Day 3: Inside the kitchens at Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Bruno Le Gac takes us into the kitchens on day 3 of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Prawn curry at Constance Hotels Experience

Luxury food at Constance

Pressure is gradually rising in the kitchen, and countdown has started as the chefs have to come up with 2 creations. Ambiance is great between all the candidates and we are starting to see some interesting things on the plates.

On Monday evening, guests at Constance Belle Mare Plage had the rare privilege to taste a menu prepared by the 6 executive chefs of our hotels in Mauritius, Seychelles and the Maldives.

It was an explosion of flavours and tastes. A fantastic atmosphere in the kitchen, lots of fun… and some pressure for our sous chef Vishnu who was doing the passé with 6 executive chefs sending the dishes to him.

We are already looking forward to next year’s festival!

Interview: Serge Vieira

Serge Vieira won the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau in 2011. For this year’s festival, he has returned as one of our judges.

Serge Vieira

Serge Vieira

  • **Michelin
  • Restaurant Serge Vieira, Chaudes-Aigues, France
  • Winner of the Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau 2011
  • Bocuse d’Or in 2005

What is your principal trait of character?
Calm.

What is your greatest quality?
Enthusiastic and perfectionist.

What are the qualities you look for most in other people?
Forthrightness and simplicity.

What is your biggest weakness?
Too fussy.

What is your favourite tipple?
Water.

What is your favourite dish – and your least favourite?
I don’t like raw oysters, I think because of their texture. Otherwise, I like everything and particularly enjoy discovering new produce.

What has been your best experience professionally?
The Bocuse d’Or.

Who are the most important people to you in your professional life?
My wife and my team.

What, for you, is happiness?
My children and my wife. Enjoying moments with my friends.

What is your most important personal possession?
I’m not materialistic so I would be inclined to say my passport, because you need it to travel.

With what talent would you like to have been gifted?
I don’t really know. Perhaps to be able to play a musical instrument.

If you had not done this profession, what else would you have liked to do professionally?
Industrial designer because I like designing, building and creating. They are also things I do every day as a chef.

What do you think best translates the wish to pass things on?
It’s very important in our profession. You have to imbue youngsters with a desire for the profession.

How do you get away from it all?
Travelling to the far ends of the earth. I love travelling.

What inspiration do you get from Mauritius?
The change of scenery of course but above all the super welcome, the kindness of Mauritians and also discovering local produce like the herbs and spices.

What do you do when you need to recharge your batteries?
Motor biking.

What’s the best compliment someone can pay you?
I’m not really very comfortable with compliments.

Which type of cuisine is currently the best in the world in your opinion?
There is no best cuisine. I enjoy a mix of cultures and produce, and so of styles of cuisine.

Interview: the world of Angela Hartnett

The Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2012 is in full swing at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius.

Angela Hartnett

Angela Hartnett

Award-winning chef Angela Hartnett is one our Michelin star chefs at this year’s festival.

  • *Michelin
  • Chef at Restaurant Murano, London, UK
  • Named Chef of the Year 2012 by The Good Food Guide.
  • In 2007, she was awarded an MBE for Services to the Hospitality Industry.
  • A protégé of Gordon Ramsay, made famous by her appearances on British TV.

What is your principal trait of character?
Being honest and straight forward.

What is your greatest quality?
Trying to see the positive in life and people.

What are the qualities you look for most in other people?
Kindness and generous nature.

What is your biggest weakness?
Procrastination.

What is your favourite tipple?
Wine and champagne.

What is your favourite dish – and your least favourite?
Roast chicken with lemon thyme and rosemary – it’s just delicious and actually takes a good chef to cook a chicken well.

Least favourite?
Any dish with coriander.

What has been your best experience professionally?
Cooking for chefs such as Thomas Keller and Alain Ducasse.

Who are the most important people to you in your professional life?
My staff and my guests.

What, for you, is happiness?
Family and friends. A little dog called Alfie and a guy called Neil.

What is your most important personal possession?
Jewellery from my grandmother.

With what talent would you like to have been gifted?
To be able to write well such as authors like Jane Austin, JD Salinger, Scott Fitzgerald.

If you had not done this profession, what else would you have liked to do professionally and why?
I would love to have been a pathologist to solve crimes. I watch too many crime shows on TV.

What does the word creativity mean to you?
Passionate, original.

What do you think best translates the wish to pass things on?
Through inspiration working with others.

How do you get away from it all?
Go travelling. Eating out with friends.

What inspiration do you get from Mauritius?
Grace and charm and freshness and lightness in dishes with different flavours.

What do you do when you need to recharge your batteries?
Just sitting in front of the fire reading.

What is the best compliment someone can pay you?
That I treat others as I would like to be treated.

Which type of cuisine is currently the best in the world in your opinion?
I think Spanish – it offers such a wide range of styles including tapas and traditional dishes.

For the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau, Angela has been teamed with Kamlesh Doorjean, our island cook from Constance Le Prince Maurice.

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

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.

 

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