Chefs, caviar and competition: Inside Constance Festival Culinaire 2024

Chefs, caviar and competition: Inside Constance Festival Culinaire 2024



FACT visited the annual food festival in Mauritius, which is open to the public. 

Drums are banging, crowds are clapping and cameras are flashing. There are no A-list stars in sight, but MICHELIN stars are aplenty. At Mauritius’ prestigious food festival, the arrival of each dish is greeted like a celebrity. FACT attended the event hosted by Constance Hotels & Resorts, which ran from 8 to 16 March 2024. Welcome to Constance Festival Culinaire. 

Constance Festival Culinaire is open to emerging and established chefs – and, of course, food fans. The 17th edition brought together chefs from around the world, from the French Pierre Hermé, who recently opened a patisserie in Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, to British Robert Chambers, who is behind the MICHELIN Starred restaurant Luca in London. At its helm was the critically-acclaimed chef Régis Marcon, who is the owner of the three MICHELIN Starred Le Clos des Cimes in Haute-Loire, France.

At Constance Festival Culinaire, guests are given the rare chance to rub shoulders with some of the world’s biggest chefs and critics. The famous food writer and presenter Mecotte, from the French adaptation of The Great British Bake Off, Le Meilleur Pâtissier, was seen digging into desserts. And, if you can stand the heat – it was hitting 30 degrees Celsius, after all – you could visit the kitchens and watch the chefs at work. 

Constance Festival Culinaire
Dinner and drinks

Throughout Constance Festival Culinaire, the public could attend special dinners hosted by chefs, and with local as well as international produce. The dinners took place across Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Prince Maurice, and also welcomed Constance Hotels and Resorts chefs from across Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles.

The ROGN Caviar Dinner took place at La Spiagga in Constance Belle Mare Plage, and showcased how the caviar could combine with everything from salmon fillets to pavlova. Erlend Nord from ROGN Caviar, which creates grade one caviar, shared: “The festival is a good opportunity to learn new things, tastes, cultures and understanding of food. If you’re thinking about coming, one hundred per cent you should do it – you will probably experience something you haven’t before alongside sun, sea and sand.”

A Deutz and Delas dinner was created by Chef Christopher Haatuft, and held at Blue Penny Cellar in Constance Belle Mare Plage. Morgan Mobuchon, General Manager of Champagne Duetz, explained: “We have participated in the festival since it started. It’s my third time here and I love it. Guests have the chance to try our gastronomic Champagne, and a brand that was founded in 1838. Now, the event has become so popular, I’ve seen people coming just for the festival.”

Constance Festival Culinaire
Culinary competitions 

Culinary competitions are at the heart of Constance Festival Culinaire. The Deutz Trophy for the best dish paired with Duetz Champagne; Régis Macron Trophy for the best original dish; Pierre Hermé Trophy for the best pastry; and Constance Café Gourmand for the best dessert with Nespresso Coffees. The judges jotted down thoughts and picked up forkfuls. Plus, at the Jars Arts of the Table Trophy event, waiters competed for the best service and table design – and we were surprised by the number of ways you could fold a napkin. 

Constance Festival Culinaire

One of the highlights was The Pierre Hermé Trophy, which saw six international pastry chefs work with six pastry chefs from Constance Hotels and Resorts. Under the theme Island Easter Egg, the creations had to include Valrhona chocolate and passion fruit. Each piece looked like a work of art, from chocolate peacock feathers to chocolate-shaped seashells and seahorses. Lok Him Yam from Hong Kong won for an egg shaped like the land’s legendary dodo.

Constance Festival Culinaire

By the end of the week, stomachs were full but spirits were still strong. The festival culminated with a prize-giving ceremony with awards – and that cheering continued. The Deutz Trophy was awarded to Maurizio Oster from Zeik restaurant in Germany, and the Régis Macron Trophy was awarded to Thomas Sjögren and Niraj Bisnauthsing from Constance Prince Maurice in Mauritius. A round of applause for Constance Festival Culinaire.

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