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Chefs Alia Radjeb Meddeb and Krimo Dahim of Baraka Cafe bring familiar ingredients together in unusual combinations. The restaurant's signature dishes include a cous cous combining large and small fava beans, daikon radish, turnips, carrots, and eggplant; the renowned, floral-scented lemonade; and a decadent flourless chocolate torte, for which Baraka Cafe received a "best buy" in 2003 from Food & Wine magazine.
Chef Krimo Dahim
Born in Algiers, a vibrant city on the Mediterranean influenced by many cultures, Krimo Dahim grew up in a family that raised the vegetables, herbs, and bananas native to Algeria. His mother, an imaginative, creative cook who often combined simple ingredients in novel ways, is a formative influence on his own cooking style.
Dahim first learned to cook out of necessity as a student in France training for a career in aeronautical engineering. His passion for food has followed him throughout life. Though he has no formal culinary training, Dahim's self-taught skills eventually led to chef positions at numerous fine restaurants in the Boston area, including Ambrosia, 8 Holyoke, Algo, and the West Concord Grill. In Key West, he worked with Alia Meddeb at Cafe Alia and Cafe des Artistes. Dahim has served as chef at Baraka Cafe since its founding in 1998.
Chef Alia Radjeb Meddeb
Alia Meddeb was born in Lille Tourcoinj on the outskirts of Paris to Tunisian immigrant parents. Her father was a Broncateur (antiques dealer); her mother, a pastry maker. Meddeb takes her culinary inspiration from her brother, Chef Moncef Meddeb, Master Chef of America (1980-1990) and founder of the Boston restaurants 8 Holyoke and L'Espalier.
Alia has been a chef for 25 years, serving chef or sous-chef at many restaurants, including Cafe Alia, a Mediterranean North African Restaurant she founded in Key West; Cafe Blase in Provincetown; and Beardley's in Northampton. She has also served as a pastry chef at 8 Holyoke, Ambrosia's, and Blue Ginger in the Boston area.