Top tips for food and wine pairing

Matching the perfect wine with the perfect food to bring out the subtle, distinctive flavours of both is a delicate skill.

Chablis, “Terroir de Courgis”

Chablis, “Terroir de Courgis”

Here Constance Halaveli sommelier Cedric Jacobs selects his favourite wines and, with the help of executive chef at Halaveli Holger Joost, pairs them with a selection of delectable dishes.

1. Chablis, “Terroir de Courgis”, Patrick Piuze, 2010, France, Burgundy

I will always remember the first time I tasted this wine, I was in Bordeaux in 2011 for a famous wine exposition and a friend of Jerome Faure brought a few bottles from this producer to be blind-tasted. When the results came back, it was like I was back in school with my lecturer warning me that Chablis can be confused with wine from the Loire Valley due to the proximity of Terroir.

Courgis is the western city of the Chablis appellation and very close to Pouilly Fumé – a total confusion, yet an incredible discovery.

100 per cent Chardonnay – The hint of gunflint, citrus & exotic fruit and minerality could confuse the drinker with a Sauvignon Blanc. Showing an amazing purity in the mouth, a juicy, rich mineral wine with a perfect respect of the fruit.

Food Pairing:

Some time ago, the executive chef prepared prawns in 3 textures (seared, sous vide and tartar) served with mango salsa for me to taste. This would have been the perfect wine to drink to respect both of the wine and dish.

Chef Pairing:

Tiger Prawns in 3 textures (seared, sous vide and tartar) with mango and palm heart salsa curry emulsion.

VDP des Bouches du Rhône, Villa Minna

VDP des Bouches du Rhône, Villa Minna

2. VDP des Bouches du Rhône, Villa Minna, Red, 2007, France, Provence

This wine comes from the commune of Saint Cannat, a few kilometres from Aix-en-Provence and neighbour of the small village I am from, Ventabren. I discovered the wine from Jean Paul Luc 8 years ago when I started my sommelier formation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy to bring to the middle of the Indian Ocean. Eventually, the wines arrived and my love for them did not change at all.

A bold blend between Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Mourvèdre. The nose is crammed full of black cherry, almost kirsches, and dried fig aromas. After few minutes of aeration in the glass, violets, mixed Provençal herbs and spices are showing off. The mouth is fruitful and complex offering a beautiful freshness for a 2007 vintage showing that this wine still has guts to age even more.

Food Pairing:

Halaveli cheese selection – a selection of international cheeses with dried fruit, crackers & honey.

As a typical French man I cannot refuse a piece of cheese but being in the middle of the Indian ocean I do not have access to it that easily. I discovered here a Brie from Australia, the Jindi Triple Cream, battered more than a normal one and showing an incredible complexity. I could simply spend a whole night with friends pairing these two.

Waterkloof, Sauvignon Blanc

Waterkloof, Sauvignon Blanc

3. Waterkloof, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 – South Africa, Stellenbosh

I discovered this wine in October 2012 while visiting South Africa, more precisely the Cape Wine wine exposition in Cape Town. The first contact was with Paul Boutinot, the owner of the winery, and then his son Louis, who invited us to taste his wine.

The Waterkloof Sauvignon Blanc is one of my ‘Coup de Coeur’ of the year for the purity that is present in this wine. A rich and complex Sauvignon Blanc offering citrus fruit, vegetal and fennel aromas on the nose for a mineral, salty, and long lasting finish – a great complexity for an easy drinking wine.

Food Pairing:

Halaveli Sushi and Sashimi selection with pickled ginger and soy.

Minerality and saltiness lead me directly to products from the sea and one of my first experiences with the Waterkloof, and the most memorable, was with Japanese Food: Sushi, Sashimi, Californian Roll… This unctuous wine matched perfectly these Japanese specialties.

4. Mullineux, “Granit”, Syrah, 2010 – South Africa, Swartland

Like the Waterkloof, this was a discovery that happened in South Africa during my last trip. We were welcomed by Andrea and Chris Mullineux in a restaurant called “French toast” in the city of Cape Town.

