Hassan M’Souli arrived in Australia in 1985 from Casablanca. His passion for cooking evolved in his mother’s kitchen at a young age and he pursued that passion along with those of acting and teaching.
His decision to leave family and friends behind him brought him to the shores of Sydney – he wanted to be as far away from familiarity as possible – to start an exciting journey in life, in a new and challenging environment.
Hassan began his life and found his dreams in Sydney. Whilst working in various kitchens including French, Italian and Indian restaurants it was not long before he started teaching the Chef’s Moroccan and North African dishes and introduced the use of exotic spices, some of which they had never heard of.
It was at this time that Hassan became friends with the owner and head chef of Radio Cairo, an African Restaurant in Mosman, NSW.
African and North African cuisine was something new and exciting in Sydney and realising that this type of restaurant was far and few between Hassan saw and opportunity to introduce a unique taste that Sydney had never seen before. Hence, in 1986, The Mosquito Bar opened its doors.
Suddenly Sydney was introduced to the unique taste of Morocco and new and exotic flavors that most Australians had never seen the likes of before.
The Mosquito Bar was a successful restaurant for five years when Hassan, who had been living on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, decided to step out on his own and in 1990 he opened up the first Moroccan restaurant in the iconic Sydney suburb Manly, Casablanca. Once again this was met with a huge wave of success.
In 1995 he opened a new restaurant opposite Manly Warf where Out of Africa was born and had been hugely successful for over 20 years.
Hassan divides his time between various television, radio, magazine and newspaper interviews, writing a weekly column in two of Morocco’s leading Newspaper and Magazine.
He kindly donates his time to teach the youth about the diversity of food at schools and also to support struggling families at Bear Cottage. More recently he pioneered a fundraising dinner with the 3 Mayors of the Northern Beaches at the world-famous International College of Management to raise funds for Ebola victims which was a tremendous success.
Hassan has featured on radio segments with ABC – Simon Marnie & 2GB and featured on television shows on such as SBS – Food Safari with Maeve O’Meara , Channel Ten – Huey’s Kitchen , Channel 7, 9 and Foxtel’s -Lifestyle Channel.
With features in most of Sydney’s Top Food Guides and Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines including Feast Magazine, Good Living – Sydney Morning Herald, Good Food Guide – Sydney Morning Herald, just to name a few.
His cooking demonstrations can be enjoyed within Out of Africa Restaurant and with SBS’ Mauve Omara’s Gourmet Safari, various food festivals around Australia, and hosting luxury culinary tours around Morocco.
Out of Africa and Hassan have also featured on radio and in newspapers and magazines across the globe all complimenting style, atmosphere, food and service.
Hassan has launched his very own range of sauces and spices and is also the author of two Moroccan cookbooks. He is the first Moroccan to publish a recipe book on Moroccan Cuisine in Australia. ‘Moroccan Modern’ was released in October 2004, and was sold out by February 2005; re-printed and is sold nationally & internationally. Hassan’s second cookbook “Make it Moroccan” was launched in November 2008, with resounding success in Australia and internationally. In March 2010 Make it Moroccan took the award for ‘Best In The World- African Cuisine Category’ at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris, France.
Over the past 20 years Out of Africa Restaurant and Hassan have been presented with numerous awards.
These awards included, among others, The 2014 WINNER of “Best Paella Chef in the Oceania” Inaugural International Spanish Paella Championships, WINNER 2010 Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence Metropolitan Middle Eastern/North African Restaurant, WINNER 2009 Gourmand World Cook Book Awards – Best African Cuisine Book in the World.
In April 2010 Hassan was honoured with a letter from the King of Morocco Mohammed VI congratulating him as an excellent ambassador for the country and truly showing Morocco proud.