Friday, January 01, 2010

Faces in the medina: Vincent and Vanessa Bonnin

News that there will be a new French restaurant in the medina has been buzzing for some time. The View from Fez introduces the people behind the plan: Vincent and Vanessa Bonnin.

Top chef Vincent Bonnin

Vincent, who underwent rigorous training in France, has worked in various Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK. Vanessa trained in journalism and photography, but they've both been in the hospitality industry for some years now. Vanessa says that if you want to ever see a husband who's a chef, then you've got to work with him. They have spent some years working on yachts in the Caribbean.

Vincent has always wanted his own restaurant. The opportunity arose when Vanessa read an article in a British newspaper's property section about Morocco. The article was mostly about the Marrakech property market, and Fez was only mentioned briefly, but it was enough to pique her interest. Within days they were on a flight to Fez.

Vanessa Bonnin

They had a week to find a property, and of course, were told it couldn't be done. But once you're on the right track, things have a tendancy to fall into place, and this is just what happened. The house is in Derb Moulay Ismail, just off Tala'a Seghira, so is a perfect location for a restaurant.

There's a way to go yet. The house has to be renovated, and Vincent and Vanessa are now in the throes of applying for various permits. But within a year or so, the medina could have its first ever French-run restaurant, which will be called Restaurant Faracha, meaning butterfly in Arabic.

Restaurant Faracha will specialise in Mediterranean brasserie-style food, with an emphasis on Spanish, Italian and Greek fare. Vincent plans mid-range prices that he thinks will appeal to tourists and residents alike. If you'd like to try Vincent's culinary skills, head for the Majestic where he's currently working as head chef.

Majestic: 0535 729 999


Piggy said...

Good luck to your both - a word of warning. Fez is a place where 'palms have to be greased' It will open but not on time! Delays WILL happen that's the way it is in Fez.

Anonymous said...

Good luck people! =3

And a warm welcome among Moroccans ^^

Ihope I'll get to be one of the first customers

*Dear Fez, you're growing more and more beautiful and full of differences...I love you*