Food & Wine

Constance luxury hotels applaud their culinary heights

View from breakfast

View from breakfast

The gal has raved before about the luxury Constance Le Prince Maurice hotel on Mauritius. Oh what views – see what you might look at, above, as you sit on one of your privates terraces, or, to the left, while having breakfast at the lovely all-day Archipel restaurant (a breakfast where your fresh fruit is cut to order, and coffee is brought in individual silver pots). They take food extremely seriously here at this 89-room hotel, as they do at all seven hotels in the Constance Group. That is a company statement. The CEO, Jean-Jacques Vallet, says so. Part of this culinary determination manifests itself in the yearly Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau, the 11th happening of which finished Monday March 21st, 2016.

The grand trophy for Festival Culinaire de Bernard Loiseau

Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau trophy

That was the night when Kritesh Halkory, from this very hotel, won top award. The event started because Jean-Jacques Vallet wanted to raise culinary levels throughout all his hotels, and, through a contact, he arranged a partnership with Dominique Loiseau, wife of the late chef Bernard Loiseau, and her restaurant, Restaurant Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu. She, and her top chef Patrick Bertron, travel to Mauritius to preside over the week-long event. Each of the Constance hotels has chosen, by internal competition, one chef, who then works in tandem with one of the visiting chefs flown in for the occasion – they go to market, share tips and ideas.

Kritesh Halkory, left, and

Kritesh Halkory, left, and Michel Husser

For the competition itself, the pair cooks together. This year’s winner, Kritesh Halkory, was paired with Michel Husser, from Le Cerf restaurant in Marlenheim. Other Constance competitors were paired, in alphabetical order, with Berwyn Davies, Glasshouse Restaurant, Kew; Yuseke Goto, Amour Restaurant, Tokyo; Marc de Passorio, Restaurant L’Esprit de la Violette, Aix-en-Provence (he won a special Champagne Deutz prize for prawn canapés); Olivier Roeder, Bembergs Hauschen, Flamersheim; Tommi Tuominen, Demo Restaurant, Helsinki. It was Constance Le Prince Maurice pastry chef, too, Stéphane Labstide, who won the Pierre Hermé pastry competition, co-sponsored by Valrhona – and the same hotel’s sommelier, Vishal Jevallee, was judged best of his excellent bunch.

Alex and Andrew Milton

Alexandra and Andrew Milton, COO Constance hotels

The gala dinner, one week ago tonight, in fact was an almost-Oscars event of hand-clapping, for one award after another. Constance Le Prince Maurice‘s Atish Jahal won Art of the Table, for table-setting and subsequent service – but it was Constance Belle Mare Plage‘s Nicolas Durousseau who won Nespresso‘s Café Gourmand imaginative coffee section, and Soodoeeb Manveer, also from Constance Belle Mare Plage, was deemed champion mixologist. As one can easily see, the Constance family of luxury hotels and their many followers had a lot to celebrate at that final gala dinner.