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?

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?

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.

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

The 6 teams are drawn for the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Bruno Le Gac, our Corporate Executive Chef, reveals what happened today, Monday, at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Infinity pool at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Infinity pool at Constance Belle Mare Plage

This morning the 6 teams were drawn. Communication is flowing well among the different chefs, and the ambiance is great. They went to Port Louis market to discover the products of Mauritius and came back with plenty of ideas.

Tonight at dinner time, we had booked 6 tables (one for each team) for the team mates to get to know each other better and break the ice. I had the great pleasure to witness that they all chose to make a long table and share the dinner all together instead. This is the true spirit of the festival… It makes my day!

So, here are the teams for the 7th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau:

Team 1

  • Kamlesh Doorjean – Constance Le Prince Maurice
  • Angela Hartnett – Michelin* chef, UK

Team 2

  • Nuwan Hettiarachchi – Constance Halaveli Resort
  • Patrick Bittner – Michelin* chef, Germany

Team 3

  • Hildy Sinon – Constance Lemuria Resort
  • Jacques Decoret – Michelin* chef, France

Team 4

  • Ankur Daru – Constance Ephelia Resort
  • David Johansen – Michelin* chef, Denmark

Team 5

  • Ravish Mukri – Constance Moofushi Resort
  • Fabrice Biasiolo – Michelin* chef, France

Team 6

  • Jayram Seenanum – Constance Belle Mare Plage
  • Dominique Gauthier – Michelin* chef, Switzerland

Catch up with what’s happened so far at the festival