Top sommelier Enrico Bernardo inspires the Constance team

Enrico Bernardo, named Best Sommelier in the World in 2004, was on this year’s Jury for the 7th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Enrico Bernardo

Enrico Bernardo

While in Mauritius, Enrico took the opportunity to talk to our sommeliers about his work. A real inspiration to the team, he talked about his earlier career as a chef and how it led him to become a sommelier.

‘Anyone can become a sommelier. You have to want to learn -  above all about appellations, terroirs and the history of the country.’

This is a humble man who has passed his dream and passion for his work onto our sommeliers.

Enrico Bernardo’s rise to success as a world class sommelier

  • 1993 – Best Young Chef in Europe
  • 1995 – Prix Master de Port Italie
  • 1996 et 1997 – Best Sommelier in Lombardy
  • 1996 et 1997 – Best Sommelier in Italy
  • 1998 et 2000 – Second in Best Sommelier in Europe
  • 2002 – Best Sommelier in Europe
  • 2004 – Best Sommelier in the World

Menu: Easter Monday at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Guests staying at Constance Le Prince Maurice are in for a treat on Easter Monday when dining at the delightful L’Archipel.

L'Archipel

L'Archipel

First rate chef Michael Scioli has prepared a menu of Easter inspired delicacies and surprises. Each course is perfectly complemented with a specially selected champagne or wine.

Creamy egg with tarragon, wild mushroom mousse
Champagne Deutz, Brut Classic

Easter egg with foie gras and cocoa chocolate, tangy seasonal fruits and vegetables
Vin de Constance, Klein Constancia Constancia, 2006

Roasted stuffed Easter lamb leg, piperade and preserved potato, thyme juice
Saumur-Champigny, ‘Les Terres Chaudes’, Thierry Germain, 2008  

Dessert and Easter egg buffet
Poiré, ‘Granit’, Eric Bordelet

Christopher Barber shares the moment the winner of Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau is announced

The pinnacle of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau is the prize giving ceremony.

David Johansen and Ankur Daru

David Johansen and Ankur Daru

After a glorious sunny day, the rain returns just as the ceremony is to begin. Mauritians always have a Plan B, and without any fuss we move indoors into the main bar. There is tension, but this feels like a genuine celebration of the week’s culinary highs and the new friendships made.

It is not all about the chefs – winners are announced for cocktail, wine matching and table setting categories.

However cuisine is king for this week, and the winners are announced.

David Johansen and Ankur Daru take this year’s crown, and it is a well deserved success.

In my opinion, there may have been better individual dishes than those created by our winners. However, David and Ankur showed us something which captured the spirit of the festival. Theirs was a true collaboration - the Nordic and Indian influences both prevailed creating an admirable and equal fusion.

This was not just a European master presiding over his Island apprentice, and their obvious bond made a heart warming and quite obviously special relationship.

The evening was celebrated with yet another highlight - a 3* dinner created by the wonderful Patrick Bertron.

Dancing and partying rounded off a truly magnificent day.

Read more about the winners of Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Winners announced at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

David Johansen, the Michelin-starred chef of Kokkeriet restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark is the winner of the 7th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau. His partner is the Chef de Partie, Ankur Daru of Constance Ephélia Resort, Seychelles.

Watch their acceptance speech on video on Ile Maurice Tourisme website.

David Johansen and Ankur Daru (left)

David Johansen and Ankur Daru (left)

The winning menu:

  • Starter – Shrimps with crispy rice and curry leaves, jellyfied mango chutney, coconut milk with shrimps and curry leaves oil
  • Main course - Marinated lamb in spiced bread, coconut curry sauce, chayote leaves, passion fruits glazed carrots, pickles of pumpkin and onions, lamb coriander juice.

2nd place:
Angela Hartnett, Restaurant Murano, London, United Kingdom and Kamlesh Doorjean, Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

3rd place:
Dominique Gauthier, Restaurant Le Chat Botté, Beau Rivage, Geneva, Switzerland and Jayram Seenanum, Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

 

4th Place: (shared by)
Patrick Bittner, Restaurant Français, Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof, Frankfurt, Germany and Nuwan Hettiarachchi, Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives

Fabrice Biasiolo, Restaurant Une Auberge en Gascogne, Astaffort, France and Ravish Mukri, Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives

Jacques Decoret, La Maison Decoret, Vichy, France and Hildy Sinon, Constance Lémuria Resort, Seychelles

Visit our Constance Facebook page for more photos from the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Christopher Barber on competition day at Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

The day of the competition is filled with tension and drama.

Dominique Loiseau, Jean Jacques Vallet, Gert Puchtler and European chefs at Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

European chefs, Constance team and Dominique Loiseau

The European chefs have given the final briefing and words of encouragement to their Island partners, now it is down to them. We members of the Jury, ourselves a ‘Creole’ of nationalities, gather in expectation.

Whilst it is a competition, there is an overriding sense of camaraderie. the dishes leaving the kitchen are met with roars of approval from the European chefs, friends, family and supporters gathered at the kitchen door.

It is apparent that it is not the best chef or even the best dish which will win. Rather it is the best team which will shine through - those who have embraced the spirit of sharing knowledge and friendship.

This year’s dishes are difficult to separate, they are all of the highest standard.

The Jury have some tough decisions, and the debate rages for longer than ever before in their post degustation debrief. Cuisine is subjective, and even the jury members from the same country are divided on opinion. It is the most fascinating exchange of culinary wisdom.

Finally, a clear winner and runners up are established. The Jury are at one with the decision and are content that they have made the right choices. Only then are the identity of the teams revealed to the Jury… and they have to keep a secret until the prize giving on Saturday evening.

I do believe the best team won!

Want to know who has won?

Watch this space for the announcement of the winner…

In the meantime, check our Culinary section for all the events at the festival this week or visit the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau website.

Recipe: Hot cross buns from Constance Halaveli

With Easter just a week away, and the Easter school holidays about to begin, try your hand at making these delicious hot cross buns from the kitchens of Constance Halaveli.

Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

  • 30g fresh yeast
  • 4 cups white bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 40g butter
  • 1 ¼ cups sultanas
  • 1 ½ teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin

1. Lightly grease a baking tray. Place the yeast, 2 teaspoons of the flour, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and ½ cup warm water in a small bowl and stir well. Leave in a warm, draught-free place for 10 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface. The mixture should be frothy and slightly increased in volume. If your yeast doesn’t have foam, you will have to discard it and start again.

2. Sift the remaining flour and spices into a large bowl, stir in the sugar and rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the sultanas. Make a well in the centre, stir in the yeast mixture and up to ¾ cup water to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth, adding more flour if necessary, to prevent it from sticking.

3. Place the dough in a large floured bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and leave in a warm, draught-free place for 30 – 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.

4. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently to deflate. Divide into 12 portions and roll each into a ball. Place the balls on the tray, just touching each other, in a rectangle 3 rolls wide and 4 rolls long. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 20 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size.

5. To make the crosses, mix the flour, sugar and 2 ½ tablespoons of water into a paste. Spoon into a paper piping bag and pip crosses on top of the buns.

6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Put the sugar, gelatin and 1 tablespoon water in a small pan and stir over the heat until dissolved. Brush over the hot buns and leave to cool.