Constance Belle Mare Plage celebrates Divali 2011

Guests and staff enjoyed a beautiful evening at Constance Belle Mare Plage on Tuesday 25 October, to celebrate Divali, the festival of lights.

Special dishes and decorations

Special dishes and decorations

Our chefs prepared special dishes for the evening, with traditional table decorations created from coloured rice.

Celebrations took place at Indigo and Citronelle restaurants.

The name Divali comes from the word Deepavali, which means ‘row of lamps’.

Divali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil.

Don’t miss more lovely photos of Divali at Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice on our Constance Facebook page.

Preparing for the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival 2012

Preparations are well under way already for the 7th Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival, due to take place in March next year.

Gala evening 2011

Gala evening 2011

Bruno Le Gac, our Corporate Executive Chef, gives us an insight into the organisation behind what’s become the most prestigious culinary event in the Indian Ocean.

On the last day of the Festival Culinaire, we’ve already started thinking ahead to next year’s event…

The festival has been extremely successful since it began in 2005. Every year, we work harder than ever to make the next edition even more memorable than the last.

What’s new for 2012?

In 2012, guests will be more involved in the competition, so they really feel the excitement of the competing teams. They’ll feel the anticipation and suspense ‘live’, like on the competitive cookery shows on TV.

Planning next year’s festival

At the end of each festival, we have a debrief with the organisation team to discuss which parts of the program to keep, what needs to be adjusted and what innovations we should introduce to the next festival. From this discussion, we begin to write the programme of events.

The internal organisation in the hotel is a huge task. Chef Dominique Grel and his team have become experts at this. But it’s always a lot of work and requires great dedication.

Choosing who takes part

Then we have to think about who’s going to take part.

The judges and the winners 2011

The judges and the winners 2011

The European chefs

It’s a difficult alchemy to pull off because the professionals that we invite need to connect and share something special together. It’s all about harmony.

Being a food-lover, I like to describe the sense of competition as being akin to chilli. A touch of it is nice to bring a bit of zing, but too much is overpowering and counter-productive…

There’s now a large family of chefs all over Europe who have become friends through the event, and who meet up regularly.

The judges

The choice of the jury members is also extremely important. They must be well respected professionals who can all get along well, even if they have different backgrounds and ideas about what makes a great dish.

The island chefs

Last but not least, we need to select the candidates from our hotels. For the first time this year, we’ll have participants from 6 of our resorts. The process has already begun.

  • First step is a questionnaire.
  • Second is a practical task where the chefs have to create two classical recipes ‘from the book’. No innovation required – it’s all about technical ability and precision.
  • Third and last step is a competition with two recipes to make. The ‘basket’ of ingredients is the same for all chefs, and they are free to prepare anything they want out of it. We want to see technique of course, but mainly we’re looking for talent, creativity, taste and elegance.

The winners earn the right to represent their hotel, their colleagues and their country during the final event that takes place in Mauritius in March.

Let the show begin!

Find out more

Don’t miss our article about the spirit of the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival.

And if you want to know more about the event, get in touch with us. You can get in contact with us via Twitter, post photos to Facebook or use the comments section below.

Recipe: Chicken Tandoori Marinade

Cumin seeds

Cumin seeds

This week Siddq, our Sous Chef at Jahaz Restaurant, Constance Halaveli, brings you his special homemade recipe for Tandoori Chicken Marinade.

Ingredients

  • 1 large chicken
  • 5g cumin seeds
  • 5g coriander seeds
  • 20g garam masala
  • 8g chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
     

1. Pre-heat your oven to 220 C
2. Prepare the ground cumin and coriander. Take your cumin and coriander seeds and toast over a medium heat until the spices become very fragrant and brown a little. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. When the toasted spices have cooled grind them in a pestle and mortar to a fine powder, reserve until needed.
3. Make the garlic and ginger paste - simply puree 50% fresh peeled ginger and 50% fresh peeled garlic. Mix together. This keeps for up to 7 days in the fridge if stored in an air tight container.
4. Blend all the ingredients from the recipe together, season to taste with salt and pepper, reserve.
5. Take 1 large chicken and completely remove the skin. Make 3 slices diagonally across both breasts and thighs approx 5 mm deep. This helps the marinade to penetrate and also ensures that your chicken will cook evenly. Then coat the chicken well with your Tandoori marinade.
6. Place chicken on a tray in the oven and leave until the edges almost blacken, when you see this colour change, lower the oven temperature to 180C and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the meat has reached 74 C. When cooking chicken, allow 20 minutes per 500g + an additional 20 minutes at the end.
7. Alternatively, you can cook the chicken on the BBQ.

Every Friday we publish tasty recipes from the Indian Ocean. If you’ve got a favourite dish from your holidays with Constance Hotels, get in contact with us and let us know which recipe you want us to feature next.

You can get in contact with us via Twitter, post photos to Facebook or use the comments section below.

Michelin star chef Serge Gouloumès visits Constance Lémuria and Ephélia

Chef Serge Gouloumes

Chef Serge Gouloumes

World class Chef Serge Gouloumès is cooking up a feast at our resorts in the Seychelles this week.

