NOUREDDINE LAMEGHAZAI: SALT COD WITH HONEY SAUCE
Dish: Salt Cod with Honey Sauce / Abadejo Frito con Miel
Noureddine’s refined cookery fuses the flavours of Moroccan home kitchens with Spanish culinary techniques to give Valencian restaurant Dukala’s unique hybrid style. When his subtly spiced tagines and carefully folded miniature briks emerge from the kitchen they carry the aromas of both the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean. It says much of Dukala’s reputation that it grew rapidly from a small packed dining room in the Barrio del Carmen to its current spacious, elegant two-roomed space, now with contemporary Moroccan rugs lining the walls and a larger staff, but still always packed for lunch and dinner. Nour, chef and co-proprietor, left computer science for the kitchen and his sense of precision shows through in delicately balanced sweet, sour and salt nuances that would have been familiar to Altamiras. He is fully aware of the contemporary Spanish restaurant scene, but the cooking of Doukkala, where he was born, and his mother’s kitchen are clearly the two main influences in his highly original kitchen. For the book he picked two recipes, one a meat and almond costrada chosen because it reminded him of bstilla made for the Feast of the Lamb, and the other this bacalao with honey sauce, redeveloped around the salt-and-sweet flavour matches characteristic of al-Andalus and Moroccan cookery. The fish is steamed and the honey is separated from the frying batter to use as the basis for a subtle raisined and saffroned sauce, a brilliant dish recreated around its original flavours with only a couple of improvised additions, both known to Altamiras.