Friday, 19 August 2016

Hotel Updates: Denis Private Island

The Freshest Sushi in the World

For most hotels – even the ones on far-flung islands – acquiring the best sushigrade tuna  usually involves purchase orders and invoices. At Denis Private Island, it means getting in a  boat.

Sitting on the northern edge of the Seychelles plateau's “drop-off” – where ocean depths  plunge more than 2,000 metres – Denis Island has some of the world's most prodigious fishing grounds on its proverbial doorstep.

So although it should come as no surprise that the hotel's weekly sushi nights offer some of  the freshest and tastiest tuna one could possibly enjoy, even the most seasoned fishermen can be caught off-guard by just how bountiful the seas surrounding Denis can be, as the  island's boat skipper, John Benoiton, was reminded on a recent fishing jaunt in July. 

A quick venture out to sea yielded an incredible haul of prized Yellow fin tuna, including a  massive 62-kg specimen measuring several feet. Six other Yellowfins – ranging from 14-26kg  a piece – also formed part of the catch. From start to finish, the trip wrapped up in  just an hour and a half, making quick work of replenishing the kitchen's stock just 10 nautical miles away from the island.

The waters around Denis have been conveyed protected status by the Seychelles government, as the shallow lagoon and reefs around the coral islet form important spawning grounds for a variety of marine species, as well as a sanctuary for sea turtles. Thus, fishing  from Denis will often include a 15-minute boat ride to the Seychelles archipelago's famed  drop-off, which allows fishermen an incredible “mixed bag” of opportunity to pursue red  snapper and grouper as well as go trolling for tuna, wahoo, sailfish and marlin.

The islands' southeast monsoon – a steady dry wind that runs from May until September – brings cooler waters and with it, July's conditions are ideal for catching Yellowfin tuna.

For the chefs that make up Denis' talented culinary team, this seasonal phenomenon  provides an interesting opportunity to lavish guests liberally with an ingredient that often  rivals the price of filet mignon in big city restaurants. And not just for sushi, either. The  hotel's always-evolving daily menus routinely take into consideration what's available as part of the island's ethos, says Denis Private Island Communications, PR & Branding Manager Nicole St Ange.


“A big part of Denis Private Island's sustainability commitment means that we maximize the  use of what we can source locally,” St Ange says. “Whether it's our own farm that provides  the hotel with all of its fresh eggs, poultry and dairy, or the resources we can harvest  responsibly from the sea, we're committed to reducing our footprint for the sake of the  environment and food security. If our guests benefit along the way by being able to enjoy  some of the freshest fish possible at no extra cost, it's a win-win.”

Aside from supplying the hotel with some featured menu items, fishing has become one of  the island's signature attractions due to its close proximity to the drop-off. Denis consistently  ranks as one of the top sailfish destinations in the world, and boasts a plethora of other fish  to target by way of both trolling and bottom-fishing. And with the fishing grounds so close,  the island has become a popular means for fishermen to pursue their craft and still have plenty of time to spend with family on a holiday getaway.


Consistent with the island's sustainability policies, a strict tag-and-release protocol is  followed for all billfish catches, in accordance with International Game Fishing Association standards.

For more information about Denis, its cuisine or the types of fishing available from the island, please contact 

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