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All is on the right track for the first-ever Praslin Culinary and Arts fiesta in the Seychelles

All is on the right track for the first-ever Praslin Culinary and Arts fiesta in the Seychelles ( The team working on the first-ever Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta to be held on September 5 to 7 in the Seychelles are putting the final touches to the three-day event.

Held at Seychellois-Owned Domaine de La Reserve Hotel at Anse Petite Cour in the Baie Ste.Anne District of Praslin, a meeting was chaired by the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, and attended by Principal Secretaries for Tourism Anne Lafortune and that of Culture Benjamine Rose; members of the National Assembly for the Grand Anse Praslin district Marc Volcere and for Baie Ste.Anne Praslin Natasha Esther; tourism establishment owners; and principal of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, Flavien Joubert.

Minister St.Ange said the main aim of this one-of-kind fiesta is to help reposition the island of Praslin as a tourism destination centered on authentic culinary delights, and to increase the island's visibility.

During the meeting, it was discussed and agreed that there will be three competitions, namely: professional chef for a meat dish, a fish dish and for a dessert; a non-professional category for Praslinois home-cooking enthusiasts; and the construction of a Creole kiosk contest which will be used at Cote D'Or for the fiesta.

For the two culinary contests, guidelines and criteria are being drafted by the Tourism Academy and these will be given to those taking part.

Those taking part must prepare authentic Creole dishes to present to the jury panel. For the professional culinary contest, each hotel is allowed to enter in all three categories, and it can be up to three chefs from the same establishment.

Judging for the two culinary contests will be held at Domaine de La Reserve.

A sum of R1,000 is to be paid by each hotel as registration fee for each participating chef. The top three winners in each category will receive prizes.

The prize-giving ceremony will be held during the closing ceremony of the three-day fiesta on September 7, where winners will be announced.

It was also agreed during the meeting that all members of the jury will be Seychellois, and the same jury panel will serve for both categories.

The official opening ceremony is set for Friday, September 5, at 6:30 pm at Amitie, whereby the parliamentarians of the two districts on the island will have the chance to address the audience. After the official ceremony, there will be entertainment and musical performances.

Saturday, there will be sports activities such as a marathon and fishing competition and other popular activities.

Kiosks will be mounted at Cote D’Or near the Berjaya Praslin Beach hotel, where activities will take place. Local Praslin-made products will be on sale in those kiosks. Minister St.Ange is calling on vendors not to bring in imported toys and crafts to sell, as the event aims to promote Praslin with all its traditional aspects. These kiosks will have to be registered and there will be a fee attached to it for each kiosk owner. There will be a competition for all kiosks and will be judged on a number of criteria which will include creativity.

Praslinois and visitors to the island will get the chance to enjoy the ambiance of the famous Dimans Moutia, which will be held on Saturday night. The closing ceremony of the fiesta will be held on Sunday at 3:00 pm.

The highlight of the three-day event will be the coco-de-mer tasting. The kernel of the coco-de-mer which is known for its aphrodisiac qualities, will be used in products such as bread, parfait, mousse, and flan. This special dish will be available only through the Seychelles Tourism Academy kiosk where a controlled distribution arrangement is being organized. Tasting sessions are already taking place after initial preparations were launched at the Tourism Academy for creative use of a product endemic to Seychelles and today being used to firmly position its unique gardens and its island of Praslin on the tourism map.

The media will be highly involved from now leading up to the event so as to increase the publicity and visibility of the fiesta. The Tourism Board is also making arrangements for foreign journalists to fly to Seychelles to cover this first edition of the Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta and to taste the Seychelles endemic Coco-de-Mer double. For years, Seychelles has been exporting the Coco-de-Mer kernel to Asia, primarily to China. In September, product from this endemic nut of Seychelles will be tasted by Praslinois and visitors to the island alike. Minister Alain St.Ange recounted the answer by a Chinese journalist when discussing the coverage of the coming Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta. The Minister said: “A journalist from China was recently questioned on whether the myth surrounding the Coco-de-Mer nut was substantiated. This was after the aphrodisiac powers of the Coco-de-Mer were being discussed. The Chinese journalist simply said that China had over the years imported tons of the Seychelles Coco-de-Mer kernels, and look at what it has done to the population of China today…"

PHOTO: The Praslin meeting looking at the details of the coming Praslin Culinary&Arts Fiesta


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