Starred Chef David Toutain Curates Heritage Le Château’s Summer Menu
The Heritage mother brand encompasses a dozen restaurants spread across its two uber-luxurious hotels, Heritage Le Telfair and Heritage Awali. There are cuisines and menus for every palate, whether vegetarian, vegan, carnivorous, or flexitarian. The particularity of Heritage Le Château is that it is set on the large estate of Bel Ombre and not inside one of our hotels. Recently the old colonial home underwent major restoration works by Perrot & Richard, the architecture firm that also restored the Sainte Chapelle, the Grand Palais and the Comédie Française. With the château being restored to its former glory, it only made sense to curate a summer menu that reflects the exquisite beauty of the Château.
Culinary prowess was not the sole criterion. We needed a chef that would honor the local produce and embrace Mauritian customs. The idea was to merge modern cooking techniques with our local cuisine to curate a menu that reflects the Heritage brand. This is where David Toutain comes in. The rising, starred chef trained in some of the most lauded kitchens–Bernard Loiseau, Marc Veyrat and Alain Passard–before opening his own eponymous restaurant in Paris, which earned him his first star and a slew of awards and accolades.
Toutain grew up on a farm in Normandy, where he assimilated the produce-based tradition of his region, an approach to cooking he replicates here in Mauritius. To create the menu for Heritage Le Château, he immersed himself in local customs, met fishermen and butchers, sampled delicacies and went as far as familiarizing himself with textures and colours in order to fully master the visual aspect of his dishes. His aim was to attain a certain osmosis, mainly by working alongside the Mauritian chefs.
The twelve dishes the rising chef composed for Heritage are eclectic and highly creative. There is a respect for locavorism through the sourcing of produce, herbs, fish and game from close by. The result is quite extraordinary, with unusual flavour combinations such as cumin caramel, venison and chocolate sauce, a bergamot flavoured crème brûlée, a local peanut brittle… The fabulous restaurant is open to hotel guests and outsiders seeking an out of the ordinary dining experience.