Italian chef to create a Mediterranean feast at Constance Moofushi

Nicolino Lalla

Nicolino Lalla

In our quest to offer guests an exciting culinary experience we have invited leading Italian chef Nicolino Lalla to cook for guests at Constance Moofushi.

Nicolino will be creating a sumptuous Mediterranean dinner at Moofushi’s Alizee Beach Grill Restaurant, with a special wine pairing by Head Sommelier Nash, on 16 and 23 April.

With more than 15 years experience cooking for fine-dining restaurants including Baglioni Hotel in London, Paresa Resort and Le Meridien Beach resort in Phuket, Nicolino specialises in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.

As a chef, his passion lies in sourcing and using the very freshest seasonal ingredients.

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Winners of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2014

The 9th Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau in Mauritius has seen the finest Michelin-star chefs from Germany, Sweden, England, Switzerland and France team up with Constance island chefs in a competition that puts their skills to the test and challenges them beyond their normal capabilities.

FCBL winners: Masashi Ijichi & Dammika Sarath of Constance Halaveli, Maldives

FCBL winners: Masashi Ijichi & Dammika Sarath of Constance Halaveli, Maldives

The winners

1st Prize:

Michelin Star Chef Masachi Ijichi from La Cachette restaurant in Valence, France and Dammika Sarath from Constance Halaveli Maldives, have won the 9th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

The competition which took place at Constance Belle Mare Plage from the 29 March to 6 April has also seen the crowning achievement of:

2nd Prize:

Jacob Holmstrom from Gastrologik restaurant Stockholm, Sweden, 1 Michelin star and Sandy Sokalingum from Constance Lémuria Seychelles.

3rd Prize:

Tim Allen from Launceston Place London, UK , 1 Michelin star and Yogessen Ramen from Constance Ephélia Seychelles.

The other teams in the competition were:

Masashi & Dammika's winning main dish: Spices and orange marinated Duckling breast

Masashi & Dammika’s winning main dish: Spices and orange marinated Duckling breast

  • Jens Rittmeyer from Budersand Hotel Golf & Spa, Sylt, Restaurant Kai 3, Hornum, Germany, 1 Michelin star and Dinushan Patabadage, Constance Moofushi Maldives
  • Mirto Marchesi from La Table d’Adrien restaurant, Le Chalet d’Adrien, Verbier, Switzerland, 1 Michelin star and Emmanuel Fortuno from Constance Belle Mare Plage Mauritius
  • Nicolas Masse from Les sources de Caudalie, La Grand’ Vigne restaurant, Bordeaux-Martillac, France, 1 Michelin star and Sasha Dinnoo from Constance Le Prince Maurice Mauritius.

The winning dishes

Starter:

Cold white coco beans soup, carrot mousse and marinated vegetables.

Main course:

Spices and orange marinated Duckling breast, onions stuffed with giblets, fruits chutney and sweet potato cromesquis.

Cocktail competition

Cocktail competition winner: Ashvin Purrun from Constance Belle Mare Plage

Cocktail competition winner: Ashvin Purrun from Constance Belle Mare Plage

Ashvin Purrun from Constance Belle Mare Plage is the winner of the Cocktail Competition held on 31 March at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

This year, three barmen from Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice took part in the competition. The liquors used were from Chamarel Rhum. The jury were Laurence and Joachim Louis representatives of Jack Daniels and Crème Chambord.

Wine competition

Cheryline Coulon from Constance Le Prince Maurice is the winner of the Wine Competition held on 31 March. The competition consists of finding the best wines to accompany the dinner which was served by Chef Eyvind Hellstrom. In competition were three Mauritian sommeliers who presented their selection of wines in front of four jury members.

Service & Art de la table competition

Benito Bellehumeur from Constance Belle Mare Plage is the winner of the Service & Art de la table Competition held on Tuesday 2 April at the Blue Penny Restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage. He presented the most beautifully prepared table and the best service.

Dominique Loiseau, Mercotte and Isabelle Mobihan made up the jury.

Wine competition winner: Cheryline Coulon from Constance Le Prince Maurice

Wine competition winner: Cheryline Coulon from Constance Le Prince Maurice

Café Gourmand competition

Pastry Chef Camel El Sherifi from Constance Le Prince Maurice is the winner of a new Competition the “Café Gourmand” that was added this year to the event and organised in collaboration with our partner Nespresso. Participants were the Executive and Pastry Chefs of Constance Hotels and Resorts and were asked to create four pastries to best accompany a Nespresso coffee.

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The heat is on… Day 3 at Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Wednesday 2 April – the final day to get everything ready before tomorrow’s finals at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2014.

Peter Bojesen gives the day’s highlights from Mauritius.

