About our Food & Wine
- Our philosophy on Food & Wine
The Califa’s menu is the result of more than twelve year’s collaboration between Khadija Essaadi (executive chef and general manager) and James Stuart (co-founder of the Califa). Khadija is a highly experienced innovative chef from the Rabat area of Morocco while James spent many years living in the Middle East as a child and later worked as a mountain guide in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. Their combined experience and understanding of Middle Eastern & Maghreb cooking has produced a wonderfully varied & original menu of exotic & tasty dishes.
The Califa philosophy is to use the freshest local ingredients and wherever possible organic produce. The Jardín del Califa uses only free range eggs and chicken and organic beef (from the local Retinto breed). Vegetables are 95% locally sourced (from the province) and almost 60% (depending on the season) are organic. For the pastries and desserts the Califa uses only organic certified sugar and flours (from the Malaga Sierras). Not only is Califa produce top quality but it tastes better and travels less far to get to the table. Delicious!
Lamb and beef are Califa favourites either served as a Tagine or as a Cous cous. Popular dishes are Beef & Fruit Cous Cous (prepared with a compote of onions & caramelised raisins), Chicken Tagine (prepared with Damascan lemons, olives & vegetables) or a ‘Pumpkin & Aubergine tagine with whole chile’ amongst many others.
For fish lovers the Jardín del Califa has a range of fish dishes including the wonderful sea bass ‘Tagra from Tangiers’ baked in a tagine with peppers & spices and in season a memorable fresh ‘Tuna and Pumpkin cous cous' amongst others. For vegetarians the restaurant is proud to have one of Andalucia’s most extensive ranges of vegetarian dishes including a vegetarian ‘Pastela’ and of course extensive ‘Mezzes’.
For more traditional Andalucía dishes excellent meats straight from the barbecue are served with a choice of sauces.
Desserts. Amina Essaadi makes all the desserts here at the Califa. Wonderfully intricate Moroccan pastries, Lebanese ‘Mouhalabie’ (milk pudding) with rose water syrup, the best selling home made ‘Delicia del Califa’ (cinnamon ice cream with crêpes ) plus of course ‘Honey and Pistachio baklavas’, ‘The Sultan’s Cheesecake’ (made with dates) and so much more.
Khadija Essaadi (manager and executive chef) & Khalid (Barbecue chef)
Our wine list has more than 100 references from the most popular D.O.'s (denominación de origen - classification or appelation d'origine)Rioja or Rivera de Duero (including Arzuaga & Mataromero) to some of the more singular D.O.'s like Cigales (César), Priorato (Barranc de Clossos, Igneus) or Toro (Matsu, Volvoreta). Our principal intention is obviously with the nascent wines from the province of Cádiz (including Samaruco, Moncloa, Garum, Ibargüen) which are gaining popularity within the panorama of Spanish wine making.
This year we have included wines from the Sierras of Ronda, elegant and with character.
Being a restaurant of Moroccan and Middle Eastern food we wanted to bring in some wines form this area so we have Lebanese (Ksara), Moroccan (Domaine Mayole, Domaine Larroque) and Tunisian wines (Sidi Brahim) on the menu. The province of Cádiz is of course famous for being the home of sherry and we have excellent Finos, Manzanillas and Olorosos from the Bodegas of Gutierrez Colosia and Álvaro Domecq.