Top 9 food trends for 2012

In the first of our Trends 2012 articles, our corporate chef Bruno Le Gac gives us an insight into what he believes will be the biggest food trends this year.

Bruno Le Gac

Bruno Le Gac

My big 3 predictions   

1. ‘New’ Chinese and Indian cuisine

Many young Chinese and Indian chefs will appear and experiment with the traditional ways of cooking and presenting their dishes.

New great chefs from Asia will start exporting their talents abroad and open restaurants across the globe under their name.

2. Tea food

 

Food associated with tea, food and tea pairing dinners should become more fashionable.

Guests are getting savvier about tea, and quality products and ranges have become more readily available. Tea sommeliers will become a reality very soon.

3. The Maitre D’

The concept of the Maitre D’ will come back, but with new codes and a modern approach. Service jobs will come back into the spotlight, and we’ll see new ways of doing things, more service competitions and even TV shows on service.

Celebrity Maitre D’s will become more famous, and will lead the way to attract younger people to learn. In other words what’s happened in the kitchen will now begin to happen in the dining room.

What the industry predicts will be big news in 2012

4. Homemade pasta and noodles

Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai…. 2012 will be the ‘year of noodles’

5. Insects

Insects are a great source of protein. They form part of the culinary tradition of many countries (Thailand, China, Mexico…). They could be a good alternative to meat and some say it would help release the pressure on our planet.

Some famous chefs such as celebrity Milan chef Carlo Cracco have already explored using insects on their menus.

Watch this space – for my part, I don’t think we’re quite ready for this yet.

6. Pure food

Food as natural as possible, with no artificial ingredients. We’ll see more ‘back to roots’ options prepared with very good quality products.

And general consumer trends, that continue to grow

Fresh produce

Fresh produce

7. Green, local and organic food

It’s been big for several years and I suspect the trend will continue to grow. Consumers are fed up with bad quality products and want to come back to the real thing. Home grown vegetable gardens will become even bigger, especially in cities.

8. Quality snacks, take away food, light bites

People have less time to eat, and want to enjoy easy food for lunch. Easy but still good and healthy. This is also true in hotels and resorts and I think we’ll see more and more casual outlets in hotels selling quality, light and tasty snacks.

9. Conviviality and human contact

Tired of watching bad news on TV? Family style dishes, portions to share, long tables and casual barbecues will become more popular.

People want contact and authenticity. Culinary classes, ‘do-it yourself’ sessions and more interaction on hotel buffets.

And now over to you…

Do you think insects will be gracing our plates in 2012?

Has organic food had its day?

We want to know what you think. You can post your comments on the blog below, to our Constance Facebook page or tweet @constancehotels.com

Regional and sustainable food at Constance – interview with Bruno Le Gac

We’re committed to working with local producers across the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar.

Bruno Le Gac in Madagascar
Bruno Le Gac in Madagascar

Find out how Constance Hotels supports regional food production and sustainable tourism in the second part of an interview with Bruno Le Gac on the website visitmauritius.com.au.

Recipe: 2012 CJ Cocktail

Celebrate the New Year with this cocktail from our barman C.J – Chrisjan Bartolata – at Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives.  

2012 C.J. Cocktail

2012 C.J. Cocktail

This delicious cocktail balances bitterness and spiciness – perfect for a party on New Year’s Eve.

Ingredients

  • 4cl Vodka
  • 2cl Crème de Cassis
  • 1cl Calvados
  • 1cl Lime Juice
  • Dash of Grapefruit bitter
  • 1 slice of Pineapple Fruit
  • 1 slice of ginger
  • 2 cl of Champagne Delamotte
  • Ice

What you need:

  • 1 shaker
  • 1 Martini Glass
  • 1 Strainer

1. Crush the pineapple fruit and the ginger together.
2. Add all the ingredients to the shaker with the crushed pineapple and ginger (except the champagne).
3. Add ice to the shaker.
4. Shake well and pour the cocktail through the strainer, into a martini glass. Top up with the champagne.
5. Garnish with stick of pineapple.

