The lots have been drawn and the teams of chefs have been chosen for this year’s amazing Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival at the Constance Belle Mare Plage Hotel in Mauritius.
European chefs have been paired with talented island chefs to share knowledge and experience in a culinary exchange that will develop original recipes while keeping a Mauritian focus.
Our chef teams this year are:
Mike North and Marcus Accouche
Marcus joined Constance Lémuria Resort as Commis in May 2008 and he has already participated in 5 internal competitions in pastry and cuisine. He won a gold medal in September 2010 and he is very proud to represent Constance Lemuria Resort in this year’s festival. He really wants to bring back the trophy to his home island of Seychelles!
Passionate about cuisine, Marcus spends a lot of time scouring the Internet for new ideas and inspiration to expand his culinary skills. He is coupled with Mike North, chef and proprietor (along with his fiancée, Imogen Young) at The Nut Tree Inn, in Murcott, Oxfordshire, UK.
Mike’s philosophy for food is to buy the best possible ingredients, cook them respectfully and intelligently, and give the diner a sense of simplicity – allowing the flavours to be as natural as possible. In 2008 Mike was awarded a Michelin Star for his efforts.
Harrish Mungur and Serge Vieira
Harrish is representing the Constance Belle Mare Plage. He is insatiable when it comes to food – especially pastry! He is a calm and serene worker with an excellent sense of organisation. This is a real challenge for him and his goal is to win the trophy!
Harrish is teamed with Serge Vieira, chef at the restaurant Chaudes-Aigues in France. Serge won the first competition he entered, Jean Botio’s ‘Auvergne-Quebec’ in 1997. He then tried the “Artistic National Competition of Cooking” under the advice of Régis Marcon, to further improve his techniques. He walked away with first prize yet again. He was awarded his first Michelin star and a nomination for a second star only 8 months after opening his own restaurant.
Ashley Ramasawmy and Jerome Manifacier
Ashely represents the Constance Le Prince Maurice. Ashley says: ‘I will play the game as seriously as my opponents to win and bring the trophy back to honour Constance Le Prince Maurice and my team’. His dedication and hard work since joining the Constance team in 2009 ensured he was asked to participate in the 2011 Culinary Festival.
Ashley is joined by Jerome Manifacier, chef at the restaurant Vertig’o at the Hotel De La Paix in Geneva, Switzerland. Jerome Manifacier has more than 20 years of experience behind him. He said: “I was lucky because in general my employers were quick to trust me. I met extraordinary Chefs such as Maurice Duplay. On the morning of my first day I was cutting vegetables, and by the evening I was cooking!”
Keeshan Shibchurn and Thomas Herman
Like Harrish, Keeshan is also representing the Belle Mare Plage Hotel. He’s passionate about fusion cooking and is very creative, constantly expanding his knowledge. This will be the third time that he is taking part in the Culinary Festival. As one of the finalists in 2009, Keeshan is determined to win first prize this year!
Thomas Herman joins Keeshan for the Festival. He’s chef of the Restaurant Herman in Copenhagen, Denmark. In March 2009, chef Thomas and his staff were honoured with the greatest recognition a restaurant can hope for when they were awarded a Michelin star. In November 2009, Restaurant Herman was voted ‘Restaurant of the Year’ by the Danish Michelin equivalent, the ‘Gudme Raaschou Spiseguide’.
Saroj Singh Magar Darlami and Xabi Ibarbourne
Saroj Singh is representing the Constance Halaveli Resort. This is the first year that the Maldivian resort has participated in the culinary festival Bernard Loiseau and Nepalese Saroj is very proud and excited to be taking part.
Xabi joins Sarojsingh from La Table and l’Hostellerie des Frères Ibarboure in Bidart, France. Xabi grew up among steaming pots, tantalizing aromas, noisy furnaces and the intrinsic stress that seems to go hand in hand with being a chef. He and his wife Soline joined the family business and Xabi enhances his father’s delicious menu with his own distinctive and modern techniques.
Aviraj ‘Virage’ Parreague and Hans Horberth
Aviraj is representing the Contance Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles. His nickname ‘Virage’ was given to him by Chef Michel Portos during the first edition of the Culinary Festival in 2006 and has stuck with him ever since. Aviraj does not stop practicing and learning. He has won several medals in internal competitions. Most notably at the annual ‘Black Box Competition’, where he successively won the bronze, silver, and finally the gold medal in 2008. In 2006, he won third place in the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.
Aviraj is joined by Hans Horberth, chef at La Vision Restaurant in Koln, Germany. In 1999, Michelin awarded him his first Michelin star at the Hotel in Bad Laasphe Jagdhof Glashütte, a star which he has been able to keep at Villa Merton in Frankfurt as well as his current restaurant in Cologne where he works since 2008. Hans Horberth cuisine is characterised by a very individual style of modern classic and is one of the most famous and innovative Chefs in Germany (Diners Award 2010).