Festival of French Gastronomy – 23 September 2011

Logo for French Festival of Gastronomy
French Festival of Gastronomy

As France celebrates its first national food festival – the Fête de la Gastronomie – on 23 September, our French chefs in the Seychelles and Mauritius are joining in the party to celebrate French food globally, and show our love of good food.

This year we’ve chosen ‘Our Earth’ as the theme – because it generously allows us to work it, harvest its fruits and use them for our food. And because man and earth are inseparable.

On 23 September, we will show that the heart of every French citizen still beats in time to the rhythm of good food!

In the Seychelles

Our 2 beautiful resorts in the Seychelles – Constance Ephélia and Constance Lémuria – are joining forces to present the same menu on the evening of the festival.

French classics with a modern twist

The menu proposes a modern version of great French classics such as Tournedos Rossini, accompanied by some of the best wines of the world.

The menu has been created by Lémuria’s executive chef Cyrille Carofano and Ephélia’s executive sous-chef Gwenael Briat.

Seahorse restaurant at Constance Lemuria

Seahorse restaurant at Constance Lemuria

Prize draw

We’ll be holding a prize draw on the evening in both hotels – superb prizes include a holiday for 2 at Constance Ephélia. Students from the Hotel School of Seychelles will also be joining in the fun, to discover more about the culinary culture of France.

In Mauritius

Constance Le Prince Maurice – the menu

On the same evening in Mauritius, celebrity Chef Michael Scioli at Constance Le Prince Maurice will showcase a fabulous selection of the best French cheeses, served with homemade tropical jams and relish, paired with a creative selection of homemade breads.

Pastry chef Chrystel Germain will propose a personal interpretation of the most famous French pastries and desserts. And Constance Head sommelier Jerôme Faure will be ready to suggest the perfect match of great wines at a very special price.

Constance Belle Mare Plage

Evening at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Evening at Constance Belle Mare Plage

At Constance Belle Mare Plage, the theme of the evening – ‘from France to the Indian Ocean’ – celebrates
the friendship and long lasting culinary relationship that exists between Mauritius and France.

The menu

There’ll be an incredible ’16 hands’ menu, based on the best produce of the Indian Ocean, paired with wines from the Old World.

Madagascar crab, local oysters, Black Qwelhi prawns from Mozambique are some of the delicacies that will be served on the night. The menu has been prepared by executive chef Dominique Grel together with all the Mauritian chefs of the resort, and our Food and Beverage Director Frederic Gille.

Pastry chef Thierry Lerallu has combined the tropical flavours of papaya, coconut and vanilla in a creation that’s not to be missed.

Sound tempting? Take a look at the menu for our special event at
Constance Belle Mare Plage
.

Everyone is welcome

This wonderful festival is one this year’s unmissable events. Everyone is welcome to attend the special occasion at our hotels.

Spotlight on the culinary spirit at Constance

Le Barachois floating restaurant at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Le Barachois floating restaurant

Our corporate chef, Bruno Le Gac, gives us the history behind our famous ‘culinary spirit’.

The concept of the culinary spirit was born at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius when the resort was created a few years ago.

What is the culinary spirit?

The idea of the culinary spirit centres around:

  • The careful choice of the best produce.
  • The enhancement of this produce by a precise cooking method and the balanced use of spices.

Michael Scioli, the brilliant chef at Le Prince Maurice, wanted to give a personal and contemporary interpretation of these founding principles.

Le Barachois

Table at Le Barachois, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Table at Le Barachois, Constance Le Prince Maurice

He’s developed a menu at Le Barachois, our famous floating restaurant, where the dishes are created around the association of one central produce and one spice.

Here are just a few dishes on the menu to get your tastebuds excited:

  • Sarawak black pepper and Indian Ocean Albacore tuna, in a tartar with passion fruit and coconut milk starts the dinner with a note of freshness, elegance and a burst of flavours.
  • Fresh turmeric and tek-tek local cockles in a cocotte, a marinière broth with chorizo associates surf and turf in a very balanced way.
  • Sichuan and local grouper, sautéed and flavoured with Mirin, sesame oil and fresh soy sprouts is sharp and goes straight to the point.
  • Tamarind and grilled Royal gambas, a warm salad of capsicum and crispy beans plays with tangy notes and reflects these more vegetal of the garnish.

The dishes are served in a beautiful set of staub grey enamel cast ironware.

Why not try cooking some of our fabulous recipes at home. Every Friday we post a new recipe for you to try – see our culinary section for some great ideas.

Recipe: Pumpkin soup with cinnamon and ginger

Pumpkin soup with cinnamon and ginger

Pumpkin soup with cinnamon and ginger

Pumpkin soup makes for a great warming autumn supper, along with some crusty bread and good cheese. If you can’t find pumpkins, you could use any type of large squash instead.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.2kg pumpkin
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 leek, white part only
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 75cl chicken stock or water
  • 10cl crème fraîche
  • salt

To serve

  • 20g butter
  • 1 pinch powdered cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 3 sprigs chervil

1. Peel and seed the pumpkin, then cut it into large chunks. Peel the onion and garlic, clean and wash the leek. Finely dice leek and onion, chop garlic.
2. In a saucepan, fry the onions, garlic, leek and ginger in butter without colouring.
3. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon and thyme. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add water or stock, add salt to taste, and boil gently for 30 minutes without covering.
4. Remove cinnamon and thyme. Add crème fraîche and mix well. Pour pumpkin soup into a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Add a little water if necessary, correct seasoning.
5. Hand-blend the pumpkin cream with the butter to emulsify it. Pour it into soup bowls and sprinkle with powdered cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and small sprigs of chervil.

