Aaron Willis

Ciudad’s head chef Aaron Willis serves grilled Moroccan chicken, charcoal style

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Ciudad, a more recent Georgetown staple and much loved collaboration between two well known restauranteurs Matt Dillon (of Sitka & Spruce, London Plane & Bar Ferdinand) and Marcus Lalario (95 Slide, Li’l Woody’s & Fat’s Chicken and Waffles) have taken charcoal grilled meats to another level. Luckily we benefit from the global Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influence that sprinkles their menu. On this day and occasion the Moroccan grilled chicken with Harissa was grilled to perfection.

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Aaron Willis aka ’Willis’, the talented, and fun spirited head-chef behind the scenes took time out of his busy day to show us what makes Ciudad so unique while also sharing many moments of laughter.

Clearly charcoal is a main ingredient here, add to that the global influence and of course the variety of meats, the artistic atmosphere of the gritty and authentic Georgetown where the underbelly of planes feel so close you can touch them, and you find a restaurant that pleases all the senses.

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A lifelong dedication to food and curiosity for different cuisines makes the sharing of his grilled Moroccan chicken stand out, beyond the ordinary, to the extraordinary. Even though he can easily bring on the laughter, he takes his job very seriously.

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The juicy deliciousness involves a special rub that he kindly shares with us. Thanks Aaron for making our day!

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Moroccan Roasted Chicken

  • 5lb Trimmed Chicken Thighs

  • 4 tbls Villa Jerada Harissa

  • 1 tbls Villa Jerada Kefta Rub

  • 3 cups Water

  • Olive Oil

    Prepare rub by mixing Kefta Rub, Harissa and water into a thick paste. Massage chicken vigorously with rub and drizzle with olive oil. Then grill or roast for 20-30 mins or until meat is cooked through.

Clearly Harissa brings people together…

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Our spontaneous outfits show our obvious mutual love for Harissa, and of course the cool design (paintings by local PNW artist Tashina Suzuki) makes for an easy wardrobe choice.

Follow Aaron's cooking adventures outside of Ciudad at The Generous Chef.