Journalist Peter Bojesen reports from the 9th Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau in Mauritius.
To me, a seasoned travel journalist who covers food events in many countries, the highlight of the year is the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau held at the luxurious Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius.
I have just returned to the hotel after a splendid lunch, which marked the official opening of the 9th edition of the event. Six days lie ahead, filled with international bonding and sharing between six Michelin star chefs from six countries and six ‘island chefs’ from Constance Hotels.
Today’s lunch was held at Le Chassé, a charming hunting lodge, next to one of Constance’s two championship golf courses, The Links. Some 100 people took part, where the chefs had the opportunity to taste the Mauritian cuisine, and meet the sponsors, the organisers and their fellow competitors.
I am greatly impressed by the super ambiance that already exists between the six foreign chefs. In spite of being competitors, I hear a lot of laughter and see plenty of smiles. Around the lunch table I listened to the chefs talking about their passion of cooking, sharing ideas, comparing techniques, discussing new trends.
We sampled sea urchins, oysters, palm heart salad, different kinds of curry, fried prawns, Chinese style dumplings – even a sorbet in the colours of the Mauritian flag!
After all that I should be heading to the gym but a sun bed under a palm tree on the beach sounds much more inviting. It’s a question of character, I guess.
On Monday, there is a draw to decide on the teams. Then everyone sets off for the market in the capital Port Louis. I look forward to joining them – and to following their hard work during the coming days.
Find out more about the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.