We are a family of food lovers who take pride in using only fresh ingredients and natural products to create genuine home-made Moroccan cooking.
“It is passion which drives a dish, not necessarily the ingredients”
– Abdesslem Khalil (November 2009)
Born and raised into a large family in the diverse Moroccan city of Casablanca, Khalil grew up surrounded by the ancient culinary history of his homeland. His mother was his greatest influence and brought to her son the traditional recipes of her own Fassi upbringing in Fes. She spent huge amounts of time in the kitchen preparing many delicious family meals and the passion that she had for simple Moroccan food has passed on to Khalil.
Khalil’s childhood was a melee of gastronomic memories ranging from visits with his mother to the large communal ovens in his town, where Tagines would cook for hours; to trips to the fish market in Mohammedia with his father to buy fresh monkfish and lobster. A childhood filled with the exotic flavours of fresh herbs and ancient spices had a profound effect on him and he would enjoy nothing more than sitting quietly watching his mother cook and absorbing her skills and culinary heritage.
After finishing school Khalil visited London and fell in love with the culturally different, but equally vibrant city. On returning to Morocco to begin his medical degree the pull to return was too enticing and he decided, with his family’s blessing, to return to London to begin a career in catering. Khalil began working at The Grosvenor House Hotel whilst studying the practical side of his profession at Middlesex University. After passing his exams in 1992, Khalil moved on to work at the prestigious Westbury Hotel in Mayfair and spent the next year as Junior Catering Manager.
Khalil soon became Customer Service Manager for the Eurostar network and during the following seven years he made frequent trips back to Morocco on foodie missions and spent hours cooking alongside his mother, learning and perfecting his family recipes. Back at work, on his travels between London and Paris, he would sample the foods offered by the increasing number of Moroccan restaurants in the two capitals, but became increasingly disillusioned by what he found and he knew that he could do much better.
In 2001, he made the tricky decision to leave Eurostar to develop a range of Moroccan sauces and condiments and his company Nomades was born. Over the last seven years Nomades has grown to be one of the UK’s best loved purveyors of Moroccan culinary products and the range is stocked in some of the country’s fines department stores and delicatessens, including the food halls of Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. The success of the range of Nomades condiments and sauces has enabled Khalil to branch out further with his first, but very popular, restaurant, ‘Doukan’ in Wandsworth which serves the dishes that he relished as a child. In addition, Khalil has become a regular TV and radio pundit and an authority on Moroccan culture and cuisine. He has recently co-hosted a seven part series with Sophie Grigson on Morocco, for Travel Channel, entitled ‘Sophie in the Souk’.
Let us take you on the Marakech Express…
Hospitality and sharing food is fundamental to Moroccan culture and I soon realised that my British friends loved my cooking but could not get hold of the necessary ingredients easily. So, after years of perfecting recipes, I set up Nomades in 1998, bringing my childhood memories of Moroccan cuisine back to life so that they can be enjoyed by a wider audience. Nomades is a unique company, specialising in the production and distribution of fine Moroccan cuisine. We have created a wonderful selection of ready made Moroccan appetizers, spice blends, tagine sauces and marinated olives – all freshly prepared in the UK according to traditional family recipes. I source all ingredients and oversee production personally, so I can be sure that every Nomades product tastes the way it should – without the need for artificial flavourings or colours. Quality and authenticity is our aim. We hope you enjoy the Nomades way of eating.