If you want to make your own bread to go with the soup, check out our delicious curry flavoured peanut and cashew bread rolls.

 

 

How to: buy and cook beef

We’re launching a new series of ‘how to’ guides so we can share our best culinary tips with you all.

Bruno Le Gac

Bruno Le Gac

If there’s anything you want to know to make your cooking more enjoyable, send us your comments and ideas.

You can contact us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

This week, our Corporate Chef Bruno Le Gac shares his expertise on what to look for when you’re buying beef. He’s also got plenty of tips on how to cook the meat you’ve chosen.

Find a good butcher

Before going to your butcher to buy beef there are a few basic questions to ask yourself:

  • How do I want to cook the meat?
  • How much do I want to spend?
  • How much time do I have?

What you want to prepare will determine the cut you need to buy. The most important thing to me is to find the right butcher. Meat in general is a very specific produce, and you need to trust the person who is selling it to you.

Roast beef

Roast beef

A good butcher knows where his meat is coming from, how long it has been resting in the cold room, what he should serve you according to the circumstances and the answers to your three questions listed above.

Summer BBQ

Looking for something to serve at a summer BBQ with friends? Go for a nice, thick prime rib. Nicely marbled with thin layers of white fat and aged to perfection. Important: once cooked, the meat has to rest for at least 10 minutes before being sliced and served.

Children helping cook in the kitchen

Children love helping to cook

Cooking for the kids

Preparing a quick lunch with the kids at home? Flank steak is a great option. Thin and easy to prepare – use a cast iron grill-pan - it’s a delicious and juicy cut. Great with sliced shallots just sautéed in butter and sprinkled with freshly ground pepper.

Romantic dinner for two

Planning a romantic dinner with a nice bottle of Bordeaux? A thick cut of a good quality tenderloin is your best bet. Real meat lovers will prefer rib-eye, a slightly less tender but more tasty cut, although arguably less romantic). It doesn’t come cheap but it’s pleasure guaranteed.

Portion sizes – 180g per portion is nice. 200g is for big appetites. 250g is for rugby players…

Prime category red meat is always best served medium rare. If you prefer your tenderloin well done, I would recommend you open it ‘butterfly’ style for a quicker cooking time.

Le Creuset casserole pot

Le Creuset casserole pot

Family gathering

Got a family gathering to cook for? A nicely roasted sirloin, sliced in the dining room with a beautiful professional knife is an elegant dish that will please everyone. It cooks ‘by itself’ which gives you time to take care of your guests.

For a less costly option, but not less pleasurable, go for gelatinous cuts such as cheeks or even shortribs.

They are at their best when braised in the oven in a rich sauce with red wine, baby onions and mushrooms. It takes time to make, and it’s more of a winter dish, but the reward is worth it. Serve it with your homemade mashed potato, and sprinkle with fresh thinly chopped chives.

More recipes…

Want to create some more of our chefs’ amazing dishes yourself at home? Every Friday, we post some of the most amazing, delicious and popular recipes in our culinary section.

Recipe: Black Qwehli Prawns poached with lemongrass, stuffed chinese chard and papaya chutney

This delicious and surprisingly easy seafood recipe comes from Chef Dominique at Constance Belle Mare Plage. The Black Qwehli prawn is an exceptional organic prawn that comes from Mozambique. If you can’t get these prawns, use the best quality prawns with tails that you can.

Black Qwehli prawns

Black Qwehli prawns

Serves 4

Ingredients

15-20 prawns

For the papaya chutney

  • 150g papaya
  • one piece of lemon
  • green chilli
  • 30g onion
  • 4g garlic, thinly chopped
  • 20g spring onions
  • 2g curry powder

For the stuffed chinese chard

  • 4 pieces of Pak Choi
  • 80g fresh fish, thinly chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 2g corn flour
  • 4g ginger pasta
  • 4 leaves of Pak Choi, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chilli powder

For the lemon grass foam

  • Shrimp stock infused with a good quantity of crushed lemon grass
  • 100g whipped cream

Decoration to serve 

  • 1 piece of tomato
  • Lemon rind
  • 100g watermelon

1. Crush the lemongrass and infuse in the shrimp stock. Then poach the prawns in the stock, and place in the fridge.
2. Prepare the papaya chutney – dice the papaya into small pieces, chop the onion, chilli and spring onion.
3. Cook this in olive oil, add the curry powder and blend very quickly. Allow the mix to cool down.
4. To prepare the lemongrass foam – whip the cream, reduce the stock and blend.
5. Place the tomato, watermelon and lemon rind onto cocktail sticks. Serve as shown in the photograph above.

When nature inspires design – Constance Ephelia Resort

Tableware at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles

Tableware at Constance Ephelia

Bruno Le Gac, our Corporate Executive Chef, gives you an insight into the design of the tableware we use at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles. 

When you visit Constance Ephelia, you’ll notice the design of the table tops are inspired by the beautiful nature of the Seychelles.

Plates, bowls and cutlery are gently curved to reflect the sensual curves of the famous Seychellois granite rocks. In Corossol restaurant, table lamps are made out of resin, and shaped like a large pebble. The table linen is light grey, the shade of the rocks under the sun. And the glasses have the color of the incredible Seychellois sunsets.