Was born in 1968 in Mohamedia Morocco. He grew up in one of Casa Blanca's roughest enclaves, raised by his grandmother Eweena and grandfather Khibir he was a 'one of a kind' street kid. Although poor his aunt and grandmother always prepared fresh nutritious and delicious meals for the family. Abderrahim was the official 'souk runner' and from the age of five could pick the best fruits and vegetables in the market. No kid could haggle the price of a chicken better than him. In 1995 he won the immigration lottery and came to the United States, settling in Austin, Texas. Far from the food of his family and homesick beyond consolation he began his journey into the world of food in an attempt to heal his longing. With the help of his Moroccan childhood friend, chef Sayed Farraje, he began to cook. He had a natural ability and affinity for cooking, his once desperate attempt to bring Morocco to Austin evolved into an abiding pleasure and all-encompassing hobby.
Maria grew up in Austin. Her home nestled in the hills surrounding Barton Creek, she helped raise her three brothers and sisters while both her parents worked. After school and all summer she prepared meals for her siblings experimenting with the New Mexican food she had watched her mother and grandmothers make. Her earliest sense memory was the sound of tortilla dough genlty slapping the palms of her mother’s hands and the smell of a pot of beans simmering on the stove. It was not at all strange for the 12 year old girl to make a grocery list for her family that included items needed to make her original recipes or plan an entire birthday party complete with a homemade cake and decorations. Nurtured by her mother’s love of gardening she became well versed in the art of cooking with and growing fresh herbs and vegetables. Like Abderrahim’s family Maria’s family rarely ate outside the home, rather the family meal was a special and intimate time to catch up and relax.
Mr. & Mrs.
In 1997 Maria and Abderrahim’s worlds came together and they remain solid partners in their love of each other, their son and of course food. They opened The Flying Carpet in 2010. Neophytes to the restaurant business they have faced great challenges. They run their kitchen like two crazed alchemists who refuse to formalize with recipes. Each time a sauce is made, it is new and filled with risk and promise. To become sterile, regimented, uniform and monetarily successful is not the goal. To remain true to their art form, to serve flavorful nutritious food, and to serve it with passion is the ultimate desire.