Do you have any great cocktail recipes you can share with us? You can post them to the blog below, or to our Constance Facebook page.

Happy New Year everyone!

New Year's Eve at Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives

Beach at Constance Halaveli Resort

Paradise at Halaveli

The New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner on Jahaz beach is the biggest event of the year at Constance Halaveli Resort.

Our chefs go all out to prepare the most delicious dishes imaginable, made from fresh produce and the finest ingredients brought from across the world.

Our culinary team cooks and prepares the food right there on the beach, so you can dine under the stars amidst a wonderfully convivial atmosphere.

Some of the highlights this year include:

  • 8 different varieties of seafood – Maldivian Lobster, King Prawns, Alaskan King Crab, Oysters, Sri-Lankan Mud Crabs, Scampi, Norwegian Scallops, Mussels
  • 30 different Extra Virgin Olive Oils
  • 10 different Balsamic Vinegars
  • 8 different types of Olives
  • 10 different Salts from 6 different countries of origin
  • Shawarama
  • Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi
  • Australian Lamb on a spit

    Beach buffet at Constance Halaveli Resort

    Beach dining at Halaveli

We’ll be offering the seafood smoked over New Zealand manuka wood chips.

Manuka is a bush that’s native to New Zealand. It’s most commonly found in New Zealand honey products and has many health benefits. By using the manuka woodchips as a smoking agent, it adds a soft smoky, almost sweet taste to the flesh of what is being smoked.

We’ll also be firing up our charcoal BBQ’s, and two Halaveli Tandoori Ovens.

Find out more about Constance Halaveli Resort:

And if you’re lucky enough to be at Constance Halaveli on New Year’s Eve, we’d love to see your photos. You can post them to our Constance Facebook page or tweet @constancehotels.

Rum in Mauritius

In Mauritius, fields of sugar cane can be seen all around the island.

Belle Mare Plage bartenders and our collection of rums

Belle Mare Plage bartenders and our collection of rums

The Constance group was originally involved in the culture of sugar cane, and later developed into the world famous hotel group that we know today.

Rum at Constance Belle Mare Plage

So it’s natural that Head Bartender at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Guillaume Graffeille, chose to pay tribute to the legendary beverage – rum.

Available at the main bar are more than 40 rums from French and British West Indies including the jewels of Martinique, probably the best rum in the World. There are also rums from Latin America, Asia, and of course Mauritius.

 

There’s a full range of rums, from those made out of the distillation of molasses, to the rums based on pure sugar cane juice, and of course the aged rums. These are proposed in different vintages: 5, 6 or 12 years old, and up to 25 years old for the rarest one.

Head bartender - Guillaume Graffeille

Head bartender - Guillaume Graffeille

All are raised in oak casks which allow a good exchange between the air and the rum and ensures the quality of the maturing process.

There are many ways of enjoying rum. It’s used in various classical and signature cocktails, enjoyed after dinner with a cigar or forms part of the composition of different punches or homemade ‘arranged’ rums.

Different flavoured rums

Constance Belle Mare Plage offers different flavoured rums, all with natural fruits: lychee, mango, passionfruit, pineapple, and so on but also with spices or even herbs: cinnamon, star anise, thyme, rosemary…

 

Chamarel Mauritian rum

Bottles of Chamarel Mauritian rums and homemade flavoured rums can be purchased at the resort. They are presented in special packaging and make the perfect present to be brought back home. Don’t miss it!

Recipe: Koko Kabana chocolate dessert

Today our corporate chef Bruno le Gac pays tribute to the executive pastry chef of Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles Mr Shahine Mohamad. Shahine is a man of talent, a man of passion… and a true gentleman. He is also an artist.

Shahine Mohamad (left) and Bruno le Gac

Shahine Mohamad (left) and Bruno le Gac

Here, he shares with us his latest creation: ‘Koko Kabana’, a Seychellois-inspired name for a truly delicious dessert.

