Updated: May 11, 2019



I’m getting high. On  tropical flavours, but even more on knowledge of the rare and the exotic. And the waltz of local Mauritian flavours with French gastronomique techniques orchestrated brilliantly by the young local Mauritian Chef Didier Jacob. But first, let me tell you all about how  I lost my heart to the rare “heart of coconut palm” masterpiece.


I lost my heart to the rare coconut heart  & to the brilliant young chef Didier Jacob who created a masterpiece  from it. Then it is the ruby red jewel of slow cooked beetroot puree that dazzles. It is masterfully sparkled with orange spices the char grill beetroot kissed with star anise. Sonnets & symphonies of the finest of local Mauritianvegetables with classical frenchgastronomic finesse parade.

But first please take a look at the accompanying photograph with the  long 60 kilo cylinder from a 15 year old coconut palm tree that the chefs are holding. It  is then peeled open in front of us. It is delicious to taste raw and then  Chef Didier seduces with the lightest crunchy Coconut Palm Heart tartare sparkled with turmeric and its Carpaccio with  lime dressing.


Coconut palms are known typically for their coconuts. You can eat and drink the nuts in various stages of development and they are all delicious. However, did you know that you could harvest the heart from a coconut palm and eat it? The heart of palm is located where the green leaves start to bud from the trunk. Under the woody palm, leaf stem is a soft, white center. Removing the heart from a coconut palm kills the tree. Thankfully, after each purchase of a coconut heart they plant ten more trees.



After that heart of coconut palm course, we move on to the Pumpkin,  a masterpiece of smoked nine moths aged Pumpkin, Confit Butter nuts, pumpkin puree with almondcrowned with crispy Spring onions roots The Green Asparagus Variation tantalises with with green apple, and it smoked Asparagus puree The sweet finale painted on to the table of compressed fruit mascarponecream and more is fingerlicking good. chef Didier’s years of globetrotting and working alongside starred. geniuses shines.through as he has evolved his unique expression of Mauritian cuisine with classical French influences.


Inspired by the warm currents of the Indian Ocean, La Belle Creole Mary is an interpretation of the traditions of the tropical paradise. Signature touches such as aloe vera juice, coconut, evoke inspired memories of  Mauritius. Derived from the Bloody Mary and Virgin Mary this cocktail and mocktail has a fascinating history. And Ive tasted it in all three of it’s  birthplaces, Mauritius, New York and Paris (notes on those follow). Here’s how to shake the   perfect

Mauritian, St Regis La Belle Creole Mary… INGREDIENTS 3 1/3 OZ / 100 ML fresh tomato juice 2 3/4 OZ/80 ML aloe vera juice 4 TSP/ 20 ML of Worcestershire sauce 4 drops of Tabasco sauce 1 1/2 OZ / 45 ML premium traditional  rum (optional if you want a mocktail) 1 pinch celery salt 4 mint leaves 1 coconut curl 8-10 coconut flakes, for garnish 1 slice of lime, for garnish 1 sprig of mint. for garnish

DIRECTIONS Put the  tomato and aloe vera juices and rum (if you choose to). Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, celery salt and mint leaves into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir with a mixing spoon for I0 seconds. Strain into a stemless red wine glass and add crushed ice. Place the coconut curl on top. Garnish with the coconut flakes, slice of lime and sprig of mint.

In New York, I zoom in on the timeless yet contemporary, over a century old  King Cole bar at St Regis.

Originally founded by John Jacob Astor over a century ago, it is this magnificent landmark where hotel history was made. The center of Manhattan social life. not only did St Regis make history with all  newsworthy and path-breaking conveniences (telephone, central heating) but is even credited with the invention of one of the worlds most famous cocktails the “Bloody Mary”.

It was way back in 1934, Fernand Petiot, bartender at the famous King Cole Bar, perfected the Bloody Mary- the iconic vodka and tomato juice cocktail so beloved today. The famed cocktail was created when Serge Obolensky, a well known man about town whose penchant for vodka was in keeping with his aristocratic Russian background, asked Petiot to make the vodka cocktail he had in Paris. The formula was spiced up with salt, pepper, lemon and Worcestershire Sauce, Interestingly,  the name Bloody Mary was deemed inappropriate for the elegant clientele of The St. Regis, it was rechristened the Red Snapper.

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© 2019 by Rashmi Uday Singh

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