A dialogue of aromas and flavors, of passion for cooking, of gastronomic cultures: the first of the four appointments of the Mauritius Gourmet Weekgastronomic week Identity Golose Milano dedicated to the scents and flavors of the splendid island of Mauritius, a marvel of volcanic origin located in the Indian Ocean.
In fact, since September 21 to 24 Moorogun Coopenthe executive head of Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa, is the protagonist along with other ‘friendly’ chefs from Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels of four different dinners, four heterogeneous and fascinating itineraries with the flavors of the island. Organize the evenings in collaboration with the prestigious hotel group Alpitour Worldleader in Italy in the tourism sector, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority And Air Mauritius.
For the first dinner, to the chef coopen joins, with his usual grace and elegance, Luca Marchinichef and owner of the restaurant L’Erba del Re in Modena, which at the beginning of 2022 was the protagonist together with the Mauritian chef of a gastronomic week in this case organized by Shandrani Beachcomberfrom which he returns with the desire to develop a twinning project dedicated to young emerging Mauritian chefs.
Luca Marchini And Moorogun Coopen
Also taking up some thoughts from Luca Marchini at the end of the dinner, this experience of a few months ago remains etched in his memory: “The first thing that I think I brought back to Italy from those days in Mauritius was their genuine enthusiasm for doing things. I remember walking into a large kitchen, bustling with dozens and dozens of people, all working with a smile. When you cook with this joy, you feel great gratification. In addition to this, I keep in my memory those delicate and overwhelming scents of spices, herbs, delicate and very fresh aromas in the mouth”.
Lemon risotto, almond milk, olives, capers, onion, datterini sauce
There were two dishes signed by Marchini, both fascinating and gourmet and immediate, but at the same time different, original, with a strong personality. The first was the Lemon risotto, almond milk, olives, capers, onion, datterini sauce: from the kitchen, with the dish, the recommendation to taste it without stirring the rice, to capture the different layers of flavors and aromas. Acidity and freshness, but also sweetness, bitter, salty notes… a dish that amuses the palate from start to finish.
“My love for acidity – he told us Marchini – is evident in this risotto. In the composition of this dish, the lemon is very present, with its juice, to flavor each bite. I added almond milk to it, with an additional addition of sweet and bitter almonds left to macerate, which bring summer aromas, typical of southern Italy. And then again the olives, the datterini, the onion: a Mediterranean triumph to be tasted gradually, always finding new nuances”.
Bavarian cream with avocado, liquorice, yogurt, crunchy dried fruit
The dessert is also delicious Bavarian cream with avocado, liquorice, yogurt, crunchy dried fruitwhere the silky delicacy of the avocado stood out, offered as a dessert: “This dish, which I have been offering for about a month at theKing’s Grass, was born from the desire to offer a more “sweet” dessert, because I often tend to play on salty notes. But somehow they also come back in this dessert, with the use of a slightly salty gourmet panettone at the base, with the use of avocado, which is a sweet fruit with nuances specific savory dishes, or with the addition of liquorice with Italian meringue”.
Moorogun Coopen he rather told us, thinking back to the most important moments of his career as a conductor, his meeting, in 2014, with Paul Bocuse: “Having the opportunity to work with this myth of world cuisine has changed the way I think and cook. It made me realize how important it is to go beyond just the goodness of a dish, how cooking is food for the body, how to use temperatures correctly to preserve all the nutrients in what we cook “.
Crab meat marinated in kaffir lime leaf and ginger syrup, mashed peas, watermelon with garlic and olive oil
The two dishes he presented for this first evening a Identity Golose Milano they showed a great richness of scents and colors. “Mauritius – he explained to us – is a multicultural island, our cuisine is influenced by African, Asian, European elements: this means that these are dishes that can speak to many different people, because each captures something of its traditions and its own flavors”.
The cook of Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa open dinner with aperitif Crab meat marinated in kaffir lime leaf and ginger syrup, mashed peas, watermelon with garlic and olive oil: “In this dish it is very important to find the right balance between the lemongrass and the kaffir lime and the crabmeat. To bring sweetness to the dish, I added watermelon, proposed with a delicate touch of garlic”.
More familiar to Italians is the second course of Moorogun CoopenL’Beef rib steak with salmì sauce, pumpkin fricassee, sautéed spinach, sweet potatoes with thyme“At the heart of this dish is the salmì sauce, which I didn’t know was also well known here in Italy, it is very popular in Mauritius. I also like the association of sweet potatoes and pumpkin: I also discovered the benefits of your pumpkins, it was a great pleasure to be able to cook them”.
Beef rib steak with salmì sauce, pumpkin fricassee, sautéed spinach, sweet potatoes with thyme
The dinners of Mauritius Gourmet Week They continue Thursday September 22 with the couple Antonella Ricci and Vinod Sookarfrom Fornello da Ricci by Ceglie Messapica, Friday 23 and Saturday 24 with two menus signed by the soloist Moorogun Coopen. To book your table, visit the dedicated page on the Hub website.