Art de Vignes – Moofushi's Wine Promotion

Art de Vignes Wine Makers enjoying Moofushi

Art de Vignes Wine Makers enjoying Moofushi

From 21 to 23 March this year, Constance Moofushi Resort Maldives welcomed the wine growers of Art de Vignes for a wine promotion.

In collaboration with Jerome Faure (Head Sommelier of Constance Hotels Experience), Constance Moofushi Resort Maldives and his Sommeliers Team organised wine tasting and special evenings for our guests.

What is art de vignes?

Art de vignes is an association of passionate, dedicated wine growers. They follow tradition while supporting the evolution of the world of wine:

  • Marie-Therese & Jacky Barthelme – Albert Mann (Alsace)
  • Anne et Olivier Decelle – Chateau Jean Faure (Saint Emilion) and Mas Amiel (Maury)
  • Alphonse Mellot – Domaine de la Moussiere & Alphone Mellot Wines (Sancerre)
  • Stephanie & Thomas Perrin – Chateau de Beaucastel (Chateauneuf Du Pape)
  • Marie & Thierry Germain – Domaine des Roches Neuves (Saumur)
  • Jean Marc Boillot (Burgundy);
  • Christine Vernay & Paul Amsellem – Domaine Georges Vernay (Condrieu, Cote Rotie)

Record breaking row across the Indian Ocean

The crew getting ready to row across the Indian Ocean

The crew getting ready to row across the Indian Ocean

Constance Hotels Experience is delighted to be on the key sponsors of the 3100 rowing race from Australia to Mauritius this year.

In just 6 days time, 11 people are going to undertake the monumental – and potentially record-breaking task of rowing boats across the Indian Ocean.

Sponsor the 3100 team here.

The team plans to row the 3100 miles from Australia to Mauritius in less than 68 days, 19 hours and 40 minutes. The scale of the challenge is immense: only eleven boats have so far successfully completed the crossing. They are also rowing without the usual aid of a support vessel.

Rowing the Indian Ocean

Some of Team Indian Ocean 3100

Starting out in Geraldton, Western Australia on 17th April, the expedition will see the four man crew suffer extreme fatigue, mental stress and intense isolation.

They risk crippling sores and the countless dangers involved in crossing a great Ocean in a small open craft. The adventurers will have minimal help from winds and currents, so will need to row in 2 hour shifts for 24 hours a day for almost ten weeks to complete their mission.

Dorset army officer James Kayll who serves with the Light Dragoons will be joined by Tom Kelly, and by brothers Oliver and Ed Wells. Capt Kayll has completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan, and will be raising money for the Light Dragoons and also for the charity set up in memory of a close friend who was killed in action ‚ The Mark Evison Foundation.

Our Communications Manager, Kelly Desiree, said: ‘We are very proud to be supporting such a great challenge and at the same time helping to raise money for two worthwhile charities. We wish the team the very best of luck and look forward to welcoming them to Mauritius at the end of their journey!’

Awards! We win Best Golf Course & Best Hotel Worldwide!

Award winning golf course at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Award winning golf course at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Given the excitement of the Masters 2011 last week, we are even more proud to announce that we have won two amazing awards for one of our fantastic resorts in Mauritius: Constance Belle Mare Plage, following on from the previous two year’s success.

We received both the bronze medal in both the ‘Best Golf course worldwide’ and ‘Best Hotel worldwide’ categories at the annual Golf Journal Travel Awards!

What makes it more special is that it was voted for by the readers of Golf Journal magazine, who placed both the hotel itself and the ‘The Legend’ golf course third in the categories ‘Best Hotel worldwide and Best Golf course worldwide’ respectively.

As Constance Lémuria Resort in the Seychelles was last years’ winner of the ‘Best Hotel worldwide’ award, it is an honour for Constance Hotels Experience to be awarded for a second year running.

Award winning golf course and hotel

Mr Patrice Binet-Décamps, Managing Director of Constance Hotels Experience, received both awards at the tourism fair ITB held in Berlin recently.

Mr Binet-Décamps said that the hotel group was happy to once again be honoured by the Golf Journal Travel Awards, as it served as confirmation that the customer’s demands were being met.

He also mentioned that the awards would challenge the group to uphold and even improve their current exacting standards.

The luxurious five-star resort, which is located on the eastern coast of Mauritius, has been awarded several prizes.

  • The exceptional architecture of the Constance Belle Mare Plage blends comfortably with the exotic tropical gardens surrounding it.
  • The 92 Prestige Rooms, 137 Junior Suites and 6 Deluxe Suites of the hotel are embellished with materials like marble, wood and glass.
  • 20 private villas each have their own pool, as does the exclusive Presidential villa, which is situated directly on the beach – mere steps away from the warm sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean.

Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival winners are crowned!

Winning Starter

The winning starter!

As you know from our previous daily updates, last week saw the Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius host the 6th annual Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival.

And now it’s time to find out which talented chefs won the overall competition.

