Executive Chef and Co-Owner
Born in Lille, France to a local pastry maker and a Tunisian antiques dealer, Alia Meddeb grew up cooking traditional French and Tunisian dishes in her parents’ kitchen, with ingredients sourced from their garden. After attending high school in Tunisia and business school in Massachusetts, she began her career as a line chef at the famous Café Blasé in Provincetown MA and as garde manger at Boston’s L’Espalier, where she specialized in pastries, pâtés, and terrines. Her varied career has taken her to the Marquesa Hotel in Key West, Florida and the Hotel Villa d’Este on Lake Como in Italy. She settled in the Boston area in 1993, serving as head pastry chef at Blue Ginger (Wellesley), Ambrosia (Boston), and 8 Holyoke (Harvard Square). She has been head chef at Baraka since 1997.
Chef de cuisine and Co-Owner
Anative of Fes, Morocco, Omar Bouibegh grew up surrounded by art: his parents were business owners specializing in the finest handcrafted lamps, furnishings, and tiles. Sitting in his grandmother’s lap as a child, he learned how to handle spices, roll couscous, make filo dough, and roast meat and fish for savory tagines. In partnering with Alia Meddeb, he has deepened the style of cooking at Baraka, introducing new spice combinations and reinterepreting classic recipes in accordance with his Moroccan background. He is also the founder of Fez Home Designs inc (www.fezhome.com).
A Cambridge institution for more than two decades, Baraka marries the intense flavors of French gastronomy with North African regional cuisine. Caramelized onions rest atop Berber flatbread; brioche is crusted with toasted fennel seeds; flourless chocolate cake is infused with Moroccan and Tunisian spices. Inside you’ll be charmed by handcrafted brass lamps, colorful Moroccan drapes, and banquettes fitted with pillows. On the plate you’ll find aromatic, Moroccan-style tagines served in earthenware dishes, couscous prepared according to ancient methods, and savory-sweet b’stilla tortes with chicken, almonds, and honey. The varied menu easily accommodates vegetarian, pescatarian, and gluten-free diets.