Monday, 22 July 2019

Industry News: Six Senses Zil Pasyon Unveils the Secrets of its Creole Cuisine

A mixture of different cultures and flavors, but always cooked with love

Ocean Kitchen is the first non-meat restaurant in the Seychelles. As such it features dishes with locally and sustainably caught fish along with the freshly-picked vegetables, herbs and fruit from the resort’s organic garden on Félicité. Chef Yusuf Nourice, the Creole cuisine specialist, is in his element while stirring pots radiating with local aromas and flavors, while inviting guests to try authentic native cuisine.

To this day Yusuf is a firm believer of adding his own personal touch to each traditional dish, whether that is an extra pinch of fresh herbs, a little extra curry or a few drops of oyster sauce, his secret ingredient. Yusuf feels very strongly about his “Yellowfin Tuna Ceviche” and he is proud to share his recipe.

Guests at Six Senses Zil Pasyon can take a bite out of local culture by tasting delicious Creole-inspired dishes at the Ocean Kitchen, prepared with fresh local ingredients. Creole cuisine is a balanced mix of diverse influences from the different cultures that made their way through the Seychelles over the years, all adding an extra sparkle. This is why Creole cuisine is unique in its own way. 

As in many cultures around the world, the art of cooking has played an important role in Seychellois families through the ages. Spices and fresh herbs are used to bring out the true flavors of fish and meat, which are predominant in the local diet. Salted meat or fish is an old tradition that has made its way onto the modern menu, where either is coated in rock salt, left in the sun to dry during the day and kept dry inside overnight. After a few days it is washed, boiled and cooked as a meal. Also integrated in today’s Creole cuisine is “gro manze”: sweet potatoes, breadfruit and cassava prepared boiled or as a fricassee, along with other traditional dishes including curries and rich tomato-based rougail.

As a boy, Yusuf would spend many hours watching his mother when she was cooking. He would sneak around the kitchen to smuggle fish balls with tuna and potato, his favorite food as a child. He still remembers the scent of her “bouyon blanc” and “bouyon bred” - soups with fish and cabbage respectively. All the recipes were passed down from generation to generation first-hand; no one in the family had a recipe book. Every cook would add their own ingredient or quantity based on their own personal taste and that’s what made every dish special. Growing up, cooking was not something Yusuf had in mind as a career, but it remained his passionate so he decided to follow his heart. Yusuf says, “When cooking, it is important to do it with love. You may not be able to smell it or see the love but you will definitely be able to taste it.”

Chef Christian, executive chef of Six Senses Zil Pasyon said, “Learning more and more about Creole cuisine is certainly a fascinating journey. There are so many little secrets and unthought-of combinations that wouldn’t simply cross your mind, but once you taste them, you feel it should have been an obvious choice. Yusuf and his team prepare every dish with such passion, captivating even the most demanding palates.” 

• Fresh yellowfin tuna cut into slices - 7 ounces (200 grams)
• Crushed avocado - 1 piece
• Chopped tomato - 1.8 ounces (50 grams)
• Chopped coriander - 0.5 ounces (15 grams)
• Fresh cream/crème fraiche - 1.2 ounces (35 grams)
• Lemon juice - 1.7 fluid ounces (20 milliliters)
• Salt, pepper to taste
• Crispy pitta bread - four pieces
• Seasonal green salad leaves
• Olive oil

• Mix the crushed avocado, lemon juice, fresh cream and coriander in a bowl and season with salt and pepper
• Season tuna slices with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil
• Put the avocado mix on a plate and layer the tuna slices
• Serve with fresh seasonal green salad and crispy pitta bread