The Big Draw and a day at Port Louis Market by Christopher Barber

Christopher Barber, one of our judges on this year’s panel for the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau, gives us a run down of the action from day 2 (Monday). 

Chefs visit Port Louis market

Chefs visit Port Louis market

The festival has now begun in earnest.

Over breakfast in the Blue Penny Cafe, the draw of Island and European chefs is made, all seem happy with their partners… so far. Luckily, there would appear to be no language issues – the French speakers and English speakers drawn together.

A downpour accompanies the coach journey toPort Louis. We stop off to visit a school for children with learning difficulties, and drop off some delights from the Belle Mare Plage kitchen.

Next stop the Port Louis market, and the rain will not relent. It doesn’t dampen spirits, and now the chefs visibly move up a gear.

The array of colours, flavours and aromas of the market inspires them, you can see their imaginations and culinary juices flow. Just to watch is exhilarating as they caress the produce and absorb the ambience.

The European chefs seem to take lead, seeking counsel from their local experts at every step.

 

European chefs and island cooks outside Port Louis market

European chefs and island cooks outside Port Louis market

My past visits to the market remind me that no trip toPort Louis is complete without a customary dosa and a local milk drink. My persuasive powers managed to get a couple of the chefs to join in, though the gelatin infused cocktails were not quite as well loved as the dosa.

 On return, the chefs huddle together planning and devising their master creations.

On Tuesday they will start kitchen trials, bringing their creations to life… the excitement mounts.

Catch up with what’s happened so far at the festival

The 6 teams are drawn for the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Bruno Le Gac, our Corporate Executive Chef, reveals what happened today, Monday, at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Infinity pool at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Infinity pool at Constance Belle Mare Plage

This morning the 6 teams were drawn. Communication is flowing well among the different chefs, and the ambiance is great. They went to Port Louis market to discover the products of Mauritius and came back with plenty of ideas.

Tonight at dinner time, we had booked 6 tables (one for each team) for the team mates to get to know each other better and break the ice. I had the great pleasure to witness that they all chose to make a long table and share the dinner all together instead. This is the true spirit of the festival… It makes my day!

So, here are the teams for the 7th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau:

Team 1

  • Kamlesh Doorjean – Constance Le Prince Maurice
  • Angela Hartnett – Michelin* chef, UK

Team 2

  • Nuwan Hettiarachchi – Constance Halaveli Resort
  • Patrick Bittner – Michelin* chef, Germany

Team 3

  • Hildy Sinon – Constance Lemuria Resort
  • Jacques Decoret – Michelin* chef, France

Team 4

  • Ankur Daru – Constance Ephelia Resort
  • David Johansen – Michelin* chef, Denmark

Team 5

  • Ravish Mukri – Constance Moofushi Resort
  • Fabrice Biasiolo – Michelin* chef, France

Team 6

  • Jayram Seenanum – Constance Belle Mare Plage
  • Dominique Gauthier – Michelin* chef, Switzerland

Catch up with what’s happened so far at the festival

Christopher Barber lifts the lid as culinary festival begins

This week the much anticipated 2012 Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau takes place at Constance Belle Mare Plage. We’ll bring you all the latest action, news, fun and drama from the event.

European chefs at Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2012

European chefs at the start of Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Christopher Barber is one of the judges on this year’s panel. Christopher has over 30 years of experience in the food and restaurant industry, and has carried out nearly every role you can imagine.

Here, he reveals the thrills of the first day of the festival, as the fun begins and everyone gets to know each other.

What a way to launch a festival – Creole street market food followed by music and dancing.

It was really special. Relaxed, fun… a great ice breaker. And talking of ice, star of the day was a singing traditional Mauritian ice lolly maker – simply unique and wonderful.

No sign of the chefs competitive instincts yet, but that’s all to come.

Can we read anything into how they participate in this first event?

Enrico Barnardo and organisers of Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2012

Enrico Barnardo and organisers of the festival

Will the first chefs on the dance floor be the ones who embrace the spirit of friendship and form the strongest bond with their Island partner?

So many questions, so much anticipation… all will be revealed in the coming days. The festival has begun, may the best team win.

Keep up with the latest from the festival

Every day this week, our judges, chefs, island cooks and Constance team will be posting news, insight, photos and more.

And don’t forget to visit our Constance Facebook page for more photos from the festival.

