Christopher Barber and team celebrate end of culinary festival

With bags almost packed in the knowledge of a job well done, the team behind the successful 7th edition of Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau head out to sea on a luxury catamaran to have some well earned fun.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Constance Belle Mare Plage

Here, Christopher Barber shares the day with us.

What sadness, the last day in paradise.

Yesterday was the final organised event - a catamaran trip along the coast, lunch on board washed down with copious amounts to drink.

Executive chef Dominique Grel is as comfortable looking after guests as he is in the kitchen. He is the ultimate professional, looking after everyone whilst having a great time himself. He epitomises everything that is wonderful about Constance Hotels and the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau - having fun, making friends and looking after people. He is ably assisted by Vincent and Guillaume from Belle Mare Plage, they exude friendship and charm, making sure that the chefs have an appropriate send off.

Star of the day is Angela Hartnett’s boyfriend Neil Borthwick. He sings, dances, swims and drinks, bringing a smile to everyone’s face.

Bruno Le Gac and team with Patrick Bittner

Bruno Le Gac and team with Patrick Bittner

The Constance team have once again shown us that gastronomy alone is not enough - great food and hospitality is also about people and personality. Through the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau, they have shown the world that they have this in abundance.

Behind the scenes photos of the final festival dinner

Visit our Constance Facebook page to see some wonderful photos of the Michelin* chefs and island cooks preparing the 6* dinner on the final night of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Top sommelier Enrico Bernardo inspires the Constance team

Enrico Bernardo, named Best Sommelier in the World in 2004, was on this year’s Jury for the 7th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Enrico Bernardo

Enrico Bernardo

While in Mauritius, Enrico took the opportunity to talk to our sommeliers about his work. A real inspiration to the team, he talked about his earlier career as a chef and how it led him to become a sommelier.

‘Anyone can become a sommelier. You have to want to learn -  above all about appellations, terroirs and the history of the country.’

This is a humble man who has passed his dream and passion for his work onto our sommeliers.

Enrico Bernardo’s rise to success as a world class sommelier

  • 1993 – Best Young Chef in Europe
  • 1995 – Prix Master de Port Italie
  • 1996 et 1997 – Best Sommelier in Lombardy
  • 1996 et 1997 – Best Sommelier in Italy
  • 1998 et 2000 – Second in Best Sommelier in Europe
  • 2002 – Best Sommelier in Europe
  • 2004 – Best Sommelier in the World

Menu: Easter Monday at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Guests staying at Constance Le Prince Maurice are in for a treat on Easter Monday when dining at the delightful L’Archipel.

L'Archipel

L'Archipel

First rate chef Michael Scioli has prepared a menu of Easter inspired delicacies and surprises. Each course is perfectly complemented with a specially selected champagne or wine.

Creamy egg with tarragon, wild mushroom mousse
Champagne Deutz, Brut Classic

Easter egg with foie gras and cocoa chocolate, tangy seasonal fruits and vegetables
Vin de Constance, Klein Constancia Constancia, 2006

Roasted stuffed Easter lamb leg, piperade and preserved potato, thyme juice
Saumur-Champigny, ‘Les Terres Chaudes’, Thierry Germain, 2008  

Dessert and Easter egg buffet
Poiré, ‘Granit’, Eric Bordelet

Day 3: Inside the kitchens at Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Bruno Le Gac takes us into the kitchens on day 3 of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Prawn curry at Constance Hotels Experience

Luxury food at Constance

Pressure is gradually rising in the kitchen, and countdown has started as the chefs have to come up with 2 creations. Ambiance is great between all the candidates and we are starting to see some interesting things on the plates.

On Monday evening, guests at Constance Belle Mare Plage had the rare privilege to taste a menu prepared by the 6 executive chefs of our hotels in Mauritius, Seychelles and the Maldives.

It was an explosion of flavours and tastes. A fantastic atmosphere in the kitchen, lots of fun… and some pressure for our sous chef Vishnu who was doing the passé with 6 executive chefs sending the dishes to him.

We are already looking forward to next year’s festival!

Interview: the world of Angela Hartnett

The Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2012 is in full swing at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius.

Angela Hartnett

Angela Hartnett

Award-winning chef Angela Hartnett is one our Michelin star chefs at this year’s festival.

  • *Michelin
  • Chef at Restaurant Murano, London, UK
  • Named Chef of the Year 2012 by The Good Food Guide.
  • In 2007, she was awarded an MBE for Services to the Hospitality Industry.
  • A protégé of Gordon Ramsay, made famous by her appearances on British TV.

What is your principal trait of character?
Being honest and straight forward.

What is your greatest quality?
Trying to see the positive in life and people.

What are the qualities you look for most in other people?
Kindness and generous nature.

What is your biggest weakness?
Procrastination.

What is your favourite tipple?
Wine and champagne.

What is your favourite dish – and your least favourite?
Roast chicken with lemon thyme and rosemary – it’s just delicious and actually takes a good chef to cook a chicken well.

Least favourite?
Any dish with coriander.

What has been your best experience professionally?
Cooking for chefs such as Thomas Keller and Alain Ducasse.

Who are the most important people to you in your professional life?
My staff and my guests.

What, for you, is happiness?
Family and friends. A little dog called Alfie and a guy called Neil.

What is your most important personal possession?
Jewellery from my grandmother.

With what talent would you like to have been gifted?
To be able to write well such as authors like Jane Austin, JD Salinger, Scott Fitzgerald.

If you had not done this profession, what else would you have liked to do professionally and why?
I would love to have been a pathologist to solve crimes. I watch too many crime shows on TV.

What does the word creativity mean to you?
Passionate, original.

What do you think best translates the wish to pass things on?
Through inspiration working with others.

How do you get away from it all?
Go travelling. Eating out with friends.

What inspiration do you get from Mauritius?
Grace and charm and freshness and lightness in dishes with different flavours.

What do you do when you need to recharge your batteries?
Just sitting in front of the fire reading.

What is the best compliment someone can pay you?
That I treat others as I would like to be treated.

Which type of cuisine is currently the best in the world in your opinion?
I think Spanish – it offers such a wide range of styles including tapas and traditional dishes.

For the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau, Angela has been teamed with Kamlesh Doorjean, our island cook from Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Constance Le Prince Maurice gears up for super-deluxe refurbishment

The deluxe 6* Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius is about to undergo some fabulous enhancements.

Lobby at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Lobby at Constance Le Prince Maurice

During July and August this year, we’ll be working hard to make this high-functioning paradise even more desirable for luxury holiday aficionados.

Key features of the Prince Maurice upgrade include:

  • Spa – adding additional rooms to the ever-popular Spa de Constance.
  • Swimming pool – building a new heated lap pool bringing the number of pools to two.
  • Suites and villas – refurbishing all suites and luxury bathrooms.
  • Main restaurant – L’Archipel enjoys a beautiful location overlooking the infinity pool and beach. We’ll be upgrading the restaurant.
  • New wine cellar adjoining to the restaurant – stocked with exclusive old and new world wines.
  • Le Barachois – our delightful floating restaurant will serve a new menu of fish and seafood specialities. We’re also adding a floating bar near the Barachois.  This hip new spot will give guests a space to enjoy long evenings listening to live music and DJ sets while sampling some wonderful cocktails and wines.
Suite on stilts
Suite on stilts

At Constance Hotels, we’re very excited about the changes that are about to take place at one of our favourite hotels.

Watch this space, and we’ll post regular updates and photos on progress. The resort will be closed from 1 July – 31 August 2012 so we can complete the final stage of this refurbishment.

We look forward to welcoming you soon to the beautiful Constance Le Prince Maurice.