PACO MORALES INVITES YOU TO DISCOVER THE INCREDIBLE CUISINE OF MOORISH CORDOBA AT NOOR
Cordoba, April, 2016.- Thursday, 17 March, saw the opening of NOOR, Paco Morales'
new hotly anticipated restaurant in Cordoba. However, the famous chef from Cordoba regards it more as a huge "cultural project" rather than just a typical restaurant. It boasts a creative R&D area, where an enormous amount of research has gone into offering a present day "journey through the amazing culinary world of Islamic Cordoba".
Without doubt, this is the most personal project to date for the chef from Cordoba. It has brought him back to his birthplace after an absence of more than fifteen years, rediscovering both his family and culinary roots. The whole idea behind NOOR – which means "light" in Arabic –, is to rediscover and reinterpret the cuisine of Al-Andalus, and what better place to do it than in this Andalusian city. Up until now, Cordoba, has always been a gateway to the monuments, history and culture of Al-Andalus; now it will also showcase its cuisine.
Paco Morales has invested months of conscientious research, collaborating with the historian Rosa Tovar, deciphering ancient manuscripts and recipe books such as "Iberian Maghrebi cuisine at the time of the Almohads" by Ambrosio Huici Miranda, or the Muslim codex of al-Udri. As a result, he has collated all the information necessary to bring the refined aromas and flavours of Al-Andalus into the 21st Century and give them the modern avant-garde twist which has always been his trademark.
The outcome of this creative process is a menu featuring such suggestive and evocative dishes as Maxixe cucumber with Shanklish and mint; Karim of pinenuts, spring melon, Sáhara sea urchin and fresh oregano; Cooked Acelgas and hen's egg yolk emulsified with smoked sheep's butter; Roast Pigeon and duck foie gras on desert sand, cúrcuma, hawthorn berries and tahini; or a dessert of Furniyya of carob and its pods.
It is noticeable from the menu at NOOR that ingredients which are still used in Muslim cuisine today such as spices, dried fruits, goat dairy products, rose water, orange blossom water, or dates, are combined with other typical ingredients of Al-Andalus which are no longer used, such as bitter oranges, coriander, or the carob bean. Of course, some things you will find missing are ingredients that came into use after the discovery of the Americas, as these were obviously not present in the cuisine of Al-Andalus.
The drinks selection is also significant, with two different menus on offer: a wine list, which is prominently Mediterranean, with influences from places such as Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, Greece and Egypt; and another menu made up of "innocent drinks", made from infusions and grape juices, which are more faithful to the true culture of Al-Andalus, where alcohol consumption was prohibited. Traces of Al-Andalus will also be apparent in the style of service, the decoration, and even in the staff uniform, which was created by fashion designer X-Adnan. Every detail aims to recreate the feel of a banquet in the Medina Azahara palace of the 10th century.
NOOR, located in the Cañero neighbourhood, will only open eight months a year, from Thursday to Sunday. The dining area will be limited to eight tables, with an open view of the kitchen. There are three tasting menus on offer: Qurtuba, Madinat Al-Zahra and Al-Ándalus, made up of ten, fifteen and twenty-five dishes respectively. Paco Morales sees his new restaurant in Cordoba as a living and evolving project. He plans to reinvent it every two years. Once they finish with the cuisine of Al-Andalus, they will start experimenting with and reinterpreting the cuisine of other Arab countries.
To decorate the restaurant, the studio gglab and the architect Manuel G. de la Haba started off with an idea which was as simple as it was daring: recreate from a modern perspective Medina Azahara, the famous Caliphan palace of Abderramán III in 10th century Cordoba. This was achieved using material from that period, such as wood, ceramics, metal and leather, decorated in patterns inspired by different Muslim eras and regions.
+34 957 964 055
C/ Pablo Ruiz Picasso 8, on the corner of C/ Pintor Muñoz Lucena
Spring / Summer: From 17 March until 31 July, 2016, inclusive.
Autumn / Winter: From 15 September, 2016, until 8 January, 2017, inclusive.
Restaurant opening hours:
From Thursday to Sunday, inclusive.
From 13:30 to 15:30 and from 20:30 to 22:30.
Menu Qurtuba: € 70.
Menu Madinat Al-Zahra: € 90.
Menu Al-Ándalus: € 130.
VAT included. Drinks not included.
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