The Michelin star chef from Relais & Châteaux, Le Mas Candille in Mougins, France is visiting Constance Lémuria and Constance Ephélia from 17-21 October. Restaurant Candille is known as one of the best restaurants on the Cote d’Azur.

Special menus are being prepared at Lémuria and Ephélia, so guests can experience Serge Gouloumès’ culinary talent and passion for cooking.

Here’s a taste of what’s on offer this week: 

Monday 17 October 2011

Candlelit dinner at the Seahorse restaurant

  • Amuse Bouche 
  • Candille Foie Gras Tatin with Armagnac
  • Rock lobster roasted in its shell, simmeredSoissonsbeans smoked with tarragon
  • Exotic ilot, coconut caviar flavoured with vanilla, marinated & roasted Victoria pineapple, mango sorbet on chocolate notes

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Constance Lemuria Seahorse restaurant

Constance Lemuria Seahorse restaurant

Gala dinner at the Seahorse restaurant

  • Amuse Bouche
  • Braised white cabbage leaves, flacked crab, full-flavoured sea juice
  • Scallops skewer, celery mash with lardo di Colonata, Parmigiano Reggiano crisps
  • Glazed slab of Angus fillet, tataki sauce, butternut squash cubes, grilled leek, fried onions
  • Hazelnut macaroon, white chocolate ganache with winter truffle, caramelised pecan nuts, praline ice cream

Thursday 20 & Friday 21 October 2011

Constance Ephelia, Cyann restaurant

Constance Ephelia, Cyann restaurant

 

Dinner at Cyann restaurant

  • Amuse Bouche
  • Egg in truffle surprise, wild mushroom duxelles, chervil foam
  • Scallops skewer, sweet chestnut biscuit and purée, braised endives with mandarin juice
  • Duckling fillet in mild spiced glaze, wok-sautéed vegetables with coriander
  • Exotic ilot, coconut caviar flavoured with vanilla, marinated & roasted Victoria pineapple, mango sorbet on chocolate notes 

Friday 21 October 2011

Special lunch at Cyann restaurant

Four hands special menu by the Chefs Serge Gouloumès and Denis Jean-Jacques.

•        Surprise menu

Recipe: Ginger-flavoured peanut chatini

Fresh root ginger

Fresh root ginger

This delicious chatini is similar to a chutney. Super tasty, it’s very quick and easy to prepare. Serve with tropical fish and meat dishes, particularly curries.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 400g shelled peanuts, skins removed
  • 250g watermelon flesh
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5 sprigs coriander
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • salt and pepper

1. Toast the peanuts for 10 minutes in a 180ºC oven.
2. Gather all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend into a smooth paste. Check seasoning.
3. Store in the fridge until needed.

This recipe appears in our book, ’100% Mauritius – 52 recipes from the Prince Maurice’. You can buy the recipe book from our online store.

How to: aerate and decant wine

Our Head Sommelier at Constance, Jérome Faure, takes you through the steps to aerate and decant wine.

Decanted wine

Decanted wine

There’s a French word, carafage, which you probably won’t find in any dictionary even though it’s regularly used by wine experts and enthusiasts. For some, it simply means ‘pouring the contents of a bottle into a carafe’.

There are 2 ways that explain the why and how of carafage – to aerate (or let wine breathe) and to decant.

Aerating wine

Aerating is used with a young wine. Some wines need to be allowed to breathe to be at their best. Full-bodied young wines as well as certain types of wine made from particular grape varieties such as chardonnays, rieslings and pinots (blanc and gris) need to be aerated so they can flourish.

There are other wines that don’t need aerating, such as sauvignons. Wines with an oaky flavour and wines with a musty taste (gout de reduit) benefit from being transferred into a carafe, as do wines with a slight effervescence.

Aeration is also good for wines that taste strongly of tannin, to soften its impact.

Decanting wine

White wine in a glass

Letting the wine breathe

Decanting is used for wines of a certain age (usually 10 years or older) to separate the liquid from any sediment, or solid particles.

But decanting aged wine isn’t always appropriate because some old wines simply can’t take the process. The purpose of decanting isn’t oxygenation, quite the opposite in fact.

Choosing the right carafe

Even though some people are of the opinion that only red wines need decanting – when in fact white wines may need it more often – it’s always good to bear in mind that each wine is unique and requires a particular kind of carafe.

For aerating wine, it’s best to use a carafe with a broad base and a wide neck so that the wine has plenty of contact with the air. The more full-bodied the wine, the more important aeration becomes – so the carafe should be flatter and broader. The aim is to bring the wine into contact with the air.

However, an old wine needs to be handled with care, and requires a carafe with a narrow neck and fairly narrow base.

When choosing a carafe, also ask yourself these questions:

  • will the shape of the neck allow you to pour the wine easily into a glass?
  • is it a carafe that can be easily handled?
  • will the carafe be easy to wash and dry?
  • is it a carafe that will be really stable when filled with wine and placed on the table?

Find out more

If you’ve got any specific questions about this topic, you can contact us via Twitter, Facebook or use the comments section below.