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).

Sugar jewelery and fashion shows: Culinary Festival update

Children model the sugar jewelery on the first night of the festival

Children model the sugar jewelery on the first night of the festival

On Sunday evening, at the end of the first day of the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival, the talented pastry chef at Constance Belle Mare Plage Hotel Resort prepared some fancy sugar jewelery for a show.

Children staying at the luxury hotel joined forces with employees to model the sugar jewelery at the hotel’s Mediterranean style restaurant.

Monday 14 was day two of the week-long Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau and saw our chefs drawing lots at the beautiful Blue Penny Café to match the six European chefs together with their local counterparts.

Chefs Mike North & Marcus Accouche at the Port Louis market

Chefs Mike North & Marcus Accouche at the Port Louis market

Once in their teams, they all headed off to the Port Louis market to immerse themselves into the Mauritian perfumes and discover the local products.

The aim of pairing European chefs with Island chefs is to encourage the sharing of knowledge between the two. By introducing the European chefs to local ingredients, they can find new ways of combining them in dishes never seen – or tasted – before.

After the markets, each of the chef teams begin to think of the dishes they are going to create for the competition.

Still to come on day 3 – opening cocktails and the first day trial!

Kick off of the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival

Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival participants arrive

Participants arrive at Domaine des Aubineaux

The 6th edition of the popular Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival kicked off yesterday (Sunday 13th March) at the Constance Belle Mare Plage hotel in Mauritius.

Excitement mounted as participating chefs arrived at the beautiful Domaine de Aubineaux for their week long festival and competition.

Spices Presentation, Culinary Festival, Constance Hotels

The participating chefs are introduced to local spices

The day began with a visit to the Bois Chéri Museum and Factory and lunch, which was hosted by Jacqueline Dalais.

Chefs experienced some local rum, learned about the spices from the area, as well as palm hearts, anthuriums and vanilla plantations.

Today was a gently warm up so everyone could get to know each other and settle into their luxury, beautiful surroundings. Tomorrow, the competition will truly get started as the participants will visit the Belle Mare Plage’s Blue Penny Cafe and draw lots to decide on the 6 teams. After this they will visit the Port Louis Market in preparation for testing their new recipes on Tuesday!

Download a PDF to learn more about the Constance Hotels Chefs who have organised the festival.

You can also download a PDF to discover more about the Island Chefs and the European Chefs.

Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival – only two days to go!

Lobsters

Lobsters - part of a winning dish?

Excitement is mounting with only two days to go until the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival at the Constance Belle Mare Plage Resort in Mauritius.

A gathering of passionate professional chefs from across the Indian Ocean, the festival is a competition and a celebration of fine cuisine.

The event, running since 2006, is now an established celebration in the gastronomic industry calendar in Mauritius.

Constance Belle Mare Plage itself is a natural park of 150 hectares located on one of the most beautiful beaches of the Mauritian east coast. This renowned resort is also known for its two famous 18-hole championship golf courses.