I’m a mixer of potions, a swell cook, and a scholar, based between the east coast of the U.S. and North Africa. The recipes, photos, and stories I post here document my journeys through Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt (with a few other stops along the way).
I believe food cultures are a living, breathing thing, so you’ll find no paeans to authenticity here. If you’re looking for easy-to-follow adaptations of Middle Eastern & North African recipes (how do you cook a tagine without a tagine?) or fresh twists on Mediterranean dishes (can I make hummus without tahini? gnocchi without potatoes?), look no further. I cook Italian recipes just about as often as I do Moroccan or Lebanese or Egyptian, which gives me an excuse to muse over what they might have in common and why.
About the name: This blog started as a love song to the two years I spent living (and eating delicious things) in Morocco’s Souss Valley. “Imik simik” is a saying in Tashelheet, spoken in the south of Morocco, that means “little by little.” It’s excellent advice (see also Hindi Zahra’s fantastic song by the same name). Invoking an Amazigh phrase is also a reminder that the region we often gloss as the “Arab world” features tremendous cultural and linguistic diversity that has enriched, refused, and mingled with its dominant Arab and Islamic influences for centuries. Food is an excellent way to untangle those complexities.
“Cooking with Gaul” is a pun.
Email me at ann (dot) gaul (at) gmail (dot) com.