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, the little Moroccan girl who dreamed of the flavor of vanilla, was born and raised in San Sebastian of Spain's Basque Country. She gained fame as a lead actress on Spanish daytime television series "Goenkale" 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 training with the world's top chefs: Ferran Adria, Rene Redzepi, Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, Heston Blumenthal and Martin Berasetegui.

After spending two years working her way through the kitchens at Chicago's Alinea, 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."[1] 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."[2]

After El Bulli's historic closure, Kaanache traveled extensively to instruct chefs across the globe in 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 co-owner of Souk Restaurant in Dallas, TX, where she was the opening chef.[3] She is a partner of Piripi Restaurant in the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, FL, where she was the opening chef;[4]


  1. ^ Enriqueta E. Lemoine. "Savoir Faire". Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Najat Kaanache". SideDish. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Najat Kaanache". Miami New Times. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 

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