The cuvée Granit is, for me, majestic. The nose offers beautiful black berries, olive, spices and meaty aromas. On the palate, the wine is fresh, lively and spicy with an amazing fruit – the feeling of literally biting into berries. A feminine, yet complex Syrah which deserves to be aged for couple of years, but can be enjoyed right now.

Food Pairing:

Tuna steak and caramelized foie gras, warm salad of Shimeji, Edamame and tomato, celeriac puree.

Living in the Maldives for the past few years, tuna, the meatiest fish of the Indian Ocean, has become one of my favourite dishes. To complement this amazing fish, The Mullineux Syrah is a perfect match, especially when the tuna steak is served with a typical olive tapenade, grilled Mediterranean vegetables and a celeriac purée.

Barolo, Attilio Ghisolfi

Barolo, Attilio Ghisolfi

5. Barolo, Attilio Ghisolfi, 2005 – Italy, Piedmont

My most recent trip was to Italy where we visited mostly the north of the country seeking out small yet amazing winemakers. I had already worked with the wines from Attilio Ghisolfi for the last 2 years (in fact, Jerome Faure discovered them during a tasting in Italy a few years back) but I wanted to meet the man behind the superb bottle.

Cherry, balsamic, olive and chamomile all together coming to your nose for an amazing mouthful, this 100 per cent Nebbiolo is similar to a Pinot Noir but with firm Tannin – This wine from Attilio Ghisolfi, after a long and delicate aging in the cellar, shows beautiful and melted tannins, with impressive fruit – Can be kept for aging for another 10 to 15 years.

Food Pairing:
Angus beef tenderloin, Asian spiced spinach, truffle potato and horseradish crème.

Red meat is the first dish that comes to my mind when having a bottle of Barolo in front of me. More exactly, a nice, juicy Angus beef tenderloin, served in its own jus with a homemade truffle potato purée and horseradish cream.

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Two-star Belgian chef Lionel Rigolet to cook for guests at Ephélia

At Constance Ephélia, we’re thrilled to be welcoming Michelin starred chef Lionel Rigolet to cook for guests on 19-20 July.

Cyann Restaurant at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles

Cyann Restaurant at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles

Guests dining at Ephélia’s signature restaurant Cyann will be guaranteed an exclusive gastronomic experience when the two-starred chef of Brussels’ Comme Chez Soi visits the resort.

Famous for its modern European cuisine using the highest quality, fresh local produce and cutting edge culinary techniques, Comme Chez Soi has been a high point of Belgian fine-dining since 1926.

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Recipe: Coconut cake

This Coconut cake recipe fits in nicely with the famous English “tea time”. A vital tradition, even in our part of the world. And there can be no “tea time” without cakes.

Coconut cake

Coconut cake

At Constance Halaveli, the coconut has a special flavour, far from the ersatz offerings sometimes encountered in Europe.

This simple little recipe will prove a delicious way of accompanying your lazy afternoon…

Ingredients

The coconut cake:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 150g flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar
  • 3g baking powder
  • 50g grated coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 175˚C. With a little melted butter, grease a Kouglof pan.
2. In a stainless steel bowl, or with an electric whisk, mix the butter and sugar until it forms a creamy paste.
3. Add the eggs one by one.
4. Pour the sifted flour, grated coconut, yeast powder and vanilla sugar over the mixture. Stir it into a smooth dough.
5. Put it into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes.

The coconut cream:

  • 125g brown sugar
  • 100ml liquid cream
  • 100g dried coconut
  • 140g butter
1. Make a light caramel with the sugar and then add the cream.
2. Bring it to the boil and then add the coconut and butter. Let it cook for a few minutes, before storing it at room temperature.

Finishing and presentation

Once the cake has cooled down, take it out of its mould and serve it with coconut cream.

