Highlights from the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

It’s been a fantastic week in Mauritius so far, with the 7th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau providing entertainment, drama, tension and excitement…

Official launch of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Official launch of the festival

The competition is in full swing today. As we wait to find out more, Bruno Le Gac brings us highlights from the last couple of days:

Our Chief Executive launches the festival

‘I declare the 7th edition of Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau open!’ Our CEO, Jean-Jacques Vallet opened officially the festival on Tuesday evening, in a ceremony oozing conviviality and happiness.

More than ever, the top management of Constance Hotels believes in culinary, is attached to the human values carried by the festival and wishes to develop this unique concept.

Music to the ears of the passionate team at Constance Hotels Experience.

Serge Vieira delights at La Spiaggia

Serge Vieira

Serge Vieira

Tonight, Wednesday, an exceptional dinner took place at La Spiaggia, the casual chic restaurant next to the villas at Belle Mare Plage. Festival 2011 winner and recently promoted 2 Michelin star chef, Serge Vieira (who is also Bocuse d’Or 2005) presented an amazing dinner full of flavours and freshness.

A unique occasion for our team of chefs to work next to one of the most brilliant representatives of the young French culinary scene.

Halaveli chef cooks up a feast at Le Prince Maurice

Another amazing dinner took place on Wednesday. New Zealander and Executive Chef at Halaveli, Glen Cooper, prepared a fabulous feast at L’Archipel, Le Prince Maurice. Fantastic oysters with caviar, delicious sweet potato soup, juicy, soft and extra tasty lamb shepherd’s pie, and of course Pavlova as a tasty and very elegant dessert…

The name of Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives was on all the lips tonight…

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.

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.

 

Two days until the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Excitement is building in Mauritius as the stage is set for our fabulous culinary celebration – the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2012.

Island chefs in kitchen at Bernard Loiseau festival 2011

Island chefs in kitchen at Bernard Loiseau festival 2011

This week-long festival starts on Sunday 25 March. We’ll be posting every day to bring you the latest action, insight and photos as our 6 island chefs train with their European Michelin* chefs in preparation for the final cook-off competition on Thursday 29th and prize-giving on Saturday 31 March. We’ll also be a running a fun competition and lots more.

As the Michelin* chefs and judges fly into the island, it reads like a who’s who of the most accomplished stars in the world of food and wine.

The judges are:

  • Christopher Barber – former personal chef to the Prince of Wales
  • Enrico Bernardo – world class sommelier
  • Patrick Bertron – protege of Bernard Loiseau and world class chef
  • Serge Vieira – world class chef
  • Dominique Loiseau – wife of Bernard Loiseau and founder of the festival
  • Claus Meyer – co-owner of Noma

The  Michelin* chefs are:

  • Fabrine Biasolo
  • Patrick Bittner
  • Jacques Decoret
  • Dominique Gauthier
  • Angela Hartnett
  • David Johansen

 The island chefs are:

  • Ankur Daru – Ephelia, Seychelles
  • Kamlesh Doorjean – Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius
  • Nuwan Hiettiarachchi – Halaveli, Maldives
  • Ravish Mukri – Moofushi, Maldives
  • Jayram Seenanum – Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius
  • Hildy Sinon – Lemuria, Seychelles

Find out more

 

Pre-selections for Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival 2012

 

Island chefs in the kitchen at Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival 2011

Island chefs in the kitchen at Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival 2011

With just 4 months to go until the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival gets underway next March, chefs across our Constance resorts have been taking part in the final pre-selection event.

We can already tell that next year’s will be an exceptional festival, with one candidate taking part from each of our resorts.

In November, all candidates were tasked with preparing a starter and a main course, all using the same ingredients.

For the appetiser

  • Shrimps 21/25
  • Tomato
  • Olive oil
  • Bell pepper
  • Lemongrass

For the main course

  • Fillet of fresh red snapper
  • Sweet potato
  • Coconut milk
  • Ginger
  • Lemon

How the judging works

Members of the jury at Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival 2011

Members of the jury at Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival 2011

We created a panel of 4 jury members for the tasting and one ‘technical’ jury member in the kitchen for each of our resorts. The rules and regulations, the timing, and the ingredients were the same.

