Bid in our charity auction to dine at Restaurant Serge Vieira

Acclaimed French chef Serge Vieira describes his style of delicious light, simple, cooking as ‘émotion culinaire’ or culinary emotion.

Dining at Restaurant Serge Vieira

Dining at Restaurant Serge Vieira

The menu at his Restaurant Serge Vieira, which he runs with his wife Marie-Aude, is the expression of his culinary creativity and reflects his passionate respect for the food and the environment.

Vieira is adamant that he will only ever work with the best ingredients, always seasonal and, where possible, locally sourced. He is also interested in sustainability and ensures that the meat and fish served at his restaurant will not adversely impact the environment.

Set in a mediaeval fort overlooking the stunning countryside of Chaudes-Aigues in the southern French region of Aveyron, the Château du Couffour reflects the same preoccupation of modern style and traditional values.

Venture up the lime-tree drive and you find a beautiful medieval castle. Look closer and you will discover that integrated into the old fort is a stylish modern construction of glass and wood. The building itself reflects Vieira’s philosophy of combining the culture of taste and simplicity with environmental friendliness.

How Vieira learnt his trade

Born in the Auvergne in 1977, Vieira worked his way up through some of the most impressive kitchens in France before gaining world renowned for winning the prestigious Bocuse d’Or in 2005. For several years Vieira shared his culinary knowledge, travelling the world doing consultations, seminars and training.

In 2006 he was finally able to realise his dream when he and his wife set up their own restaurant named simply, Restaurant Serge Vieira. It was quickly awarded its first Michelin star in recognition of its simple elegant food and reasonably priced menus.

Serge Vieira

Serge Vieira

This year the restaurant picked up a second star, which Vieira is the first to admit is largely thanks to its loyal customer base.

His website greets customers with the message, ‘This year the Michelin Guide has awarded us 2 stars. Many thanks to you all, clients, members of staff and partners: without you no adventure, no honours, no pleasure and no emotion…’

Take your opportunity to experience the passion at Restaurant Serge Vieira – bid for a table for two in our online charity auction and share in Vieira’s ‘émotion culinaire’.

Read more

Bid in the Constance Festival charity auction to dine at Restaurant Serge Vieira

Find out more about Chef Serge Vieira including a guided video tour of the Château by the chef himself at gastro website WBP Stars – Restaurant Serge Vieira

And visit their website to find out more: Restaurant Serge Vieira

Bidding opens in the Constance Festival Charity Auction

Bid in the Constance Festival charity auction for your chance to enjoy an exclusive dinner for two at a European Michelin star restaurant, and help raise money for a ground-breaking school in Mauritius.

Chez Bruce, London UK

from Chez Bruce, London UK

All money raised through the auction will go to Etoile de Mer, located in the village of Roches Noires, Mauritius. Set up by educational visionary Christine Baudot, the school teaches teenagers vocational and life skills to help them discover opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

Over the next five days – until Friday 22 March – you can bid to dine at any of the following three restaurants in the UK, France and Switzerland.

 

1. Chez Bruce, Chef Bruce Poole (London, UK)

The offer: Dinner for 2 with wines matched by sommelier, and a behind the scenes tour of the kitchen to meet Chef Bruce Poole.

At Chez Bruce, you can enjoy top-notch modern food loosely influenced by classical and regional French/Mediterranean cuisine. Home-made charcuterie, slow cooked braises, offal, warm and cold salads, classical desserts and bread-making are specialities, as is the restaurant’s famous cheese board.

 

2. Restaurant Serge Vieira, Chef Serge and Marie-Aude Vieira (Chaudes-Aigues, South Central France)

Dining room at Restaurant Serge Vieira

Dining room at Restaurant Serge Vieira

The offer: Tasting menu for 2 plus drink

At Restaurant Serge Vieira, you can enjoy fabulous light and simple cooking, using only the finest ingredients, seasonal and locally sourced where possible.

Describing his cooking as ‘emotion culinaire’ Chef Serge runs his restaurant with his wife Marie-Aude, and the menu is the expression of their culinary creativity, reflecting their passionate respect for the food and the environment.

 

3. Beau Rivage, Chef Dominique Gauthier (Geneva, Switzerland)

The offer: Dinner for 2 at Le Chat-Botté

At Beau-Rivage’s Le Chat-Botté you can enjoy contemporary and inventive French cuisine by award winning Chef Dominique Gauthier.

At Beau Rivage

At Beau Rivage

Wine connoisseurs can indulge in some exceptional wines from the cellars of Beau Rivage, renowned as being one of the best stocked cellars in Switzerland.

Make a bid

Click on the link to place a bid in the Constance Festival charity auction.

 

Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2013

We’re running this year’s online charity auction to mark the 2013 Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau. Every day on the blog we’ll be publishing highlights from the festival. Visit the website for the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2013.

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?
Calm.

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?
Water.

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.

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.

The chef teams are chosen for the festival!

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

Mike North and Marcus Accouche

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.

serge vieira and harrish mungur

Harrish Mungur and Serge Vieira

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.

Jerome Manifacier and Ashley Ramasawmy

Jerome Manifacier and Ashley Ramasawmy

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!”

Thomas Herman and Keeshan Shibchurn

Thomas Herman and Keeshan Shibchurn

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’.

Xabi Ibarbourne and Sarojsingh Darlami

Xabi Ibarbourne and Sarojsingh Darlami

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.

Hans Horberth and Aviraj Parreague

Hans Horberth and Aviraj Parreague

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).