Interview with Nadia Periasammy, sommelier at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Nadia Periasammy is a sommelier at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius. Here she tells us what drew her to working as a sommelier, and how women are finding more opportunities in this traditonally male role.

Nadia Periasammy

Nadia Periasammy

1. What made you decide to become a sommelier, and how has your career developed?

I have never been so proud of my job since I met wine. I first discovered wine when I was in South Africa for a wine package trip. I met Mr Razvan Macici, the cellar master, who takes care of his winery to improve the quality.

He made us visit and taste many different varieties of wine. I was very impressed by the diversity and fascinating job behind all this, and I decided then to develop my career in this role.

2. What does your job involve?

I’d say, good knowledge in general about wine, making our guests feel comfortable, giving advice so guests can choose the right wine, and knowing which food pairs well with which wine.

3. What qualities do you need to be a good sommelier?

  • Good palate.
  • An ability to relate to people about wine.
  • A good follow up about the service.
  • Skill of understanding the customer.

4. In your experience, does a woman bring different qualities to the role?

Table setting at Le Prince Maurice

Table setting at Le Prince Maurice

Women are stepping up and creating a new breed of sommelier with a feminine touch.

Of course, there are still some people who are reluctant to accept the advice of a female sommelier but others find the presence of a female sommelier refreshing, less forceful and more accommodating. Women truly want to delight their guest.

5. Are there more opportunities for female sommeliers these days – how are things changing?

Yes there are definitely more opportunities for female sommeliers these days. Barriers seem to be coming down as women step up into a more prominent position in the wine world. Nowadays, female sommeliers are involved in choosing a fun and creative wine list to suit the restaurant.

Things are changing, and most men are accepting of this - encouraging women to learn more about wine. Women are now becoming certified as master sommeliers, bringing something new and much appreciated.

6. What do you most love about your job?

What I love most about my job is the good atmosphere and team spirit at Le Prince Maurice – people are always there to help and advise when I need it. We have a very interesting wine list.

As we are on a small tropical island, Mauritius, we get the chance to travel all around the world through our wine list. At Constance, we have a diverse choice of wines from different countries.

7. Can you give us your top tip for a great wine to try in 2012?

  • Cru – Beaucaillou 2nd Classified
  • Growth in 1855
  • Owner – Borie Family
  • Vintage – 2001

This wine embodies the elegant, subtle mineral aromas of raspberry.

The food experience – interview with Bruno Le Gac on Visit Mauritius

 

Bruno Le Gac

Bruno Le Gac

Are you passionate about fresh, top quality, locally sourced produce? So are we.

Bruno Le Gac, our Corporate Executive Chef, has given a great interview to the website visitmauritius.com.au.

Read about how we source the very best Australian beef to serve at our resorts, as well as wines. And find out more about the Australian chefs at Constance.

A foodie’s Christmas wish list – Staub cookware

If you’re looking for the perfect present for the foodie in your life, look out for top quality, quirky Staub cookware.

Staub cocotte

Staub cocotte

Bruno Le Gac, our Corporate Executive Chef, gives us the lowdown on the pick of the crop from their latest range.

Cast iron cocottes from brand Staub are great and absolutely beautiful. They exist in plenty of cool colours and can be used for anything you want.

  • Mini cocottes to serve individual garnishes or sauces, soufflés or desserts. Gorgeous!
  • Large cocottes to cook your traditional family stew or basically anything you want. Get it in white for a modern twist or in titanium grey for a ‘techno’ look!
Pumpkin cocotte from Staub cookware

Pumpkin cocotte from Staub cookware

  • The cow cocotte. Braised beef brisket with sweet chili, capsicum and rosemary. Served with polenta.
  • The heart cocotte. For a special romantic dinner. The good thing with cast iron is that you just slide the cocotte in a gentle oven and food cooks by itself.
  • The pumpkin cocotte. Ideal for a ginger-flavoured pumpkin soup with garlic croutons.
  • The rooster cocotte. Great to serve a whole chicken basted with herbs with an onion jus.

Looking for inspiration?

If you’re in the mood for cooking, check out our Constance recipes - we post a delicious recipe from the heart of the kitchens every Friday. And don’t miss our video showing you how to make puri bread.

 

A foodie's Christmas wish list – Staub cookware

If you’re looking for the perfect present for the foodie in your life, look out for top quality, quirky Staub cookware.

Staub cocotte

Staub cocotte

Bruno Le Gac, our Corporate Executive Chef, gives us the lowdown on the pick of the crop from their latest range.

Cast iron cocottes from brand Staub are great and absolutely beautiful. They exist in plenty of cool colours and can be used for anything you want.

