Event round-up: MasterChef Live 11-13 November 2011

If you’re passionate about food and cooking with the best ingredients, head to London’s Olympia this weekend for the massively popular MasterChef Live event.

Fresh produce from Constance Hotels Experience

Fresh produce from Constance Hotels Experience

Highlights include:

  •  MasterChef Live Challenge. This is your chance to cook your signature dish live on stage in front of John Torode and Gregg Wallace. The winner takes home £500 of Sainsbury’s vouchers and the opportunity to spend a day cooking with Alexis Gauthier in his restaurant Gauthier Soho.
  • Chefs’ Theatre – including demo by Michel Roux Jr
  • Hot tips stage – get top tips on all sorts of cooking techniques
  • Producers’ Village
  • Drinks Tasting Theatre
  • The Restaurant Experience

Check out the MasterChef Live website to find out more information, including how to get tickets to the event.

 

Constance stays on top of latest spa trends

Our Spa Manager at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Sophie Demaret, shares her experience of a recent visit to a spa exhibition in Dubai to learn about the latest spa trends.

Sophie Demaret

Sophie Demaret

Travel is about having the opportunity to share experiences and to discover unique places. We always return from travelling with new ideas and it was a great experience for me to go back to Dubai.  

I used to work in Dubai 30 years ago when it was just desert. I couldn’t believe what it was like when I returned. Everything was so perfect. When I left the airport to take a taxi, I was greeted by a woman from Ethiopia, dressed in pink, driving a pink taxi that’s exclusively for women!  

So, climbing into the taxi, we drove to the exhibition where I spent 2 very busy days having one-to-one meetings with prospective suppliers of every spa product imaginable, including linen and equipment. All the luxurious details that make your spa experience so special.

One of the most important parts of my job as Spa Manager is managing relationships – with guests, suppliers, employees… At the exhibition, I was able to meet with very enthusiastic suppliers who provide the things we need at Constance Hotels to make the spa experience for guests a truly luxurious and memorable one.

Spa de Constance treatment room

Beautiful treatment rooms at Spa de Constance

At the end of the event, we were invited to an incredible ‘white party’ event – thank you Shadiha. Her attention to detail was amazing. The same kind of attention our guests expect when they visit our luxury hotels.

Watch this space – we’ll be keeping you posted on new products and treatments we’re introducing over the coming months.  

And don’t miss out on our articles about Spa de Constance to get a taste of the luxurious spa treatments we offer:

Giant gingerbread house at Constance Halaveli

Christmas preparations are well under way at Constance Halaveli, and this year we’ve got a gigantic treat in store.

Gingerbread house at Constance Halaveli

Gingerbread house at Constance Halaveli

Our carpenters have taken on the enormous task of building the dream gingerbread house for our Culinary Team.

The shell of the house has been carefully crafted to provide a solid base for the weight of the specially made gingerbread. 

Watch this space

Every week we’ll provide a progress report on how the gingerbread house is shaping up before the big unveiling at Christmas. 

Don’t miss the other photos on our Constance Facebook page.

Send us photos of your gingerbread creations

Have you ever made a gingerbread house? Don’t be shy because we’d love to see photos of your creations. You can post your photos to the Constance Facebook page.

Offer: Honeymoon special – 40% discount for spouse at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Deluxe suite at Belle Mare Plage

Luxurious deluxe suite

Honeymooners can enjoy a rare taste of paradise at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius with a fabulous 40% discount for the spouse.

Offer valid from 16 April – 20 October 2012, with a minimum 5 night stay in Prestige Room, Junior Suite or Deluxe Suite.

Package includes:

  • daily breakfast and dinner
  • bottle of wine and canapés in room
  • flower petals and candles in room and bathroom
  • seafood candlelit dinner and photo souvenir
  • departure gift in room.

Your stay should not be more than 9 months after the day of your wedding.

See the Constance Hotels Experience website for full details, and terms and conditions.

Interview with Bruno Le Gac, Corporate Executive Chef at Constance Hotels

Bruno Le Gac is our Corporate Executive Chef at Constance Hotels Experience.

Bruno Le Gac

Bruno Le Gac

Bruno’s passion for his work stems from a great love of food, and his career has taken him around the globe.

1.    Why did you decide to become a chef?

Like many people, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I was a teenager. But I knew I wanted to be independent, earn my own money and enjoy freedom. I also loved to eat and go to restaurants with my parents.

One summer, I spent a month in a restaurant to earn a bit of cash. I was cleaning dishes, peeling vegetables, all that nice stuff…

One day during service time, the kitchen brigade was in such a rush that the chef called me. He put a kitchen hat on my head, tied an apron around my waist and showed me how to place the garnish on the plates.

Strangely enough, at the end of this particular day I knew what I wanted to do in life. I guess I was love struck by the job. I dropped conventional studies and started an apprenticeship. And I’ve never regretted my decision.

2. How did your career get going in the early days?

I started travelling at quite a young age, and I was only 20 when I got my first job abroad, in California. I chose not to come back to France, and instead decided to discover different countries and cultures.

3. What 5 things have influenced your success?

Delicious fresh food at Constance Hotels Experience

Delicious fresh food at Constance Hotels

A combination of factors have been key to the development of my career.

1. I’m lucky to have a fantastic wife. She’s always been very supportive, patient and she has also been able to put me back on track when needed.

