Culinary Festival fever mounts in Mauritius

As excitement continues to build for this year’s Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau we introduce the chefs and journalists who will bring the event to life over the next few days.

Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Reporting on the event and bringing us all the up-to-the-minute drama from the various teams will be festival co-founder, Constance’s Bruno Le Gac, and international luxury lifestyle journalist Peter Bojesen from Luxury Aficionados.

Bruno says: ‘It started with an idea to honour the legacy of the great chef Bernard Loiseau, and propose something that he would be proud of,’ Bruno explained.

‘When we first had the idea, we didn’t know what or how we would do it… but we knew that we wanted to create something true, sincere, with spirit, not just a business event, but a festival with a soul.’

Now in its 9th year the festival has gone from strength to strength, each year bringing together some of the world’s top chefs to share expertise, passion and guidance with the best of Constance’s own chefs.

Michelin-star chefs taking part:

Masters at work

Masters at work

These prestigious European chefs will be teamed with the very best of our island chefs to create six separate teams who will compete in a week-long culinary challenge.

Other highlights include:

  • The 6 stars dinner
  • The Culinary Festival cocktail competition
  • A wine competition
  • An art of the table competition.

Book a last minute break to Mauritius

There is plenty for guests to enjoy throughout the Festival with special festival dinners being hosted at both Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice – see our Passion for Gastronomy Offer.

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2 ways to cook fish in the Seychelles

Chef Aviraj Pareeague from Constance Lémuria shares his knowledge of fish and how to cook them Seychellois style.

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

The Seychelles archipelago of 115 islands spreads over 1,200km, including large areas of national marine parks. Plentiful in the clear waters of our beautiful lagoons, fish is one of the main staples of Seychellois cuisine and features on everyone’s table almost every day.

Bourgeois (the most popular), Jobfish, Carangue, Vieille rouge, Vieille grise, Gueule longue, Bécune, Parrot fish, Madame berry, Maero, Kakatwa, Bonite… are found every day at the local markets or at stalls along the roads, caught and sold by local fishermen. The call of a conch shell announces a fresh catch and locals hurry to buy the fresh fish.

At Constance Lémuria, we have the freedom to create a selection of delectable dishes. But most of the time, thanks to the excellent quality of the product, a fish perfectly cooked, either steamed or grilled, with a Creole sauce, a side and some fresh vegetables, is just perfect.

Here is one of our Parrot fish recipes from the Beach Bar & Grill restaurant located on the beautiful Petite Anse Kerlan.

Recipe: Pan seared Parrot fish with local spices, breadfruit mash, banana curry, Chayote comfit and light curry sauce

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Breadfruit mash:

  • 400g breadfruit
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 2g curry powder
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the breadfruit and cut it into big chunks. Place it in an oven tray, cover with chicken stock, curry leaves, curry powder, salt and pepper and seal tight with aluminum foil.

Bake for 25 to 30 min at 180ºC (or till soft). Mash the breadfruit with butter and chicken stock (as needed to obtain a soft mash). Season to taste and set aside.

Fish in the Seychelles: Bourgeois

The vibrant Bourgeois

Banana curry:

  • 400g of banana St Jacques
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 30g chopped onions
  • 10g chopped garlic
  • 10g of chopped ginger
  • 4g turmeric
  • 4g curry powder
  • 20g of diced peeled tomatoes
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blanch the banana St Jacques with their skins in boiling water for 30 min or till soft.

Cool down, remove the skin and grate the flesh. Set aside.

Sautée garlic, ginger and onion in butter till light brown then add curry leaves, turmeric, curry powder and mix together.

Add the grated banana to the pan and mix together well. Finally add the tomato. Season to taste.

Chayote confit:

  • 200g chayote
  • 6g aniseed
  • 6g sugar
  • 5g butter

Peel the chayote and slice it very thin (1mm). Comfit in a pan using the butter, sugar and aniseed for 5-6 min on a low heat. Set aside.

Light curry sauce:

  • 200ml fish stock
  • 30g chopped garlic
  • 20g chopped ginger
  • 20g of chopped onion
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 5g curry powder
  • 4g turmeric
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sautée in a pan the onion, garlic and ginger till light brown.

