The kitchen is statistically the most dangerous room in a home because it contains the highest concentration of knives, open flames, and pots full of semi-living lobsters. Learn to navigate this danger zone with today's Groupon: for $100, you get a four-hour Moroccan cooking class with head chef Anass Sentissi at Saffron Cafe (a $200 value) on Fort Wayne Avenue. This deal includes the cost of all ingredients, equipment rental, and insurance. Classes are held on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Under the watchful eye of chef Sentissi, students learn to execute recipes for one appetizer and one traditional Moroccan entree. Since the menu for each four-hour class is determined at random by a cumin-filled Magic 8 Ball, culinary apprentices might glaze slow-roasted legs of lamb in honey one week and over-stuff gyros with succulently seasoned meat the next. After each session, cooking classmates enjoy the fruits of their labor before returning home armed with two powerful recipes to unleash on their kitchen's pot and pan populace.
Chef Sentissi is a founding member of the Moroccan Andalusian Classical Music Orchestra in Bloomington and a nationally-recognized Middle Eastern percussionist who taps out traditional rhythms on the darabuka drum and tambourine-like tar. His cooking classes teach more than just cooking techniques—students will learn about Moroccan culture and history as well as the health benefits of spices such as saffron, which can aid digestion, help reduce stomachaches, and keep ’80s pop hits from getting stuck in diners' heads.
Though there are no reviews specific to chef Sentissi's cooking classes, Saffron Cafe has made a positive impact in the press. Nuvo magazine named Saffron the Best Middle Eastern/North African restaurant in 2010 and it earned a Best New Restaurant nod from Indianapolis Monthly magazine in 2009. Metromix reviewed it in 2009.
Intricate tiles in alternating colors stretch up the walls of Saffron Cafe’s cozy space, as imported Moroccan chandeliers hang from the ceiling and slender vases on each table hold fresh flowers. Amid this authentic atmosphere, head chef Anass Sentissi crafts equally genuine Moroccan cuisine that has earned praise from such publications as NUVO. Entrees such as slow-roasted and spiced leg of lamb steam beside sides of saffron rice, and plates of fluffy couscous cohabit with veggies alongside one of several wines imported from Morocco. Tagines, rich aromatic stews of chicken, lamb, or beef, arrive in glazed earthenware pots that protect their innards and keep food steamy with ornately painted conical lids. The menu also has many options for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets, as well as items that are hormone-free and halal.
A native of Morocco, Chef Sentissi also shares his knowledge of Moroccan cuisine by leading regular cooking classes that include a background on Moroccan history, an in-depth look at spices, and a tasting of various Moroccan wines. Each class rests on Chef Sentissi's combination of dietary knowledge and ancient and modern nutritional science. All recipes are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and anti-oxidants, plus anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as garlic and saffron.
621 Fort Wayne Ave.
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204Get Directions