Follow us to Veranda Grand Baie, where you will meet Soobesh, who takes care of the hotel’s vegetable garden, and enjoy a three-course menu prepared by Chef Vinesh with aromatic plants and herbs from the same garden. Ready to go?
In the herb garden at the back of the hotel, Soobesh takes patience in growing some aromatic plants and vegetables, which Chef Vinesh and his crew would then use to spice up their dishes. Soobesh, who received the Employee of the Month title several times, takes care of this secret garden on his own, thereby ensuring the hotel’s self-provision of herbs.
Once he has turned up the soil, enriched it with manure, sowed the seeds and moistened the ground, he covers the seedlings with a large coconut palm leaf so they can grow safe from direct sunlight. After eight days in the shade, the plants are strong enough to withstand the sun and only require daily watering.
Chives, parsley, mint, coriander, lettuce, beetroot, turnip, as well as a great diversity of “green leaves” are cultivated in Veranda Grand Baie’s vegetable garden. A few banana trees complete the scenery, the fruit of which are enjoyed by hotel guests at breakfast in the main restaurant.
In Chef Vinesh’s kitchen
Back from the garden, Sous-chef Vinesh has prepared a three-course menu using ingredients from the hotel’s garden: Seasonal salad for starters, Chicken and vegetable curry for main course and Mint-flavoured creme brulee for dessert.
A light and appetizing starter course, the Seasonal salad is made with large lettuce leaves, grilled turnip, radish, carrot and cucumber, dressed with herb vinaigrette and croutons.
Sprinkled with a pinch of fresh coriander leaves, the Chicken and vegetable curry is served alongside faratas, white parsley rice and a selection of typical Mauritian relishes – spicy pickles, cucumber salad and tamarind chutney – for a savoury and slightly spicy delight.
To end up on a fine sweet note, the Mint-flavoured creme brulee, topped with local brown sugar caramel crust and a flavoured ice-cream scoop, creates the perfect blend between the hot custard cream and the cold ice cream.
Welcome, Chef Vinesh!
After he completed his training course at the Hotel School of Mauritius, in 1988, Vinesh debuted in the hospitality industry at Le Récif Hotel. He was waiter, then a steward, and was eventually offered an apprentice cook position in the hotel’s kitchen. In 1989, he left for Qatar, where he worked as a cook at Doha Sheraton Hotel for two years. Back to Mauritius, he gathered experience through various positions in the hospitality industry and other sectors: cook at Maritim Hotel and for the police forces in Port Louis’ Line Barracks; line cook at Paradise Cove Hotel and at the opening of Labourdonnais Hotel; Executive Sous-chef and Chef at La Plantation Hotel; Executive Chef at Le Palmiste Hotel; F&B Chef at the opening of Food Lovers and back to Executive Chef at Le Palmiste Hotel. In 2015, he was a Sous-chef at Zilwa Attitude Hotel before he joined Veranda Grand Baie Hotel & Spa in 2016.
If you want to learn more about the rich flavours and diversity of Mauritian cuisine, check out our recipes and tips on: http://www.verandaresortsblog.com/category/flavours