“Fantasy Sepia Trade Days – biggest annual trade event to look forward to?”

The 2019 edition of “Fantasy Sepia Trade Days”, a dedicated trade event held by Fantasy Pvt Ltd and its Australian partner, Sepia International was inaugurated by Tourism Minister Ali Waheed on 15th July. It successfully brought together the biggest collection of the World’s Best Master Chefs to the Maldives. The trade event was held in Kurumba Maldives where local chefs met and uncovered secrets in Master Classes, where a number of tastings and demonstrations took place for 3 consecutive days.

These Master Chefs are:

  1. Master Chef Fabrice Prochasson: Knight of the French Legion of Honor
  2. World Champion Master Pastry Chef Angelo Musa
  3. Master Chef Ludovic Chesnay
  4. Master Chef Jean Callie
  5. Master Chef Pascal Rio
  6. Pizza Man Riccardo Scaioli

Along with them, Master Classes were conducted by Rougie, Elle et Vire, Rangers Valley and so much more.

Ever since its establishment in 1988 by Ibrahim Rasheed, Fantasy Maldives has been an excellent supplier for many high class tourist resorts in the Maldives including Anantara Maldives, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and One&Only Reethi Rah to name a few. They take pride in being a trusted leader in the market, sourcing the very best of the finest food from across the globe.

According to Mr. Linus Vincent Zalkauskas, Consultant for Sepia, they specialize in Australian food, particularly meat. “We deliver the biggest and best selection in Maldives from Wagyu to Angus to very clean meat, grain-fed meat, and long grain-fed meat and so on.  The Maldivian market is very sophisticated and when tourists visit, they expect the best of the best and we try to make sure their expectations are met.”

“This trade event is very important for the food industry in Maldives. We are here to serve the industry with the best possible ingredients. There is a high demand in the market, mostly from 5 star resorts. Maldives is an important and unique destination with some of the best quality shellfish and facilities, but the infrastructure needs to be improved as well. We need to find a way to get access to remote areas like industrial areas to be able to deliver and supply to resorts,” says Mr. Petrakis Hadjipetrou, Consultant for Fantasy.

“What I want to see is the fusion of local and European recipes; for local chefs to improvise and make these recipes more sophisticated with the addition of something new to bring it a new look and a new taste.”

Mr. Linus Vincent Zalkauskas (left) Mr. Petrakis Hadjipetrou (right)

Mr. Petrakis also makes a point out of how as a company they are very careful with suppliers in developing products with less packaging material to avoid wastage and disposal. “We are very keen on this. Before producing anything, we make sure that the suppliers are packing with the least possible packaging, to save nature.”

This year, the show was all about bringing in the best Master Chefs to educate local chefs, and providing hotels and resorts a vast selection of high quality food products. Two of the chefs are superstars to begin with; Master Chef Fabrice Prochasson is the President of the Academic Culinaire de France and has won every award the French government can offer whereas Master Chef Angelo Musa is a talented chef, titled the Best Craftsman of France and World Pastry Champion in 2003.

“I am very happy to be here. It is important to pass on our knowledge on using the best ingredients to prepare the best food, and prepare meat to a high quality level. Respecting and preserving nature is also very important,” says Master Chef Fabrice Prochasson.

Master Chef Fabrice Prochasson

“I have been in the pastry business for a long time. It is not just a job for me, it is my passion. I always try to create new things and meet new people. In the beginning, I learned a lot as an individual but now I travel a lot and I share my passion with everyone – I give what I can and it is always a pleasure. Technique is very important. You need to know the technique and open your mind. Good ingredients are also very important – you cannot create a beautiful pastry without it. You also have to respect nature. Before you can say you are a good pastry chef, you need to practice a lot. Even after that, it is never-ending. There is always something new to try, and there is always room for improvement. It is an amazing job for me and I hope to be a part of this again,” says Master Chef Angelo Musa.

Master Chef Angelo Musa

Master Chef Jean Callie is a Rougié Export Culinary Advisor at the moment and travels throughout the world to visit chefs and understand their needs and explain to them how they can work with the main products. His purpose is to introduce them to skills they need. “When it comes to foie gras, whatever the culture, there is always a variety of skills depending on the expectations. I advise the chefs on the most appropriate products – the right products for the right usage is very important. We look forward to be a part of this trade event, always. Right now, there is room for skill development and gaining new experiences. As a brand, we are here to develop Maldives in terms of these skills and be in line with the needs of the market. It is an honor to be a part of this.”

Master Chef Jean Callie

The general reaction from the Master Chefs was rather positive; they are looking forward to come back again, and interact with local chefs, bigger in number perhaps. The trade event was such a huge success that the organizers give assurance of it becoming a signature event in the Maldivian food industry in the future.