We had the pleasure to collaborate with one of the youngest Chefs of Top Chef - the reality culinary competition television series, Alexia Duchêne.
The young Franco-British culinary prodigy flew to the Maldives on a discovery trip at Constance Halaveli in March. Feet in the white sand, eyes immersed in the turquoise gradient of the lagoon, she discovered the striking beauty of Alifu Alifu Atoll including the culinary fusion culture.
This unique culinary fusion culture was born from a mix of Arab, Indian, Sri Lankan and Oriental influences for exceptional cuisine.
This beautiful mixture carefully explained by Constance Halaveli’s Executive Chef, Hameed Siddiq, inspired Chef Alexia to create a dish with fish: Spicy Tuna Tartare with Coconut sauce!
We caught up with Alexia for some juicy tips and ideas.
Who inspired you to become a chef?
“I just enjoyed cooking with my parents and enjoyed a meal with the one I love”
How would you describe your cuisine?
“I would describe my cuisine as modern with classic French techniques, fish and vegetables oriented with a love for sauce”
When did you know you wanted to be a Chef?
“When I was 15, the first time I stepped in a kitchen in Normandy and cooked my first dish.”
Tell us about your signature dish
“I have a few signature dishes but they all change depending on the season and availability. My all-time favourite is crème fraiche with raw scallops, horseradish, buckwheat and burned chive oil.
Tell us about the dish you created at Constance Halaveli?
“I wanted to create a dish for Constance Halaveli that really highlighted the simplicity and the amazing products available. Because of the weather, I thought raw fish would be perfect.
When I am far away, I like to enjoy local products so it was natural for me to use Pandan leaves, chilies the local spices and coconut.”
What was your inspiration?
“I was inspired by the beautiful water surrounding Halaveli, the sandy beach and the kindness of everyone on the island.”
Any tips to share when preparing the dish?
“Don’t take yourself too seriously, cooking should always be fun and if you like spicy food,
don’t hesitate to add some extra chilies!”
How did you find Constance Halaveli?
“Constance Halaveli was a dream! I’ve never seen a more beautiful place in my life.
I will always remember swimming with turtles and sharks!”
Name 1 dish and 1 cocktail you tasted at Constance Halaveli that you liked particularly.
“My favorite meal was the typical Maldivian breakfast with fish curry, chapattis, rice and spicy tuna
salad. My favorite cocktail was the fresh coconut one they made on the beach which was a take
on a classic Maï Taï. The Pina colada was also a big hit!”
Is there any other recipe that you would like to create for Constance Halaveli?
“Sure! I would love to cook a whole tasting menu of the day with Chef Siddiq inspired by the mix of our
cultures showcasing French techniques with Maldivian flavors.”
Any particular technique/savour or inspiration you took back with you following your trip and your stay at Constance Halaveli?
“I really took back the curry which was one of the best I ever had. Since then, I do fish curry on
If you find this dish tempting, why not give it a go?
Follow the step-by-step recipe and create yours at home.