Thanks to Bermuda’s balmy climate, fertile soil, and pristine marine ecosystem, island chefs are spoiled with abundant seasonal yields, which means plates are full of fresh, locally sourced food year-round. And while Bermuda’s best restaurants commonly dish up world-class fare, one of the best ways to dig in is by hiring one of the island’s top chefs and event planners to create an unforgettable culinary experience like none other. Featuring menus with vegan specialties, southern barbecue, and traditional island cuisine, check out some of our favorite foodies for your next farm-to-table dining experience. Appetite required.
HIT THE HIGH SEAS
When entrepreneurs Josh Crockwell and Nicole Minnich purchased a 40-foot sailing catamaran called Azalea in 2018, they wanted to not only showcase Bermuda’s turquoise waters but dazzle their guest’s tastebuds. “Food is the center of most gatherings,” says Minnich, who along with Crockwell co-owns True Bermuda Charters (shown in the lead photo) “so making that a focus of the charter experience has really been a game-changer for us.” And change the game they have. Thanks to fishing excursions aboard their other vessel—a 26-foot center console called Aurora—the pair reel in much of what they serve aboard Azalea. That means groups of two to six people can dine on fresh, chef-prepared seafood, or virtually anything they desire while sailing through dreamy west end locations. “It’s all intertwined—the food, the drink, the sailing,” says Minnich, who loves taking guests to a secluded cove called Ely’s Harbour. “It’s one of the greatest experiences you can have in Bermuda.”
BARBECUE ISLAND STYLE
“It’s actually been the best idea I’ve ever had,” says award-winning chef Antonio Belvedere of his mobile barbecue tables called Rollin’ Smoke, which he quite literally rolled out following a four-week lockdown in March. “I knew that people would want to eat outside,” says Belvedere, so the intrepid entrepreneur invested in three octagonal barbecue tables, all of which feature eight sides with a slatted wooden tabletop for eating and preparing food, then just beyond that, a set of grills placed over a coal-fired barbecue pit. What resulted was this innovative on-the-go barbecue business, where friends can communally grill and chill around a hot fire, with food they can either cook for themselves or have prepared by Belvedere himself. “It’s an amazing experience because guests not only get to interact with the people who they’re dining with,” says Belvedere, “but they experience the food and who cooks it on a much deeper level.
JOIN THE PARTY
Looking to eat like a local? Then join one of the unique culinary experiences planned by Farm to Table BDA, a full-service catering company that plans large group dinners in unusual locations across the island, which are then followed by DJ-fueled dance parties. “It’s a lot of work to put these events together,” says co-owner Ondreyah Rochester, who along with her partner Jakila Maybury plans parties for up to 55 people, “but once we actually see the event in motion and watch everyone having a good time, it’s completely worth it.” Three-course menus feature locally sourced ingredients from several island farms—like Amaral Farms in Devonshire, which grows fruits and vegetables year-round—and its venues are among some of the most unique on the island (like FryDays trampoline park in the Royal Naval Dockyard where they hosted a party on Halloween). “Trust me,” says Rochester, “you won’t forget one of our dinners.”
If you’re searching for a taste of old-school Bermuda—one that takes you aboard a classic 1975 custom-built yacht that motors through picturesque bays—then look no further than Traveler, a 50-foot trawler available for bespoke dinner charters. Once owned by former Bermuda Premier, Dr. David Saul, the handsome vessel oozes maritime charm with its classic navy blue hull, teak brightwork, and stainless steel finishings. But beyond its dock appeal, Traveler is mostly known for its private, chef’s table dinners for up to 12 guests—fully customizable culinary experiences spearheaded by owner Keerome Maybury. “It’s a sensory overload in every sense,” says Maybury, whose chefs, many of whom work in some of the island’s top restaurants, source most of what they serve from local farms and fishermen. “From the aesthetics of the boat to the story behind the menu, to the interaction with the chef who’s cooking your food onboard—the whole experience is unforgettable.”
UNPACK A PICNIC
When Elizabeth Blankendal first started planning intimate get-togethers for her friends, she had no idea her efforts would eventually turn into a full-fledged private event business. “The whole idea just grew organically,” says Blankendal, who would use pieces of décor she’d find around her house to create unique picnics on the beach. Fast forward to 2019 when the intrepid entrepreneur unveiled Eettafel—pronounced ate-taf-fel, the business is named for a Dutch word meaning dining table, which is a nod to Blankendal’s heritage since her father is from the Netherlands and her mother is Bermudian. But beyond its low country roots, what the event planning firm is best known for are its high-end picnics featuring fresh, locally sourced foods, served in unique locations around the island, like Southampton’s Church Bay or historic National Trust properties. “There are so many beautiful venues around Bermuda,” says Blankendal, “the options are endless.”
Source: Bermuda Tourism Board – Go To Bermuda