Event chefs: Jacob Holmstrom & Masashi Ijichi

Event chefs: Jacob Holmstrom & Masashi Ijichi

A final without the star chefs present – only the Island chefs will be allowed in the kitchen at Constance Belle Mare Plage, each with an appointed commis chef at his side.

Today was the day when the finishing touches to the recipes are made, the dressing of the dishes approved, the recipes written.

I arrive in the kitchen in the morning and the tension is palpable at several of the stations. Some chefs seem to be more relaxed than others, however. One of those is Mirto Marchesi from Switzerland: ‘I’ve been very lucky with my Island partner, Emmanuel Fortuno, who normally works here at Constance Belle Mare Plage,’ he says. The two are sitting at a table with their starter dish in front of them, trying to compose a fitting name and to write the recipe required by the jury. The starter looks like a beautiful painting, where red, orange and green colours dominate. Hopefully, it tastes as good as it looks…

Chef Masachi Ijichi comes from Japan, and runs a one-star restaurant in the French city of Valence and speaks very little English. As his Island partner, Damika Sarath doesn’t speak French a translator is needed, but apparently it hasn’t affected the bonding between the two chefs. ‘Everything is going just fine,’ Masachi says with a big smile, ‘we have the same kind of philosophy regarding gourmet cooking, and I have learned quite a lot from my new friend, who normally works at Constance Halalevi in the Maldives.’

German chef Jens Rittmeyer also seems quite cool in spite of the heat in the kitchen. ‘I enjoy working with my partner Dinushan Patabadage who comes from Sri Lanka but works at Constance Moofushi in the Maldives. Our two dishes are well under way, and I am sure that Dinushan will perform well tomorrow,’ he says, while his partner is busy dressing the main course on a bone white Raynaud plate.

Leaving the kitchen, I enter the Blue Penny Café, which today hosts the Service and Arts de Table competition, which for several years has been a part of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau. Five tables have been beautifully laid, each occupied by two carefully chosen guests. Each table has been assigned a waiter, each of whom has won an internal competition in five of the hotels in the Constance group.

The guests are served a gourmet lunch by the five waiters in question under the watchful eye of three jury members, one of which being Mme. Dominique Loiseau. I watch several courses being expertly served, red and white wine properly presented and poured, coffee and tea offered. Everything seems to be perfectly in order, and I am quite sure that the jury will have a tough task deciding on the winner.

But just like the cooking- and sommelier competitions, we shall all have to be patient and wait until Saturday night to learn the names of the different winners of the ninth edition of the Bernard Loiseau Culinary competition.

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A guide to a luxury honeymoon in Maldives

If you’re planning a Maldives honeymoon you’ve already chosen one of the world’s most romantic spots. Here’s our guide to making sure you also get the full luxury experience.

A romantic stroll along the beach

A romantic stroll along the beach

1. Make sure the accommodation measures up for luxury

A honeymoon is a time to indulge in the very best and that includes the accommodation. At Constance Halaveli and Constance Moofushi you can choose between elegant spacious water villas hovering over tranquil lagoons or beach villas tucked on the edge of white sand. Traditional Maldivian influences are found in the Dhoni shaped villas, and palm-thatched roofs of Halaveli, where all the villas come with their own private pool, and the rustic design and art featured in the villas at Moofushi. Seating areas, private terraces, spacious modern bathrooms and sumptuously comfortable beds all add to the overall feeling of understated luxury.

2. Secluded places to be alone

A luxury Maldives’ honeymoon is all about sharing private moments in a beautiful setting and at Halaveli and Moofushi there is no shortage of spaces where you can be alone. At Moofushi you can spend a romantic evening under the stars enjoying a candlelit dinner for two on your very own sandbank. In-villa dining is the perfect option if you want to enjoy sumptuous fine-dining alone. If you want total seclusion take a boat trip to a deserted island for just the two of you and spend the day lying on your own beach, swimming alone in crystal waters and breathing in the romance of the Maldives.

A luxury honeymoon in the Maldives

A luxury honeymoon in the Maldives

3. Plan some once in a lifetime moments

Take the time in the Maldives to create memories that will last a lifetime. After a few days spent lying back in the sun, there’s plenty on offer beyond the beach. At both Moofushi and Halaveli you can take a sunset cruise in a traditional Maldivian Dhoni, or visit a local fishing village. For something a bit more adrenalin-charged you could explore the stunning Ari Atoll scuba diving. Meet the vibrant local marine life from colourful corals to blue-striped snappers.

4. First-class cuisine

Whether you’re enjoying sushi or salads by the beach or romantic candle-lit dinners for two, great food is an integral ingredient in the perfect luxury honeymoon. At Halaveli and Moofushi our world-class chefs use only the freshest, high quality ingredients, locally sourced where possible. Inspired by European traditions with Maldivian ingredients and flare, fine dining is given a local twist. Enjoy extensive wine lists with wines sourced from around the globe by our expert sommeliers.