The task was for each candidate to express his technique and creativity, and aim to impress the jury members.

Judging criteria

Jerôme Manifacier & Ashley Ramasawmy

Jerôme Manifacier & Ashley Ramasawmy at 2011 festival

Criteria for the kitchen jury:

  • Hygiene (Grooming, work flow, cleanliness, respect of hygiene standards) – out of 20 points
  • Respect of culinary techniques – out of 20 points
  • Organisation – out of 20 points
  • Fair-play attitude – out of 20 points
  • Timing – out of 20 points

 Criteria for the tasting panel:

  • Presentation, smell, colour, attractiveness of the dish - out of 5 points
  • Best use of produce - out of 5 points
  • Texture, right degree of cooking, temperature – out of 10 points
  • Creativity, originality - out of 10 points
  • Taste - out of 20 points

As the day got underway, there was much excitement and enthusiasm in our kitchens. The result was impressive, as you can see from the photos.

What happens next

All candidates are now anxiously awaiting the results.

Once each hotel knows who will be representing them at the festival, intensive training will start in order to be ready for the big day in March.

Watch this space for more information. And don’t miss our previous articles on:

Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival winners are crowned!

Winning Starter

The winning starter!

As you know from our previous daily updates, last week saw the Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius host the 6th annual Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival.

And now it’s time to find out which talented chefs won the overall competition.

The winners of the 6th Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival - Serge and Harrish

The winners of the 6th Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival - Serge and Harrish

And the winner is…

Serge Vieira, the Michelin-starred chef of the “Serge Vieira” restaurant in Chaudes- Aigues, France, alongside his competition partner, the Chef de Partie at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mr Harrish Mungur.

The delicious winning menu was composed of a heart of palm starter with tuna, hot mango, lemon grass sauce and grilled peanuts. The main course, Bourgeois, was cooked at low temperature then lacquered alongside crispy lime, cannelloni of Mauritian chards and ripe banana with preserved lemon.

Worthy second place winners

Worthy second place winners

Second place went to Xabi Ibarboure from ‘La Table des Frères Ibarboure’ in France and his festival partner Saroj Singh Magar Darlami from the Constance Halaveli Resort in the Maldives.

Third place went to Mike North from ‘The Nut Tree Inn’ in the UK alongside Marcus Accouche from the Constance Lémuria Resort, Seychelles.

The Culinary Festival

The week itself was a unique exchange between 6 European chefs, all holders of a Michelin star and six chefs from the Constance Hotels Experience group: Constance Belle Mare Plage, Constance Le Prince Maurice, Constance Ephélia Resort, Constance Lémuria Resort and Constance Halaveli Resort. Links to more information about these hotels are on the right.

The key objective of the Culinary Festival was to support the exchange of experience and knowledge between the participating professionals and to celebrate their common passion for the love of cooking and the art of the table.

New competitions added this year

While the main event was the culinary contest, this year saw several new internal competitions added, also.

There was a cocktail competition on 14th March, won by Jonathan Nazira from the Constance Belle Mare Plage using Gabriel Boudier and Bernard Loiseau liquors. Each of the European chefs was asked to choose the best mixologist from six barmen from Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice. The winning cocktail was served at the Prize Giving ceremony.

Mrs Rajeshwaree Ramphul  won the new ‘Art of the Table’ competition which was held on 15th March where the wives of the European chefs went to the Deer Hunter restaurant with Dominique Loiseau and selected the most beautifully prepared table in a competition between 6 of Constance Belle Mare Plage’s head waiters.

The 16 March saw Mr Jay Bissoondoyal  win another new feature of the festival – the Centrepiece Competition. The themes were ‘Elegance lies in Simplicity’ and ‘Mother of Pearls and Stardust’.

Wine competition

As if that wasn’t enough, there was a wine competition on 18 March, where 6 Mauritian wine waiters explained their choice of wine to match with the dinner served by the European chefs. The winner for this competition was Mr Jorald Julie, sommelier of Constance Le Prince Maurice.

The latter also came second in the examination as “Wine Waiter Advisor” at the famous wine university of Suze la Rousse, in the Rhône Valley in 2008.