Like many famous Moroccan chefs such as Najat Kaanache, Chef Moha, and Mourad Lahlou, Hamid Miss is a rising cook who celebrates and promotes traditional Moroccan cuisine internationally. He plays an inspiring role for the future generations of Moroccan chefs.
Being a crossroads between Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, Morocco has a unique cuisine culture that integrates many culinary cultures, from Amazigh (Berber) to French to Spanish, which gives Moroccan dishes their exotic and one-of-a-kind flavors.
Morocco’s food also aligns with a Mediterranean diet that focuses on the use of vegetables, beans, nuts, herbs, and whole grains in meals, as well as eggs and seafood. Moroccans also use a moderate amount of dairy in their meals and only consume meat occasionally. All of this makes the food enjoyable, healthy, and a great choice for people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Born in Sidi Yahia El Gharb, near Rabat, in 1974, Hamid Miss was raised by women. This is what allowed him to discover the art of traditional Moroccan cuisine, he told Morocco World News.
After moving to France at the age of 14 in order to look for his father who worked there, Hamid finished his studies in precision mechanics, accomplished his military service in the High Atlas Mountains, and married his wife Typhaine.
Despite studies in different fields and military experience, Hamid has only felt truly in his element when cooking. His childhood passion has stayed with him throughout the years, ever since he learned the Moroccan gastronomic art from his mother in Morocco.
Chef Hamid Miss’ cooking experience
Hamid has always enjoyed cooking and sharing. He cooked whenever he could, which was every day. Together with his wife Typhaine, Hamid founded his restaurant La Pente Douce in Toulouse, France.
“When our son was born, we said to ourselves that we had to make my passion my job and take the plunge,” Hamid told Morocco World News.
As he was raised in Morocco and by women, the chef feels that Moroccan cuisine has always been part of him. Therefore, he always integrates it in his culinary creations.
Chef Hamid Miss’ biggest inspiration is French chef Pierre Gagnaire, the head chef and owner of the eponymous Pierre Gagnaire restaurant as well as the winner of “Best Chef in the World” in 2015. Hamid is a big fan of the renowned figure’s deep artistic relationship with cooking.
The Moroccan chef was self-taught. He spent three years learning and working on traditional French recipes and Moroccan cuisine through many adventures.
“When I mastered the French cuisine in addition to the Moroccan cuisine, I felt that I was ready to become a chef,” said Hamid.
Hamid feels lucky and grateful for always having the support of his family in the pursuit of his passion and career.
“My mom and my sister have always selected spices for me in Morocco and my stepfather and my wife have always believed in me and have always supported me.”
The creation of La Pente Douce
The couple first opened La Pente Douce in their house in Toulouse in 2008, welcoming visitors and guests in their living room. Chef Hamid Miss described the previous restaurant location as a real urban “Table d’hote.”
In 2014, and after the significant initial success of La Pente Douce, the couple was able to open the current restaurant in the new location at La Concorde in Toulouse. Hamid uses his cooking skills to integrate Moroccan cuisine into his restaurant’s menu and attracts many visitors that come looking for new flavors and tastes of Morocco.
La Pente Douce offers a varied menu consisting of two main cuisines: Moroccan and French. They both make La Pente Douce one of the most fun and adventurous places in the area to have your meals and try new tastes.
The chef also has a great passion for Japanese cuisine and a love for authentic street food. Overall, his favorite part of cooking is seasoning the dishes.
“We serve couscous once a week. The rest of the time we always offer a choice between meat and fish. Our menu is very varied according to the seasons and local producers.”
La Pente Douce’s signature dish and Hamid’s favorite to prepare is “Les tripes de Veau” (veal tripe).
“We always have on the menu a casserole of head, tripe, and calf’s foot with candied lemon, harissa, ginger, and parmesan.”
La Pente Douce offers many other dishes including pumpkin soup topped with whipped cream and smoked bacon accompanied by a crunchy toast topped with porcini mushrooms and foie gras. The unstructured tiramisu melts in your mouth, and of course the Moroccan chef’s original plates, Brittany’s blue lobsters with strawberries and lime with lemongrass, are must-tries.
The cozy restaurant also invites its guests with its zen atmosphere that the decor curates, and which reflects Chef Hamid Miss’ calm character. The kitchen is completely open to the dining room, which promotes interaction with customers.
Wining ‘Best Couscous’ in France
Chef Hamid Miss’ special yet authentic way of cooking Moroccan couscous qualified him to earn the title of ‘Best Couscous’ in France.
The organizers of the French television show “Tres tres bon” in Paris went on a couscous tasting test in 109 restaurants across France, including La Pente Douce, in search of the very best. Hamid’s restaurant earned their awe.
“They contacted us a few days before coming to shoot and we found out about the results along with everyone else while watching the November 15th show.”
The Moroccan chef makes his couscous with local, fresh ingredients such as extra fine semolina, delicate harissa, exquisite broth, mouthwatering lamb, and a sublime farandole of vegetables including zucchini, carrots, chickpeas, and guindilla peppers.
Hamid Miss’ rich couscous recipe has definitely earned its title as the best in France and has attracted many guests to try the traditional Moroccan meal along with the chef’s innovative delicacies that fuse Moroccan and French cuisine.