Najat Kaanache

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Wall Street Journal photo of Najat Kaanache plating her "Genius Apple" dish at the 2013 World Science Festival in NYC
Chef Najat Kaanache with White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses lecturing at Harvard University

Najat Kaanache, of Moroccan descent, was born and raised in San Sebastian of Spain's Basque Country. She became famous as a lead actress on Spanish daytime television and then traveled throughout the Middle East and South America working in philanthropy to empower women and street kids. She later attended culinary school and gained fame as "The Pilgrim Chef" by blogging throughout her four years of apprenticeships with the world's top chefs: Ferran Adria, Rene Redzepi, Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, Heston Blumenthal and Martin Berasetegui.

After spending two years spanning apprenticeships at Chicago's Alinea (restaurant), Napa's The French Laundry, New York's Per Se (restaurant), and Copenhagen's Noma (restaurant) Kaanache went on to train intensively during the final two historic years at Spain's elBulli. Ferran Adria stated that "Najat Kaanache represents the soul of Morocco through the language of the kitchen. Her passion for creativity and innovation are an exemplary reference for the whole country." At a Basque Culinary Center International Advisory Council summit on September 23, 2013 held in Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture at Blue Hill, Adria said "Chef Najat Kaanache is four times better than I was when I became the chef at El Bulli".

After leaving El Bulli Kaanache has instructed chefs across the globe on the latest gastronomic techniques and taught and lectured alongside White House Executive Pastry Chef, Bill Yosses on the science of cooking at Harvard University (pictured), New York University and at the 2013 World Science Festival in NYC (pictured) and 2013 Beijing Science Festival in China.

She is currently the chef and co-owner of Souk Restaurant in Dallas, TX.

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