Add the curry powder, turmeric, curry leaves and mix well.

Add the fish stock and reduce by half. Now add the coconut milk powder and bring to the boil.

Blend the sauce. Pass it through sieve, montee with butter, season to taste.

Fish in the Seychelles

Fish in the Seychelles

For decoration:

  • 1 banana St Jacques
  • Sliced coconut
  • 10 curry leaves

Slice the banana longwise to a thickness of 1mm and deep fry in oil at 170ºC, then dry on paper towel.

Dry out the thin slices of coconut in an oven at 140ºC.

Deep fry the curry leaves in hot oil and dry on paper towel.

For presentation:

  • Sear the Parrot fish in oil and butter on both side and then finish the cooking in a hot oven
  • Heat the breadfruit mash and banana curry and place nicely in the bowl
  • Decorate with banana chips, dry coconut slice and deep fried curry leaves and lemon.
  • Place the sauce in a dip bowl

Recipe II: Fish Carpaccio

We couldn’t resist giving you this delicious carpaccio recipe… quick, healthy and delicious.

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • 3kg fish
  • 500g mixed salad
  • 50g chopped shallots
  • 500g carrots
  • 500g turnips
  • 500g oranges
  • 500g lime
  • Handful of parsley
  • 200ml Olive oil
  • Salt and white pepper powder to taste

Make your citrus dressing using orange and lime juice reduction, then whisk it with olive oil and add some mustard seed. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the fish in thin slices, place it flat on the plate then add sea salt, white pepper powder and chopped shallots, then add your dressing and petit crouton.

On top you can add your mixed salad together with your carrots, chopped in a julienne style, with olive oil and vinaigrette.

Visit our website for more information on Constance Lémuria.

 

Top 3 markets in Mauritius

There’s no better way to immerse yourself in local Mauritian life than to visit one of the island’s bustling market places.

Markets in Mauritius: Port Louis Market

Markets in Mauritius: Port Louis Market

Here’s our guide to three of the best.

Port Louis Market

This vibrant daily market at the heart of the Mauritian capital gives a fascinating insight into the life of the city and its people. Stalls selling freshly picked fruits and vegetables sit alongside stalls of fragrant herbs and spices. There’s a meat and fish section where sellers fillet and slice before your eyes. For souvenirs there are stalls selling local traditional crafts, as well as t-shirts and other mementos. Make sure you save time at the end to visit the food hall and sample some authentic (and delicious) Mauritian street food.

Flacq Market

Set in the village of Flacq, close to Belle Mare, Flacq Market is the largest open-air market in Mauritius. Catering for locals and tourists who are looking for something authentic, you’ll find beautifully fresh produce from across the island, giving the market its unique Mauritian charm.

Rose Hill Market

Rose Hill is the second largest town on Mauritius and is a treat for shoppers with its shopping arcades, boutiques and food stalls. The market here is more of a bazaar, selling everything from fruit and vegetables to arts and crafts and electronics.

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Candlelit beach dining at Halaveli’s Meeru restaurant

Experience the laid back charm of dining by candlelight on the powder-white sand at Meeru, the beachside restaurant at Constance Halaveli.

Beach dining at Meeru

Beach dining at Meeru

Watch the sun sink into the ocean as you enjoy sumptuous fine dining with sand between your toes at this evening-only beach restaurant.

Take in the stunning ocean views while you enjoy freshly caught fish, ripe tropical fruits and vegetables prepared with Maldivian spices.

Recent delicacies added to the menu by our Executive Chef Jordi Vila include:

  • Tuna Carpaccio with avocado, fennel salad and lime
  • Argentinian style ‘provoleta cheese’ with oregano and chilli
  • Meeru garden salad with French dressing
  • Reef fish, with vegetables and lemon mayonnaise
  • Fried squid with black ink alioli
  • Tropical fruit and raspberry mousse.

Visit our website for more information about Constance Halaveli or to make a booking.

