A team from the Seychelles Tourism Academy working on the Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta, was on the island at the end of last week to update their Praslin partners and hoteliers on the latest developments and what remains to be done for the coming Praslin Island Fiesta, scheduled for 5 to 7 September 2014.
Led by the academy’s principal Flavien Joubert, the team held a meeting last Friday at Domaine de la Reserve, a hotel owned by renowned businessman Joe Albert, who is also the secretary of the Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta committee which is headed by Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St.Ange.
Members of the National Assembly of the two districts on Praslin – Natasha Esther of Baie Ste.Anne and Marc Volcere of Grand Anse – hoteliers, district administrators and other partners were present for the meeting.
Presentations by the academy team were based on the dried kernel of the coco-de-mer products tasting and analysis, food production and preparations.
Principal lecturer at the Seychelles Tourism Academy, Richard Mathiot, who is also the chairperson of the two coco-de-mer dried kernel tasting projects and the culinary competitions, gave an overview of the products prepared and tasted.
A product-tasting session was organised at the academy earlier last week, where Mr Mathiot and his team, comprised of Antoine Simeon, Christabelle Joubert, David Hoareau and John Pleureuse, prepared a range of products such as parfait, bavarois, flan, bread, mousse and ice-cream for tasting.
Photos of the products were shown to the Praslin Fiesta Committee Members who were present at the meeting, while Mr Mathiot gave his presentation. Products from processed Coco de Mer kernel are especially renown in Asia, particularly in China, for its aphrodisiac qualities. This will be the first Culinary Fiesta where this ‘forbidden fruit’ will be served and the organisers have appealed to everyone to ‘handle with care’ and not to over indulge. This unique delicacy will only be served once a year at Praslin itself where the endemic plant grows.
The Fiesta’s two culinary competitions-professional and non-professional categories was also discussed.
It has been agreed that all hotels needed to register and submit their registration forms, menus, recipe cards and techniques one week before the competition. They will also have to prepare a fiche technique and recipe card for each dish.
Each team will receive a number, and all dishes will be identified by a given number only. Dishes presented to the judging panel will be tasted and and winners will be announced during the closing ceremony of the three-day fiesta. It was agreed in the meeting that only hotels taking part will get the milk extract, grated and the flakes of the dried kernel of the coco-de-mer, which they will also be able to use during this Praslin Fiesta.
Hoteliers had the opportunity to share their views and suggest new ideas regarding all logistics and the culinary competitions. Other discussions held were centred on the community and media involvement in the three-day fiesta.
After the meeting, Mr Joe Albert led the tourism academy delegation and the hoteliers to visit the area at the hotel where the panel of jury will be based and other logistics.