The winners of the 6th Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival - Serge and Harrish

The winners of the 6th Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival - Serge and Harrish

And the winner is…

Serge Vieira, the Michelin-starred chef of the “Serge Vieira” restaurant in Chaudes- Aigues, France, alongside his competition partner, the Chef de Partie at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mr Harrish Mungur.

The delicious winning menu was composed of a heart of palm starter with tuna, hot mango, lemon grass sauce and grilled peanuts. The main course, Bourgeois, was cooked at low temperature then lacquered alongside crispy lime, cannelloni of Mauritian chards and ripe banana with preserved lemon.

Worthy second place winners

Worthy second place winners

Second place went to Xabi Ibarboure from ‘La Table des Frères Ibarboure’ in France and his festival partner Saroj Singh Magar Darlami from the Constance Halaveli Resort in the Maldives.

Third place went to Mike North from ‘The Nut Tree Inn’ in the UK alongside Marcus Accouche from the Constance Lémuria Resort, Seychelles.

The Culinary Festival

The week itself was a unique exchange between 6 European chefs, all holders of a Michelin star and six chefs from the Constance Hotels Experience group: Constance Belle Mare Plage, Constance Le Prince Maurice, Constance Ephélia Resort, Constance Lémuria Resort and Constance Halaveli Resort. Links to more information about these hotels are on the right.

The key objective of the Culinary Festival was to support the exchange of experience and knowledge between the participating professionals and to celebrate their common passion for the love of cooking and the art of the table.

New competitions added this year

While the main event was the culinary contest, this year saw several new internal competitions added, also.

There was a cocktail competition on 14th March, won by Jonathan Nazira from the Constance Belle Mare Plage using Gabriel Boudier and Bernard Loiseau liquors. Each of the European chefs was asked to choose the best mixologist from six barmen from Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice. The winning cocktail was served at the Prize Giving ceremony.

Mrs Rajeshwaree Ramphul  won the new ‘Art of the Table’ competition which was held on 15th March where the wives of the European chefs went to the Deer Hunter restaurant with Dominique Loiseau and selected the most beautifully prepared table in a competition between 6 of Constance Belle Mare Plage’s head waiters.

The 16 March saw Mr Jay Bissoondoyal  win another new feature of the festival – the Centrepiece Competition. The themes were ‘Elegance lies in Simplicity’ and ‘Mother of Pearls and Stardust’.

Wine competition

As if that wasn’t enough, there was a wine competition on 18 March, where 6 Mauritian wine waiters explained their choice of wine to match with the dinner served by the European chefs. The winner for this competition was Mr Jorald Julie, sommelier of Constance Le Prince Maurice.

The latter also came second in the examination as “Wine Waiter Advisor” at the famous wine university of Suze la Rousse, in the Rhône Valley in 2008.

First tasting session at Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival

Tuesday and the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival stepped up a gear! Our teams of chefs were tasked with developing dishes in keeping with the Constance Hotels Experience’s spirit:

Reinvent a delicate cuisine, where the culinary traditions of the Indian Ocean islands simmer and blend with flavours from Asia, Africa and Europe

The European chefs aim to pass knowledge and experience to the talented Mauritian cooks in a culinary exchange that will develop original recipes while keeping a Mauritian focus.

Meet the teams of chefs >

sponsors ddf enterprise and gourmet emporium enjoy opening cocktail

Sponsors DDF Enterprise and Gourmet Emporium enjoy an opening cocktail

The first trial on Tuesday involved the preparation and testing of the new recipes created by the teams.

The dishes were anonymously presented to our team of judges who tested them.

This hard day’s trial was topped off with a cocktail evening attended by sponsors, organisers and chefs alike.

Still to come:

Wednesday 16th March
Second trial day for the teams allowing them to perfect the dishes to be presented on the final day of the competition.

Thursday 17th March
The Final! The European Chefs withdraw from their respective teams, leaving the Island Chefs to prepare the dishes perfected with their counterpart on their own.

Friday 18th March
A 6-Star dinner at the Blue Penny Cafe Restaurant. During this evening the 6 Chefs will demonstrate their culinary talent and each one will prepare one of the 6 dishes – thus a 6-star menu! This will be presented to any guests of the hotel interested in sampling the extraordinary and collaborative menu.

Saturday 19th March
The winner’s will be announced!

Sunday 20th March
The European Chefs will get the change to demonstrate their culinary talent!

The chef teams are chosen for the festival!

The lots have been drawn and the teams of chefs have been chosen for this year’s amazing Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival at the Constance Belle Mare Plage Hotel in Mauritius.

European chefs have been paired with talented island chefs to share knowledge and experience in a culinary exchange that will develop original recipes while keeping a Mauritian focus.

Our chef teams this year are:

mike north and marcus accouche

Mike North and Marcus Accouche

Mike North and Marcus Accouche
Marcus joined Constance Lémuria Resort as Commis in May 2008 and he has already participated in 5 internal competitions in pastry and cuisine. He won a gold medal in September 2010 and he is very proud to represent Constance Lemuria Resort in this year’s festival. He really wants to bring back the trophy to his home island of Seychelles!