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Rising stars head to Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2014

The rising culinary stars of Constance Hotels and Resorts have been battling it out in kitchens across the Indian Ocean in order to make it to the prestigious Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Will you be seeing dishes like this at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau?

Will you be seeing dishes like this at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau?

The festival, held at Constance Belle Mare Plage from 31 March to 7 April, gives the island chefs the opportunity to cook alongside some of the leading Michelin-starred chefs of the world.

Competition has been fierce as young, inspired chefs seize the opportunity to compete for a chance to represent their hotel or resort in a festival which celebrates culinary passion, and inspires innovation and the sharing of expertise.

The road to Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

To qualify the chefs have gone through several rounds of internal competitions with only the winner moving on to the next stage.

Challenges have included a written stage where the chef must describe why they want to be entered into the competition and practical stages including creating dishes following a recipe from classic French cuisine and creating their own dishes from a mystery box of ingredients under timed conditions.

The chefs who have made it through have proved not only their culinary skills but their passion and dedication to creating innovative and inspiring food.

The chefs

The island chefs who have made it through to the final in Mauritius are:

Sasha Dinnoo – Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Traditional Indian Ocean flavours with a contemporary twist

Traditional Indian Ocean flavours with a contemporary twist

Sasha started as a trainee at Le Prince Maurice and has worked her way up through the kitchen. She qualified for the final stage of the competition last year and loved the experience so much she’s come back for more, although this year she’s more determined than ever to win.

Emmanuel Fortuno – Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Emmanuel loves cooking and is constantly striving for perfection, slowly and methodically improving his skills. It is this dedication and hard work which has taken him through the qualifying stages of this competition and into the Culinary Festival.

Sandy Sokalingum – Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Mauritian born Sandy doesn’t let being a new father distract him from his passion for cooking or his determination to get to the final. Currently a chef de Partie at The Sea Horse, he describes himself as ‘in love’ with cooking.

Dammika Sarath – Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Used to working under pressure, Dammika brings a sense of serene and calm to the kitchen when he works. He loves everything to do with food and is proud to be part of the prestigious Festival.

Dinushan Patabadage – Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Always keen to learn new dishes and try new techniques, Dinushan is a very creative chef and is excited by the learning experience offered by competing in the Culinary Festival. Both passionate and ambitious, he is keen to put everything he has into the event.

Yogessen Ramen – Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

A chef at Ephélia, Yogessen is passionate about food and keen to add to his expanding skillset with techniques and advice acquired from the Michelin-starred chef he is paired with.

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Constance Hotels triumphs in social media report of luxury hotels

Constance Hotels & Resorts has been placed first in the Top Small Luxury Hotel Brand category in the Top Luxury Hotel and Brand Report announced by ReviewPro, the leading provider of online reputation and social media analytics for the hospitality industry.

Luxury hotels: Constance Tsarabanjina

Luxury hotels: Constance Tsarabanjina

ReviewPro awarded Constance the top position in its Top 25 Best Performing Small Luxury Brands category based on a study of 839,593 guest reviews from sites including TripAdvisor, Booking, Expedia, Hotels.com and Google.

In a breakdown of the reviews analysed Constance was awarded:

  • Constance Hotels & Resorts is No 1 on the List of the 25 Top Performers in the Small Brands Category (hotel chains with less than 20 hotels), ahead of brands such as One & Only, Raffles Hotels, Six Senses Hotels and Dorchester Collection.
  • Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar is ranked 17th with a score of 96.9% among the best worldwide on the list of Individual Hotels 25 Top Performers. Tsarabanjina also ranked 8th out of 25 in terms of Guest Satisfaction with its location.
  • ReviewPro also positioned Constance Hotels & Resorts 7th in terms of Customer Service on the list of the Top 25 Performers in the Small Brands Category ahead of brands such as Peninsula, O&O, Leela Palace Hotels and Six Senses.

Putting our customers at the heart of social media

CEO of Constance Hotels & Resorts, Jean Jacques Vallet said “The continued growth of our social media activity means we are able to build deeper relationships with our guests through engaging content on our blog and social media platforms, as well as our website. This leads to more personalised luxury experiences.”

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