

As the chef and founder of both Aziza and Mourad, he has been recognized as one of the most dynamic and creative chefs in the country. Shortly after winning the Food Network’s Iron Chef America in 2009, he released his debut cookbook “Mourad: New Moroccan,” which Bon Appétit deemed one the best cookbooks of the year.

Steve Carlin, founder and managing partner of Oxbow Public Market said, “Oxbow Public Market continues to evolve and add exciting new options to our market mix. Moro Napa is an example of that evolution, and our diversification. We couldn’t be happier for the Napa community that Chef Mourad has decided to join the market.”