Meal à la Momo: A cuisine that connects

By Laura TomassiniLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

A little piece of Morocco, even if only on the plate: at Le Riad in Luxembourg-Gare, chef Momo cooks typical oriental dishes, following his grandmother's recipes. The restaurant is a meeting place for Maghrebians and Luxembourgers alike, because where couscous and tajine simmer for hours, togetherness is writ large.

Marhaba on a culinary journey to Morocco. In the capital's rue de Strasbourg, amidst the hustle and bustle of the "Gare", there is a restaurant that invites you into the world of the Orient with its smells and flavours. Le Riad, Moroccan for a large house with plenty of space for guests, is the home of chef and manager Momo, who not only works in the kitchen and dining room, but also lives the traditions of his homeland there with his brother.

In September 2019, Le Riad moved to the railway station district; before that, the team around the Moroccan-born chef had already made a name for itself in Luxembourg for two years. However, that Momo would eventually cook the specialties of the North African Berber people in Europe was more of a coincidence than a plan. "An Italian restaurant was originally planned at our old address, as I had worked in that kitchen for five years", the chef reveals. In Paris, Momo had embraced the Mediterranean way of preparing food and learned the local customs of gastronomy.

Back to the Maghrebian roots

Arriving in the neighborhood of the Gare, with the finished menus already printed out and the restaurant virtually set up, however, the chef struck up a conversation with his neighbor and had to rethink his plan. "There was another pizzeria about 20 meters from my place. The owner was very friendly and told me that we would share the clientele from now on. I thought about it for 30, maybe 40 seconds while I was eating at his restaurant and realized I couldn't do the same thing as someone right next to me", Momo says.

He didn't want to move to Luxembourg to make big money, but to be close to his family in Meurthe-et-Moselle again and to find peace in his life. So it was "back to the roots" for him, back to the cooking that started it all. "Basically, I still know Moroccan specialties best, I am Maghrebian after all." As a young boy, Momo had already watched his grandmother cook in Morocco, tasted her traditional dishes, felt the ingredients in his own hand and learned the secrets of the culinary arts of the Orient.

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