Today we’d like to introduce you to Yasmina Ksikes.
Hi Yasmina, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My cooking journey started when I was five years old in Morocco. I was surrounded by the amazing food of my mother and grandmothers, spices, herbs and fresh ingredients my whole childhood. I loved the joy that food provided consistently And wanted to learn as much as I could while living in Casablanca. Cooking has become my love language, and even more when I moved to LA.
After my husband passed away, I realized that running a restaurant as a single mother with two kids wasn’t an option anymore. I decided to start my Moroccan cooking classes, catering and private chef business in 2016, driven by the passion of bringing people together around the foods of my ancestors. Teleporting people through flavors and stories while using the incredible diversity of produce we have in California is such a gift. Los Angeles has been so good to me, I had the pleasure to cook for so many artists and personalities and collaborate with wonderful chefs as well. I call myself a food alchemist these days because I truly believe that the cooking process is such a spiritual affair. Helping people feel great and cooking ancient recipes is truly magic.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It’s been a pretty smooth road for me, mostly adapting to the demand and growing organically with the support of my family and wonderful friends next to me.
Easy is a state of mind because cooking is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding careers and chefs deal with so many variables. Our industry has been hit strongly lately but our passion and love are the fuel. We adapt to the times and keep creating and nurturing the people.
What I learned through my cooking journey are the values of patience, integrity and commitment to the mission despite the challenges. Everyone’s journey is unique, we all need inspiration but we don’t need to compare our paths to anyone. The Chef’s world is highly competitive these days, very mediatised and egos are high. Remaining humble, focused and constantly learning are key. So grateful to do what I do and be of service.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a global Chef, caterer and instructor from Casablanca based between LA and Joshua Tree. Most proud of cooking and sharing my version of Moroccan soul food – the food of the land for the people – using traditional methods but also fusing it with The California touch.
I love cooking sustainably and plant based mostly, honoring local produce as much as possible and the farmers behind it. I can work and cook in the most rudimentary kitchens, all I need is a paring knife and a source of fire.
More than anything I love sharing my heritage with the people and being a Moroccan ambassador of joy through the food I cook.
Stay tuned for my upcoming cookbook : Raw Exposed & Ready to eat.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
So many food memories to share but coming home to one of my mother’s cakes after a long school day was the highlight.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: Lallaminala.com
- Instagram: Lalla Mina