It’s a complex recipe but if you’re an experienced cook looking for a delightful dessert to make for Christmas, this could be it.

And for everyone else, trying it is only a flight away… to the gorgeous island of Mahé!

The recipe

Banana Maple Compote

  • 300g fresh banana
  • 130g maple syrup
  • 30g freshly grated coconut
  • 1 piece orange zest  

1. Heat up the maple syrup in a sauté pan and let reduce to half. Then add the sliced banana, the freshly grated coconut and caramelise them until soft. Remove from heat and add the freshly grated orange zest. Let cool.

Koko Kabana

Koko Kabana

2. Chocolate Mousse

  • 240g egg yolk                                 
  • 100g whole eggs
  • 200g sugar
  • 100g water
  • 800g fresh cream
  • 800g chocolate 55 %  Valrhona Equatorial Noir
  • 8g gelatin leaves

1. Soak the gelatin in very cold water for 20 minutes. Boil the sugar and the water in a sauce pan and bring to 121˚C, meanwhile beat the eggs and the egg yolk with an electric mixer.
2. Pour the sugar syrup over the eggs slowly and keep mixing until it thickens and cools down.
3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler at 50˚C (water temperature)
4. Strain the gelatin from the cold water and melt in a sauce pan. Then fold in the egg/sugar mixture. Finally fold in the melted chocolate.
5. Whip the cream to a semi-whipped level then divide it into three portions. Mix the first portion vigorously into the mixture then slowly fold in the second portion. The third portion should be folded very carefully to keep the light texture.

Coconut Milk Jelly

  • 500g coconut milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 10g gelatin leaves

1. Soak the gelatin leaves in very cold water for 20 minutes then strain.
2. Boil 20% of the coconut milk with the sugar then add in the strained gelatin and mix until completely dissolved.
3. Pour in the rest of the coconut milk, then place in very small molds of 0.5 cm height and 3 cm diameter. Cool down in fridge.

Biscuit Breton

  • 300g butter
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 10g inverted sugar
  • 4g salt
  • 100g egg yolk
  • 250g flour T55
  • 10g baking powder
  • 50g almond powder

1. Beat in a mixer the butter, icing sugar, and inverted sugar until fluffy.
2. Gradually add in the egg yolk while continuously mixing.
3. Sift together the flour, salt and almond powder then fold them into the butter mixture.
4. Spread into a small tray of 0.5 cm height and bake at 170˚C for 25 minutes.Take out from oven and cut into cubes while still hot.

Coconut Milk Custard

  • 250g coconut milk
  • 50g egg yolk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 piece vanilla bean

1. Mix the coconut milk, sugar and egg yolk together then strain and place them in a double boiler. Add in the vanilla bean and stir until the temperature reaches 85˚C. Remove from heat, strain and cool down as quickly as possible.

Chocolate glaze

  • 140g water
  • 360g sugar
  • 240g cream
  • 120g cocoa powder 22/24
  • 12.5g gelatin leaves

1. Boil together the water, sugar and cream, then pour in the cocoa powder and bring to 107˚C. Remove from heat.
2. Soak the gelatin leaves in very cold water, then strain and fold them into the mixture.

Salted milk chocolate flakes

  • 200g milk chocolate Jivara 40%
  • 5g Fleur de Sel

1. Temper the chocolate. Stir in the fleur de sel then spread thinly on an acetate sheet.
2. Once it starts to thicken cut discs of 7cm diameter.

Assembly
1. Mask in a flexi pan mould dome of 7cm diameter with a layer of chocolate mousse to cover the surrounding, and leave a hole in the middle.
2. Place the caramelised banana in the centre and top with the coconut milk jelly. Then cover with another layer of chocolate mousse. Place the milk chocolate disc on top and shock in the freezer for 20 min.
3. Take out of the freezer, and remove from dome. Glaze with the chocolate glaze,and  decorate with pieces of salted milk chocolate flakes and isomalt if desired.
4. Place on a plate and surround with coconut milk custard, freshly grated orange zest and biscuit breton.