Passionate about cuisine, Marcus spends a lot of time scouring the Internet for new ideas and inspiration to expand his culinary skills. He is coupled with Mike North, chef and proprietor (along with his fiancée, Imogen Young) at The Nut Tree Inn, in Murcott, Oxfordshire, UK.

Mike’s philosophy for food is to buy the best possible ingredients, cook them respectfully and intelligently, and give the diner a sense of simplicity – allowing the flavours to be as natural as possible. In 2008 Mike was awarded a Michelin Star for his efforts.

serge vieira and harrish mungur

Harrish Mungur and Serge Vieira

Harrish Mungur and Serge Vieira
Harrish is representing the Constance Belle Mare Plage. He is insatiable when it comes to food – especially pastry! He is a calm and serene worker with an excellent sense of organisation. This is a real challenge for him and his goal is to win the trophy!

Harrish is teamed with Serge Vieira, chef at the restaurant Chaudes-Aigues in France. Serge won the first competition he entered, Jean Botio’s ‘Auvergne-Quebec’ in 1997. He then tried the “Artistic National Competition of Cooking” under the advice of Régis Marcon, to further improve his techniques. He walked away with first prize yet again. He was awarded his first Michelin star and a nomination for a second star only 8 months after opening his own restaurant.

Jerome Manifacier and Ashley Ramasawmy

Jerome Manifacier and Ashley Ramasawmy

Ashley Ramasawmy and Jerome Manifacier
Ashely represents the Constance Le Prince Maurice. Ashley says: ‘I will play the game as seriously as my opponents to win and bring the trophy back to honour Constance Le Prince Maurice and my team’. His dedication and hard work since joining the Constance team in 2009 ensured he was asked to participate in the 2011 Culinary Festival.

Ashley is joined by Jerome Manifacier, chef at the restaurant Vertig’o at the Hotel De La Paix in Geneva, Switzerland. Jerome Manifacier has more than 20 years of experience behind him. He said: “I was lucky because in general my employers were quick to trust me. I met extraordinary Chefs such as Maurice Duplay. On the morning of my first day I was cutting vegetables, and by the evening I was cooking!”

Thomas Herman and Keeshan Shibchurn

Thomas Herman and Keeshan Shibchurn

Keeshan Shibchurn and Thomas Herman
Like Harrish, Keeshan is also representing the Belle Mare Plage Hotel. He’s passionate about fusion cooking and is very creative, constantly expanding his knowledge. This will be the third time that he is taking part in the Culinary Festival. As one of the finalists in 2009, Keeshan is determined to win first prize this year!

Thomas Herman joins Keeshan for the Festival. He’s chef of the Restaurant Herman in Copenhagen, Denmark. In March 2009, chef Thomas and his staff were honoured with the greatest recognition a restaurant can hope for when they were awarded a Michelin star. In November 2009, Restaurant Herman was voted ‘Restaurant of the Year’ by the Danish Michelin equivalent, the ‘Gudme Raaschou Spiseguide’.

Xabi Ibarbourne and Sarojsingh Darlami

Xabi Ibarbourne and Sarojsingh Darlami

Saroj Singh Magar Darlami and Xabi Ibarbourne
Saroj Singh is representing the Constance Halaveli Resort. This is the first year that the Maldivian resort has participated in the culinary festival Bernard Loiseau and Nepalese Saroj is very proud and excited to be taking part.

Xabi joins Sarojsingh from La Table and l’Hostellerie des Frères Ibarboure in Bidart, France.  Xabi grew up among steaming pots, tantalizing aromas, noisy furnaces and the intrinsic stress that seems to go hand in hand with being a chef. He and his wife Soline joined the family business and Xabi enhances his father’s delicious menu with his own distinctive and modern techniques.

Hans Horberth and Aviraj Parreague

Hans Horberth and Aviraj Parreague

Aviraj ‘Virage’ Parreague and Hans Horberth
Aviraj is representing the Contance Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles. His nickname ‘Virage’ was given to him by Chef Michel Portos during the first edition of the Culinary Festival in 2006 and has stuck with him ever since. Aviraj does not stop practicing and learning. He has won several medals in internal competitions. Most notably at the annual ‘Black Box Competition’, where he successively won the bronze, silver, and finally the gold medal in 2008. In 2006, he won third place in the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Aviraj is joined by Hans Horberth, chef at La Vision Restaurant in Koln, Germany. In 1999, Michelin awarded him his first Michelin star at the Hotel in Bad Laasphe Jagdhof Glashütte, a star which he has been able to keep at Villa Merton in Frankfurt as well as his current restaurant in Cologne where he works since 2008. Hans Horberth cuisine is characterised by a very individual style of modern classic and is one of the most famous and innovative Chefs in Germany (Diners Award 2010).