Mauritius is absolute paradise, but if you’re a guest at the Constance Belle Mare Plage during the Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau, well then you’re in a food-lovers dessert paradise too!

Constance Belle Mare Plage Mauritius

Yes, I sat here and ate lunch. Don’t hate me.

Constance Belle Mare Plage Mauritius

Constance Belle Mare Plage Mauritius

Six Michelin-star chefs from 6 countries, 6 Constance Hotel chefs from 3 islands (Mauritius, Seychelles and Maldives), 5 pastry chefs and 5 local ingredients. Five also happens to be the amount of kilos I gained during the most delicious food event of the year; the Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau. Held at the Constance Belle Mare Plage hotel each year, the festival is a celebration of food, sharing knowledge and being inspired by different cultures and cuisines.

Contestants and Michelin Chefs of the 13th Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau

This year was particularly special because I was asked to shoot the artwork for the event. I did not expect to see the image I created literally EVERYWHERE! On book covers, on banners, it was even printed as a giant billboard (in front of which I did a happy dance, naturally!).

Constance Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau artwork by Katelyn Williams Allegra

The main event of the Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau is a an epic culinary clash; 6 Michelin-starred chefs from around the world are paired up with 6 chefs from the Constance Hotels and Resorts properties and, with a few local ingredients, have to create delicious magic! And if you’re a guest at the hotel during this week, well, then you’re lucky enough to eat all the food they create. Below is just one of the MANY plates created by the winning team; Michelin-starred chef Michael Reis and Arshil Soopun from Constance Ephelia Seychelles. Crispy cream cheese gnocchi, pineapple, papaya chutney and raw marinated gourd – the dish included vanilla which I thought was so clever!

Winning dish of the Constance Festival Bernard Loiseau

But if you know me well, you’ll know that I was only thinking about one thing: DESSERT! And boy, was it good dessert…  Alongside the main Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau competition was a serious pastry showdown between 5 of the Constance Hotel pastry chefs from the various islands of Seychelles, Mauritius and Maldives, because according to Executive Chef Nicholas Durousseau, a good menu is nothing without dessert (preach!).

Pastry chef prepping mille feuille

While the pastry chefs competed for the approval of Pierre Hermé (yes, the macaron master was there!), Mercotte (France’s Mary Berry) and other esteemed pastry professionals, I got to drool over and taste their magical creations.

Judges Pierre Herme, Mercotte and Anne-Sophie Bercet

It’s not a competition without rules so the chefs  had to create a deceptively simple classic, Mille Feuille (puff pastry layered with pastry cream), a chocolate plated dessert, chocolate pralines as well as a towering chocolate showpiece to show off all their creations.

Iven Chitray's Chocolate Plated Dessert

Mentored by Executive Chef Nicolas Durousseau and