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

Recipe: Pineapple-coriander macaroons

Macaroons became a huge hit last year, and they’re proving as popular as ever in 2012. For all macaroon fans, here’s a tropical recipe from the kitchens of Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Macaroons from Constance Hotels Experience

Macaroons at Constance

Serves 4
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration: 2 hours

  • 310g icing sugar
  • 190g powdered almonds
  • 5 egg whites
  • 25g caster sugar

For the ganache

  • 250g milk chocolate
  • 1/2 small pineapple
  • 2 sprigs fresh coriander
  • 150g whipping cream
  • 50g caster sugar

 1. Make the macaroons: sift the icing sugar with the powdered almonds. Whip the egg whites, adding the caster sugar, then add the sifted icing sugar and almonds and mix carefully with a spatula. Pour this batter into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm plain tip and drop regular-shaped disks, 5cm wide, on a biscuit sheet lined with parchment paper. Let them rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 140ºC. Bake the macaroons for 20 minutes. Take them out of the overn and let them cool on the paper.
3. Make the ganache: peel the pineapple and dice the flesh finely. Finely chop the coriander. Mix pineapple and coriander, and refrigerate.
4. In a large bowl, break the milk chocolate into small pieces. Bring the cream to simmering point with the sugar, mixing well, then pour it over the chocolate. Mix until smooth. Add the pineapple and coriander, mix well and keep refrigerated for 2 hours.
5. Assemble the macaroons: lift them from the parchment paper and paste them two by two by spreading 1 small teaspoon of ganache between them.

And for inspiration, take a look at these delightful looking macaroons from Constance Belle Mare Plage on our Constance Facebook page.

Truffle Week at Constance Belle Mare Plage and Le Prince Maurice

This year, Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice organised a ‘Truffle Week’ to the delight our guests who love gourmet food.
Delectable black truffles

Delectable black truffles

La Confrérie de la Truffe Noire, the Brotherhood of the Black Truffle, is based in the hill region of the Drome des Collines in South East France.

They kindly sent one of their members, Helene Faure, to Mauritius to speak with our chefs and sommeliers about the tuber melanosporum, more commonly known as the black truffle.

The black truffle provides the gold standard in the truffle world because of its delicate taste, and delightful and intense bouquet.

 

To help in understanding and recognising this black treasure, Helene offered the team a comparative tasting and visual appreciation of the various kinds of truffle. We learnt how to identify each one’s shape, aroma and taste. Helene also gave our chefs a variety of recipes for how truffles can be used in our cuisine.

Guests in our Mauritian resorts enjoyed special dinner menus on Tuesday 10 and Friday 13 January 2012, featuring a flavoursome black truffle purée and an amazing black truffle soufflé, which made a delicious and tasty dessert.

The atmosphere in the stylish and friendly settings of both the Constance Le Prince Maurice’s Archipel Restaurant and the Constance Belle Mare Plage’s Blue Penny Café was really something to be savoured – quite simply fantastic.