2. Lots of work and dedication. A true passion for the job.

3. Self motivation. It’s important to wake up every morning and strive to do better than the day before.

4. I believe I’ve made the right career choices at the right time. One has to provoke his destiny and not wait for things to happen.

5. I’ve been lucky to meet and work with incredible people, who gave me their trust and support.

My current job is completely different from what I was doing before. But I love it even more – it opens so many doors. I’m having a blast!

4. What qualities do you think an aspiring chef needs to make it in the business?

Chefs working in a Constance Hotels kitchen

Chefs hard at work at Constance

 I’d say self motivation and a willingness to work hard, as well as a genuine passion for what you’re doing.

When I started you needed to get ready the first couple of years to wake up very early in the morning, work long hours, do more cleaning than cooking, cut your fingers, burn your arms, stink when you get back home and never say no to your chef.

Work, learn, remember, apply. Think fast, act fast. Then you’ll know if you’re made for the job or not.

Once all of these things are no longer a problem to you, you’ll start really enjoying what your job is and you’ll be on the right track.

After that, it’s all about finding your own style and ways of doing things.

Fortunately things are now very different and the working conditions in the kitchen are getting better and better. It will always remain a fascinating but fairly hard job.

5. How do you see food trends developing in the luxury hotel market?  

There’s a move to create more healthy options on the menu, more ‘custom made’ menus, lighter portions, luxury snacking for lunch. And more than ever: lighter, purer plates made out of quality products. High class modern pastry is also a big draw right now.

We’re going to see even more personality in the food. So called ‘hotel food’ is disappearing and this is good news. And there’ll be even more symbiosis between food, service and wine. Guests are looking for a global experience.

The mix of clientele is also changing. We need to anticipate and propose things that will surprise and delight our European guests but also Asian and Middle Eastern to name two.

6. What and where was the best meal you’ve ever had?

If I say ‘my Mum’s food’ it will sound very conventional! Let me think… I don’t have one best meal that stands out. Instead, I like to remember dozens of great food experiences that vary with the context, the place, the people I was with.

Here’s a window on some of the best food experiences I’ve had:

  • A ‘vuelve la vida’ seafood cocktail in Mercado 28 in Cancun, Mexico.
  • A salad of fresh heart of palmtree in Constance Belle Mare Plage,Mauritius.
  • A splendid and surprising langoustine and raw wagyu beef in a delicate broth at Relais Bernard Loiseau this summer.
  • A perfect spaghetti al pesto at La Merenda, a small restaurant in Nice.
  • A giant chili crab in a street food shack inSingapore.
  • A plate of freshly picked organic tomatoes from my mother-in-law’s garden, with lots of olive oil from Baux de Provence and sprinkled with salt flower.
  • A tray of Oysters in Cancale,Brittany.
  • And so many many more…

 My memory is full of incredible food souvenirs. I think you got it by now… I love food!

Favourite recipes from Constance
Want to create some of our chefs’ amazing dishes yourself at home? Every Friday, we post some of the most amazing, delicious and popular recipes online. You’ll find them in our culinary section.

Top 5 Seychelles islands for bird lovers

Well known as a haven for honeymooners, the stunning islands of the Seychelles archipelago are also a magnet for ornithologists the world over.

Constance Lemuria Resort, Seychelles

Constance Lemuria

The 155 granite and coral islands are home to 12 endemic bird species, and the largest sea bird colonies in the world.

For all bird enthusiasts out there, here’s our top 5 run down of must-see Seychelles’ islands.

1. Praslin Island

The rare endemic Seychelles Black Parrot is the national bird. Visitors to the exotic Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island, are likely to see the Black Parrot as well as the Seychelles Bulbul, Seychelles Swiflet and Fruit Pigeon.

2. Mahé

Seychelles Kestrel

Seychelles Kestrel

Mahé is the largest of the islands, and there are a number of beautiful walks you can take into the tropical hills to spot the Seychelles Kestrel, Seychelles White-eye and Seychelles Scops-owl.

3. 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 you 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.

4. Cousin Island

Seychelles Magpie Robin

Seychelles Magpie Robin

Cousin Island, just 2km from Praslin Island, is home to a bird and marine sanctuary that has won several awards for conservation and ecotourism.

The endangered Seychelles Magpie Robin was successfully reintroduced on the island. You’ll also find other endemic birds including the Seychelles Sunbird, Seychelles Fody and Seychelles Blue Pigeon.

There’s also a massive seabird colony here with 7 different species nesting at different times of year. Expect to see Fairy Terns, Bridled Terns, Lesser Noddies, Audubon’s Shearwater and the Wedge-tailed Shearwater.

5. Aride Island

Close to Cousin Island, Aride is the only place in the archipelago where you’ll find Red-tailed Tropicbirds. The world’s only hilltop colony of Sooty Terns are also found here, living alongside White-tailed Tropicbirds, Roseate Terns, Seychelles Sunbird and the Seychelles Fody.

When to visit

Sooty terns

Sooty terns

The main breeding season for birds in the Seychelles is April, while Sooty Terns nest from May-September.

October is migration time, where numbers peak across the islands. Visitors at this time of year can expect some stunning sights across the sky.

Where to stay

Combine all this with a wonderfully relaxing holiday at one of our luxury 5* resorts in the Seychelles.

And for more wildlife inspiration, don’t miss these articles: