Life changing journeys inspired by books

Route 66, USA

Route 66, USA

Is there a book that’s inspired you to pack your suitcase and head off to undiscovered lands?

You can get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

The Guardian newspaper has just launched their book season. Find out which tomes have inspired fellow travellers.

Spotlight on the culinary spirit at Constance

Le Barachois floating restaurant at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Le Barachois floating restaurant

Our corporate chef, Bruno Le Gac, gives us the history behind our famous ‘culinary spirit’.

The concept of the culinary spirit was born at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius when the resort was created a few years ago.

What is the culinary spirit?

The idea of the culinary spirit centres around:

  • The careful choice of the best produce.
  • The enhancement of this produce by a precise cooking method and the balanced use of spices.

Michael Scioli, the brilliant chef at Le Prince Maurice, wanted to give a personal and contemporary interpretation of these founding principles.

Le Barachois

Table at Le Barachois, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Table at Le Barachois, Constance Le Prince Maurice

He’s developed a menu at Le Barachois, our famous floating restaurant, where the dishes are created around the association of one central produce and one spice.

Here are just a few dishes on the menu to get your tastebuds excited:

  • Sarawak black pepper and Indian Ocean Albacore tuna, in a tartar with passion fruit and coconut milk starts the dinner with a note of freshness, elegance and a burst of flavours.
  • Fresh turmeric and tek-tek local cockles in a cocotte, a marinière broth with chorizo associates surf and turf in a very balanced way.
  • Sichuan and local grouper, sautéed and flavoured with Mirin, sesame oil and fresh soy sprouts is sharp and goes straight to the point.
  • Tamarind and grilled Royal gambas, a warm salad of capsicum and crispy beans plays with tangy notes and reflects these more vegetal of the garnish.

The dishes are served in a beautiful set of staub grey enamel cast ironware.

Why not try cooking some of our fabulous recipes at home. Every Friday we post a new recipe for you to try – see our culinary section for some great ideas.

Weekly round-up: 12-18 September 2011

Constance Lemuria Resort, Seychelles

Constance Lemuria Resort, Seychelles

This weekly feature offers a round-up of the content on our blog from the past week, in case you missed anything.

Split into categories, it’s another way for you to easily find the posts of value to you.

Competition

  • Weird wildlife – send us your photos
    Enter our great competition and you could win luxury perfume or wine. We want you to send us your photos of wildlife – the wilder and weirder, the better.

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Culinary

Inspiration

Recipe: Pumpkin soup with cinnamon and ginger

Pumpkin soup with cinnamon and ginger

Pumpkin soup with cinnamon and ginger

Pumpkin soup makes for a great warming autumn supper, along with some crusty bread and good cheese. If you can’t find pumpkins, you could use any type of large squash instead.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.2kg pumpkin
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 leek, white part only
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 75cl chicken stock or water
  • 10cl crème fraîche
  • salt

To serve

  • 20g butter
  • 1 pinch powdered cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 3 sprigs chervil

1. Peel and seed the pumpkin, then cut it into large chunks. Peel the onion and garlic, clean and wash the leek. Finely dice leek and onion, chop garlic.
2. In a saucepan, fry the onions, garlic, leek and ginger in butter without colouring.
3. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon and thyme. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add water or stock, add salt to taste, and boil gently for 30 minutes without covering.
4. Remove cinnamon and thyme. Add crème fraîche and mix well. Pour pumpkin soup into a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Add a little water if necessary, correct seasoning.
5. Hand-blend the pumpkin cream with the butter to emulsify it. Pour it into soup bowls and sprinkle with powdered cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and small sprigs of chervil.

If you want to make your own bread to go with the soup, check out our delicious curry flavoured peanut and cashew bread rolls.

 

 

How to: buy and cook beef

We’re launching a new series of ‘how to’ guides so we can share our best culinary tips with you all.

Bruno Le Gac

Bruno Le Gac

If there’s anything you want to know to make your cooking more enjoyable, send us your comments and ideas.

You can contact us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

This week, our Corporate Chef Bruno Le Gac shares his expertise on what to look for when you’re buying beef. He’s also got plenty of tips on how to cook the meat you’ve chosen.

Find a good butcher

Before going to your butcher to buy beef there are a few basic questions to ask yourself:

  • How do I want to cook the meat?
  • How much do I want to spend?
  • How much time do I have?

What you want to prepare will determine the cut you need to buy. The most important thing to me is to find the right butcher. Meat in general is a very specific produce, and you need to trust the person who is selling it to you.

Roast beef

Roast beef

A good butcher knows where his meat is coming from, how long it has been resting in the cold room, what he should serve you according to the circumstances and the answers to your three questions listed above.

Summer BBQ

Looking for something to serve at a summer BBQ with friends? Go for a nice, thick prime rib. Nicely marbled with thin layers of white fat and aged to perfection. Important: once cooked, the meat has to rest for at least 10 minutes before being sliced and served.

Children helping cook in the kitchen

Children love helping to cook

Cooking for the kids

Preparing a quick lunch with the kids at home? Flank steak is a great option. Thin and easy to prepare – use a cast iron grill-pan - it’s a delicious and juicy cut. Great with sliced shallots just sautéed in butter and sprinkled with freshly ground pepper.

Romantic dinner for two

Planning a romantic dinner with a nice bottle of Bordeaux? A thick cut of a good quality tenderloin is your best bet. Real meat lovers will prefer rib-eye, a slightly less tender but more tasty cut, although arguably less romantic). It doesn’t come cheap but it’s pleasure guaranteed.

Portion sizes – 180g per portion is nice. 200g is for big appetites. 250g is for rugby players…

Prime category red meat is always best served medium rare. If you prefer your tenderloin well done, I would recommend you open it ‘butterfly’ style for a quicker cooking time.

Le Creuset casserole pot

Le Creuset casserole pot

Family gathering

Got a family gathering to cook for? A nicely roasted sirloin, sliced in the dining room with a beautiful professional knife is an elegant dish that will please everyone. It cooks ‘by itself’ which gives you time to take care of your guests.

For a less costly option, but not less pleasurable, go for gelatinous cuts such as cheeks or even shortribs.

They are at their best when braised in the oven in a rich sauce with red wine, baby onions and mushrooms. It takes time to make, and it’s more of a winter dish, but the reward is worth it. Serve it with your homemade mashed potato, and sprinkle with fresh thinly chopped chives.

More recipes…

Want to create some more of our chefs’ amazing dishes yourself at home? Every Friday, we post some of the most amazing, delicious and popular recipes in our culinary section.

Top 5 natural wonders of the Seychelles

Beach at Constance Lemuria

Beach at Constance Lemuria

One of the most alluring features of the Seychelles as a holiday destination is its geographical isolation.

Perched in the middle of the Indian Ocean, some 1000 miles off the east coast of Africa, this archipelago of 155 islands has managed to maintain its ecological credibility - protecting the rich endemic flora and fauna that its famous for.

Here’s a run-down of our top 5 must-see natural wonders of the Seychelles.

1. The atoll of Aldabra

Giant land tortoise

Giant land tortoise

The Aldabra atoll is situated in the most remote part of the Seychelles. Made up of 4 main islands, it’s here that you’ll find the largest raised coral atoll in the world – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With a pristine coral reef and over 100,000 giant land tortoises, it’s a must-see for anyone interested in ecology. Other wildlife on the islands include frigate birds, giant crabs and the white throated rail, the only flightless bird left in the Indian Ocean.

Find out more from the UNESCO website.

2. Sainte Anne Marine National Park

An easily accessible boat-ride away from Victoria Harbour, this marine park is made up of 6 islands. Being close to Victoria, Ste Anne is well within the tourist trail but still worth a visit.

The marine park offers superb snorkelling conditions in clear waters. Here, you’ll see many of the 900 species of fish found in the Seychelles.

Hawskbill Turtles are another big draw for visitors to these islands.

3. Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island

Coco de Mer

Coco de Mer

Lying in the heart of Praslin Island, Seychelles, is Vallée de Mai  –  a national park, UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the highly revered Coco de Mer seed.

Vallée de Mai is the only place in the world where you’ll find Coco de Mer. Visitors can wander through the national park, beneath giant palm trees. And keep your eyes open for the rare Seychelles Black Parrot. Read our article about the Coco de Mer.

4. Bird Island

Bird Island is situated some 60 miles north of Mahé.  It’s a tiny flat coralline island where over 400,000 pairs of sooty terns breed every year between May – November.

There are viewing platforms where keen ornithologists can enjoy the sight of the terns incubating their eggs and caring for newborn chicks. Other birds found on the island include curlew sandpipers, fairy terns and turnstones.

5. Beaches, beaches, beaches

North Beach at Constance Ephelia

North Beach at Constance Ephelia

Across the Seychelles, you’ll find stunning beaches complete with huge granite boulders, soft white sand and breathtaking views across the calm turquoise waters.

These islands look like paradise on earth, and you’ll feel you’ve been whisked far away from the mêlée and humdrum of daily life.

Find out more about our 2 resorts in the Seychelles: