Choumicha Chafai, the most popular expert in Moroccan cuisine, is one of those famous
people wlio are recognized by their first name alone. Yet, she disliked her name when she was a child. I was the only girl with this name in the neighbourhood and at school,” she argued. As she grew up,she learned to accept it and like it. Now it has become a brand name.
Choumicha is the daughter of a fanner fiom Sidi Hajjaj. She was bom in 1972 in Sidi
Kacem but she grew up in Casablanca, where she studied sciences at high school. Afterwards, she got 2 degree in communication and marketing and worked as a costume designer for advertisements and films.
In 1992 In 1992, she appeared on 2M for the first time as an assistant in a quiz show called “Le mot juste”. In 2000, a 2M director suggested that she should present a program about the Moroccan cuisine. “Cooking? I have this in my blood!” She exclaimed. So, she started up her first program about cooking, “Chhiwate Choumicha”. Three years later, she launched a second TV program entitled “Chhiwate Bladi ‘. She travelled throughout Morocco in search for recipes ftom the Moroccan
regional heritage. She improved her knowledge through reading cookery books, watching cookery programs on TV, and of course through practice. “I attended my grandmother’s cookery school,” she said jokingly. “She is a mine of recipes, advice and values,” she added.
Choumicha soon became a TV star not only in Morocco but also abroad, especially in the Maghreb and Western Europe. She is fond of and knowledgeable about the Mediterranean cuisine. That is why she is often present, as a guest or as an expert, in many TV cookery programs on famous foreign TV channels such as Babel TV, TF1, Cuisine Plus and Arte. Besides, Choumicha has published more than thirty cookery books in Arabic and French. In 2005, she launched her own magazine “Saveurs du Maroc et d ’ailleurs” which sold about 20, 000 copies.
Choumicha has thousands of fans in Morocco and abroad. This makes her very happy.
“Love and recognition from the public are the source of my happiness,” she says. It’s no surprise that in 2009 she was selected among the top 100 celebrities in Morocco by Jeune Afrique magazine. In 2013, she was elected the best chef in the Arab world by Sayidaty magazine. It is true that Choumicha was quite lucky to get into the world of cooking, but she really worked hard to prove herself.