Morou’s first inspiration in the kitchen came from his mother.
Born into a large family, he would watch as his mother created impromptu
feasts for up to 40 people when extended members of the family stopped
by. Combining African, French and Middle Eastern flavors, she would
turn everyday meals into celebrations.
Morou originally came to the United States in 1988 to pursue a
degree in computer science. While attending school full time, he
joined the opening staff of Francesco Ricchi’s I’Ricchi,
one of D.C.'s premier fine dining Italian restaurants. Promoted
when a co-worker quit an hour before beginning service, Morou remembers
his first job in a kitchen, “ My brother kept yelling at me
in French so no one realized that he was teaching me how to run
my station!" This somewhat inauspicious beginning was the start
of a stellar career. Morou joined Mark Miller in the kitchen of
Red Sage and it was there that his culinary imagination was really
Eventually, Morou was appointed executive chef of Red Sage where
he changed the menu from southwestern to creative American. At Signatures
Morou feels he has found a true forum for expression. “Dishes
that are considered traditional are new to me. I see them in ways
that perhaps the diner would not, so I twist them a little,”
he said, adding, "I appreciate the opportunity to express my
creativity at the restaurant.” So do we.