 

Two days until the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Excitement is building in Mauritius as the stage is set for our fabulous culinary celebration – the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2012.

Island chefs in kitchen at Bernard Loiseau festival 2011

Island chefs in kitchen at Bernard Loiseau festival 2011

This week-long festival starts on Sunday 25 March. We’ll be posting every day to bring you the latest action, insight and photos as our 6 island chefs train with their European Michelin* chefs in preparation for the final cook-off competition on Thursday 29th and prize-giving on Saturday 31 March. We’ll also be a running a fun competition and lots more.

As the Michelin* chefs and judges fly into the island, it reads like a who’s who of the most accomplished stars in the world of food and wine.

The judges are:

  • Christopher Barber – former personal chef to the Prince of Wales
  • Enrico Bernardo – world class sommelier
  • Patrick Bertron – protege of Bernard Loiseau and world class chef
  • Serge Vieira – world class chef
  • Dominique Loiseau – wife of Bernard Loiseau and founder of the festival
  • Claus Meyer – co-owner of Noma

The  Michelin* chefs are:

  • Fabrine Biasolo
  • Patrick Bittner
  • Jacques Decoret
  • Dominique Gauthier
  • Angela Hartnett
  • David Johansen

 The island chefs are:

  • Ankur Daru – Ephelia, Seychelles
  • Kamlesh Doorjean – Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius
  • Nuwan Hiettiarachchi – Halaveli, Maldives
  • Ravish Mukri – Moofushi, Maldives
  • Jayram Seenanum – Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius
  • Hildy Sinon – Lemuria, Seychelles

Find out more

 

Golfer Bill Longmuir coaching at Belle Mare Plage 24 March-6 April

There’s a treat in store this coming week for golf enthusiasts at Belle Mare Plage and Le Prince Maurice as Scottish professional golfer, Bill Longmuir, will be offering personal coaching courses to guests from 24 March to 6 April 2012.

Bill Longmuir

Bill Longmuir

Book your lesson with Bill Longmuir

If you would like to book a lesson with Bill, visit the Club House at the Links or Legend Golf courses during your stay, or pre-book by using our the contact us form on our website.

Winning titles

After joining the European Senior Tour in 2003, Bill finished runner up in the Order of Merit that same year winning 2 titles.

He has won the following European Seniors’ Tour titles:

  • 2003   De Vere PGA Seniors Championship, Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open
  • 2004   Charles Church Scottish Seniors Open, Mobile Cup  
  • 2005   Scandinavian Senior Open          
  • 2007   Midas English Seniors Open       
  • 2008   DGM Barbados Open         
  • 2010   Handa Senior Masters       

Other wins:

  • 1976 – Nigerian Open, Southland Classic (Nouvelle-Zélande)
  • 1980 -Nigeria Open
  • 1983 -Ivory Coast Open
  • 1985 -Nigeria Open
  • 1996 – British PGA Club Professional Championship

Find out more about golf holidays with Constance

Constance Le Prince Maurice gears up for super-deluxe refurbishment

The deluxe 6* Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius is about to undergo some fabulous enhancements.

Lobby at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Lobby at Constance Le Prince Maurice

During July and August this year, we’ll be working hard to make this high-functioning paradise even more desirable for luxury holiday aficionados.

Key features of the Prince Maurice upgrade include:

  • Spa – adding additional rooms to the ever-popular Spa de Constance.
  • Swimming pool – building a new heated lap pool bringing the number of pools to two.
  • Suites and villas – refurbishing all suites and luxury bathrooms.
  • Main restaurant – L’Archipel enjoys a beautiful location overlooking the infinity pool and beach. We’ll be upgrading the restaurant.
  • New wine cellar adjoining to the restaurant – stocked with exclusive old and new world wines.
  • Le Barachois – our delightful floating restaurant will serve a new menu of fish and seafood specialities. We’re also adding a floating bar near the Barachois.  This hip new spot will give guests a space to enjoy long evenings listening to live music and DJ sets while sampling some wonderful cocktails and wines.
Suite on stilts
Suite on stilts

At Constance Hotels, we’re very excited about the changes that are about to take place at one of our favourite hotels.

Watch this space, and we’ll post regular updates and photos on progress. The resort will be closed from 1 July – 31 August 2012 so we can complete the final stage of this refurbishment.

We look forward to welcoming you soon to the beautiful Constance Le Prince Maurice.