Delectable wine dinner at Constance Moofushi

Executive chef at Constance Moofushi Stephen Wheeler and head sommelier Romain Sauzier have come together to create a unique wine pairing event.

Wine tasting at Constance Hotels & Resorts

Wine tasting at Constance

At the wine dinner on Friday 21 June, guests at the Blue Lounge will be served a sumptuous 5* menu with fine wines from around the world.

Highlights will include:

  • salad of smoked duck with white bean veloute served with a Stump Jump White, McLaren Vale, Sauvignon Blanc, Reisling, Marsanne, Rousanne, 2010 Australia
  • seared scallops in pancetta, poached leeks and foie gras butter sauce served with a Cloudy Bay, Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, New Zealand
  • roast angus beef fillet, celeriac cream, asparagus and morels served with Sud Ouest, Vin de Pays, Cuvee Sabourin, Syrah, 2011, France
  • brie and ruffle tian, camembert samosa, pear and raisin chutney served with Ken Forrester, Petit Chenin, Chenin Blanc, 2011, South Africa
  • lemon and mango crumble, coconut ice cream served with Muscat de Risevaltes, Mas Amiel, Muscat, 2010, France.

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Recipe: Mango and ginger ice cream

At Constance Lemuria we have several huge wild mango trees, heavily laden with ripe sun-drenched fruit.

Mangoes

Mangoes

This simple and delicious recipe was dreamt up by the pastry chef as he looked up at the trees.

Ingredients

The mango:

  • 1kg mangoes

The mango coulis:

  • 200g mango puree (made with the ripest)
  • 25ml Malibu

1. Peel the mangoes and cut them into large cubes. If you like you can mix them with seasonal fruits.
2. Pour the mango puree into a bowl and add the Malibu. Dilute it if necessary with fresh coconut water until you get the desired consistency.
3. Pass it through a sieve (mango coulis should be smooth) and store it to cool.

The ginger ice cream:

  • 125ml liquid cream
  • 250ml milk
  • 100g sugar
  • 75g honey
  • 50g ginger

1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
2. Sieve everything through a cheesecloth strainer and pour the contents into the ice cream maker.
3. Blend it until it reaches the desired consistency.
4. Make some little biscuits or cat’s tails as an accompaniment

Finishing and presentation

Place the mango cubes on the bottom of a plate, bowl or cup. Pour the mango coulis over them.

Finish it off with a dollop of ginger ice cream and some cat’s tails biscuits.

Food of Madagascar at Constance Tsarabanjina

One of the most lasting memories of a holiday are its flavours and nowhere is this more true than on the remote, exclusive Madagascan island of Tsarabanjina.

Madagascan lobsters at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina

Madagascan lobsters at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina

Flavours of Madagascar

Breathe in the scents of Constance Tsarabanjina and you’ll catch hints of cloves, vanilla, black pepper and nutmeg which make up the foundation of Malagasy cuisine.

Local produce at Tsarabanjina

We select the very best produce daily from the local market on Nosy Bé including the freshest spices, fruits and vegetables – luscious pineapples, mangoes and lime, plump pumpkins and vibrantly coloured sweet potatoes.

The fish our chefs prepare is caught off our shores by fishermen from the neighbouring island of Mitsio. Fishing with nets off traditional wooden pirogues, they use the same techniques that Malagasy fishermen have used for hundreds of years.

Fish for your own dinner

It is even possible to have your own pirogue fishing experience with our chefs on hand back on dry land to prepare and cook your very own catch-of-the-day.

For a unique culinary experience you could try lobster caught in the water just beyond your villa, prepared and grilled before your eyes and served to a secluded table for two on the rocks beside the ocean.

Dine on the beach at Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Dine on the beach at Tsarabanjina

Local chefs

Our chefs come with an innate understanding of the distinct flavours and traditions of Malagasy cuisine with its Southeast Asian, African, European and Chinese influences. They blend flavours and traditions to create an elegant, authentically Malagasy, 5-star dining experience.

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