Chef in the Spotlight – Chef Sven Cepon and the Beef Tartare

Here is Part 2 and 3 of Chef in the Spotlight – Executive Chef of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, Chef Sven Cepon. Chef Sven worked in a number of 5 star hotels in Cyprus and Switzerland for over 5 years, after which he moved to the Maldives in 2008 as Executive Sous Chef for the W Retreat & Spa Maldives. After having served W Maldives for nearly 2 years, Chef Sven joins the Sheraton Maldives in 2010.

In Part 1, Chef Sven Cepon prepared the delectable starter called Lardo di Colonnata, whilst he talked about the uniqueness of Maldivian cuisine and his challenges in the kitchen. Here in Part 2 & 3, Chef Sven prepares the Beef Tartare and exquisite Moroccan Spiced Game ham with Harisa and dates, on Cous Cous whilst giving us some insights into life on the Island, and why all Chefs have a bit of “diva” in them!



Here are, the simple yet effective recipes!

Beef Tartare Mix
 750g Beef Fillet
75g Baby Capers
120g Cornichons
2tblespns chopped Parsley
2 finely chopped Eshallots
100ml Tomato Sauce
1tblespn Worcestershire Sauce
2tblespns Mayonnaise
2tblespns Dijon Mustard
1tblespns  Horseradish
S & P



Moroccan Spiced BBQ Quail
 12 boned Quails, butterflied
250ml Olive Oil
2tblespn Honey
4 Star Anise
½ bunch of Thyme
4 cloves of Garlic, sliced
2teaspn Paprika
Ground Black Pepper
2teaspn ground Cumin
2teaspn ground Coriander
4 Cinnamon Quills, broken
1teaspn Chilli Flakes
Large pinch of Saffron.
Combine all ingredients together, pour over the quail, cover and refrigerate overnight. Soak 24 bamboo skewers in water for 30mins. Drain the marinade off the quail and push two skewers through each quail diagonally across each other so the quail sits flat.



Date- Lemon Chutney
6 medium Lemons, zest and flesh finely chopped
2 tblspns Salt
4 cloves of Garlic
100ml extra Lemon Juice
100ml Cider Vinegar
1 tblspn finely grated Ginger
1 teaspn Cardamom Seeds, finely ground
1 teaspn Coriander Seeds, finely ground
½ teaspn Chilli Flakes
225g Brown Sugar
200g fresh Dates, stoned and chopped small.
Mix the chopped lemon, lemon zest and juice with the salt and leave overnight. The next day, place the lemon mixture in a heavy pan with all other ingredients except the sugar and dates. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 5mins. Add the sugar and dates and gently simmer for 45mins to an hour, until thick and well reduced. Stir from time to time so that it doesn’t stick and burn. Pour into sterilized jars and store for at least 6 weeks before eating.



30 Dried Long Red Chillies
9 cloves of Garlic
1 ½ tespn Salt
180ml Olive Oil
3 teaspn Ground Coriander
3 teaspn Ground Caraway Seeds
1 ½ teaspn Ground Cumin.
Remove the stalks and seeds from the chillies and soak in hot water for 30mins.
Blend chilli, garlic salt and olive oil together. Add the remaining spices and blend.


Chef Sven Cepon really impressed us with his knowledge of food and the way he employed fresh ingredients with minimal adulteration was truly commendable. We have to say that all the food that he prepared for us during our stay was delicious, and that we are now fans of his terrific cooking! It’s too bad I have to wait till my next Maldives trip to see him again.. but maybe, I’ll just get him to cook for me instead, if and when when he comes visit us in Malaysia!



Previous posts on our trip to Maldives:

1. Maldives, Hello!

2. Chef in the Spotlight, Chef Sven Cepon of the Sheraton Maldives, Part 1

3. Malé and Hulhumalé, Maldives


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Sea Salt,
Sheraton Maldives Fullmoon Resort and Spa,
Furanafushi Island,
North Male’ Atoll
Male’, 20-15
Phone: (960) 664 2010
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