5. Choose whether to go all-inclusive

There are benefits either way. For those who like the freedom to build their own holiday in their own way, a non-inclusive holiday can be the best option. Alternativley, our Cristal Package at Moofushi offers a luxury all-inclusive option with everything from super-premium spirits, international wine list and meals to snorkelling equipment and a Dhoni boat excursion.

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Trip Advisor recognises Constance at 2014 Travelers’ Choice Hotel Awards

We are thrilled that Trip Advisor has listed Constance Hotels and Resorts in its Top 10 Hotels awards for Mauritius, Maldives and Madagascar.

Constance Halaveli - Trip Advisor 2014 Travelers’ Choice Hotel Awards

Constance Halaveli – Trip Advisor 2014 Travelers’ Choice Hotel Awards

Our hotels were recognised in the Trip Advisor 2014 Traveler’s Choice Awards in both the luxury and romance sector.

Mauritius

Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage have been named in:

Maldives

Constance Moofushi and Constance Halaveli have been named in the:

Madagascar

To see the full list of award winners or to share your Constance experience by writing your own review, visit the Trip Advisor website.

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8 things to do in the Maldives

Dreamy villas, idyllic beaches, world-class diving and uber-luxurious spas make the Maldives the perfect antidote to urban living.

Aerial views of the Maldives

Aerial views of the Maldives

Once you’ve indulged in some proper R&R, there’s plenty more on offer too. Here’s our list of 8 things to do in the Maldives.

1. Visit a local fishing village

There is no better way to immerse yourself in traditional Maldivian island life than by visiting one of its fishing villages.

Fishing is at the very heart of Maldivian life and these villages are thriving local communities. Fish is sold daily at the beach or harbour and this is where locals gather and hang out.

2. Spend the day on a deserted island

The Maldives is made up of many atolls (rings of reef or coral islands). Take a boat and a picnic and spend the day on an untouched beach on your own deserted island, then swim in quiet waters for a uniquely Maldivian experience.

3. Night fishing

Set sail at sunset in a traditional dhoni (a wooden Maldivian fishing boat) and experience the tranquillity and peace of floating over the reef at night. Try the traditional Maldivian pole and line fishing technique, then take your catch back to shore where it can be cooked for a late night feast by a world-class chef.

Coral reefs at Constance Moofushi

Coral reefs at Constance Moofushi

4. Explore the Maldives by seaplane

The air is the perfect place from which to take in the stunning Maldives landscape of turquoise ocean scattered with beautiful coral islands of white sand and lush greenery. Pick out the luxury resorts and deserted islands from the air as well as the reefs and even some of the larger marine life. This is a once in a lifetime experience so be sure to bring a camera.

5. Explore the rich coral reefs

Whether you’re snorkelling or scuba diving the combination of stunning coral reefs and year-round high visibility has made the Maldives one of the reef diving hotspots of the world.

The sheer number of reefs in the area means that you can explore a different dive site every day with a wide variety of beautiful marine species from Giant Manta and Whale Sharks to turtles, lionfish, snappers and eels. The area has 187 different species of coral, home to more than 1,000 species of fish.

6. Visit the oldest mosque in the country

The Hukuru Miskiiy, or Friday Mosque, in the capital Malé dates back to the mid-17th century with outer coral-stone walls intricately carved with patterns and Arabic text. Inside, the elaborate woodcarvings are a stunning feature well worth visiting. Just opposite the mosque is the white Munnaaru Minaret, also dating back to the 17th century, historically used for calling the people of Malé to prayer.

Shop ‘til you drop in Malé

Shop ‘til you drop in Malé

7. Shop ‘til you drop in Malé

Whether you like the vibrant buzz of local markets or prefer shopping for arts and crafts or modern handbags and fashion there’s plenty to keep you happy in the country’s frenetically paced capital. The bustling Malé Fish Market at the northern waterfront where the fishermen from across the region bring their catch. Down the road is the general Local Market where produce including fresh fruit and vegetables, street food and handmade sweets from across the atolls are sold. For everything from clothes and perfume to electronic goods visit Majeedhee Magu and for souvenirs and local crafts check out Chaandanee Magu.

8. Experience the history of the Utheemu Palace

Utheemu Island in the Haa Alifu Atoll is famous as the birthplace of one of the Maldives’ greatest heroes, Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu who defended the islands from the Portuguese in the 16th century. His stunning wooden palace is perfectly preserved on Utheemu and is a historic treasure showing how Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu and his wealthy dynasty of sultans lived.

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