  • Mini cocottes to serve individual garnishes or sauces, soufflés or desserts. Gorgeous!
  • Large cocottes to cook your traditional family stew or basically anything you want. Get it in white for a modern twist or in titanium grey for a ‘techno’ look!
Pumpkin cocotte from Staub cookware

Pumpkin cocotte from Staub cookware

  • The cow cocotte. Braised beef brisket with sweet chili, capsicum and rosemary. Served with polenta.
  • The heart cocotte. For a special romantic dinner. The good thing with cast iron is that you just slide the cocotte in a gentle oven and food cooks by itself.
  • The pumpkin cocotte. Ideal for a ginger-flavoured pumpkin soup with garlic croutons.
  • The rooster cocotte. Great to serve a whole chicken basted with herbs with an onion jus.

Looking for inspiration?

If you’re in the mood for cooking, check out our Constance recipes - we post a delicious recipe from the heart of the kitchens every Friday. And don’t miss our video showing you how to make puri bread.

 

Recipe: Chicken or beef stir fry with noodles

Chicken or beef stiry fry with noodles

Chicken or beef stiry fry with noodles

If you’re too busy partying this festive season to spend much time cooking, try this quick and tasty noodle dish from Constance Moofushi.

  • 400g rump steak or chicken
  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • 1/4 red, 1/4 yellow and 1/4 green bell pepper
  • 100g carrots
  • 50g Chinese cabbage
  • 50g bok choy
  • 3 tbsp dry sherry
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (not virgin or extra virgin varieties)
  • 500g fresh noodles

1. Cut the beef/chicken into thin strips, removing as much fat as possible during cutting.
2. Wash, drain and chop the spring onions. Slice the peppers. Julienne the carrots, and slice the Chinese cabbage. In a small bowl, combine the sherry and dark soy sauce and set aside.
3. Using a dry wok, heat the sesame seeds on medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally. Set aside.
4. Heat the olive oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the beef/chicken and brown until it is nearly cooked through (4 minutes max).
5. Add the spring onions, pepper, carrot, cabbage and bok choy into the pan. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add the sherry and soy sauce mixture and cook 2 minutes until the sauce has darkened.
6. Remove the wok from the heat and add the sesame seeds. Let the food stand in the wok while you are cooking the noodles.
7. Cook the noodles in 1 tsp of oil in a separate wok or non-stick pan for 2 minutes.
8. Eat straight away.

And don’t miss our post on the Top 5 most popular recipes on the Constance blog.

Pre-selections for Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival 2012

 

Island chefs in the kitchen at Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival 2011

Island chefs in the kitchen at Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival 2011

With just 4 months to go until the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival gets underway next March, chefs across our Constance resorts have been taking part in the final pre-selection event.

We can already tell that next year’s will be an exceptional festival, with one candidate taking part from each of our resorts.

In November, all candidates were tasked with preparing a starter and a main course, all using the same ingredients.

For the appetiser

  • Shrimps 21/25
  • Tomato
  • Olive oil
  • Bell pepper
  • Lemongrass

For the main course

  • Fillet of fresh red snapper
  • Sweet potato
  • Coconut milk
  • Ginger
  • Lemon

How the judging works

Members of the jury at Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival 2011

Members of the jury at Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival 2011

We created a panel of 4 jury members for the tasting and one ‘technical’ jury member in the kitchen for each of our resorts. The rules and regulations, the timing, and the ingredients were the same.

The task was for each candidate to express his technique and creativity, and aim to impress the jury members.

Judging criteria

Jerôme Manifacier & Ashley Ramasawmy

Jerôme Manifacier & Ashley Ramasawmy at 2011 festival

Criteria for the kitchen jury:

  • Hygiene (Grooming, work flow, cleanliness, respect of hygiene standards) – out of 20 points
  • Respect of culinary techniques – out of 20 points
  • Organisation – out of 20 points
  • Fair-play attitude – out of 20 points
  • Timing – out of 20 points

 Criteria for the tasting panel:

  • Presentation, smell, colour, attractiveness of the dish - out of 5 points
  • Best use of produce - out of 5 points
  • Texture, right degree of cooking, temperature – out of 10 points
  • Creativity, originality - out of 10 points
  • Taste - out of 20 points

As the day got underway, there was much excitement and enthusiasm in our kitchens. The result was impressive, as you can see from the photos.

What happens next

All candidates are now anxiously awaiting the results.

Once each hotel knows who will be representing them at the festival, intensive training will start in order to be ready for the big day in March.

Watch this space for more information. And don’t miss our previous articles on: