It’s kind of hard to believe, but it has been ONE full year since we started our journey as Team Bite of Bermuda, sharing some of the amazing food from eateries around the island. And what a year it has been! To tell a tiny bit of the tale of how we came to be; three food loving friends had some truly enviable times (over some great meals of course) and the more we ate together, the more we wanted to share the Bermuda food story. For more than a year we excitedly went back and forth discussing the premise of biteofbermuda.com and at the end of May 2015 we pressed ‘Post’ for the first time…and haven’t looked back since.
ONE of the best parts (in addition to the eating) has been that along the way we’ve encountered a host of fellow Bermuda-food loving friends, fans, followers (and great people to follow) that have made the ride that much more enjoyable. (Note: Good food + Good people = Good times) So after ONE year of reading about some of our favourites, we asked some of them to tell *ONE of their life changing Bermuda food stories, and here’s what they had to say!
*As often happens when it comes to food they got so excited and ended up giving us a bit more than ONE. Read on and ENJOY.
Owner/ Operator of SweetSAAK Bakery St George’s known for driving people crazy with (ahem) ‘her’ Cinnamon Buns and because she’s awesome, the SweetSAAK Bermuda Rum Cake recipe recently went international via Bake from Scratch Magazine aka @thebakefeed on Instagram
“…I've always been a foodie”
Can you name ONE of your earliest food memories growing up in Bermuda?
One day my cousin Sean picked me up early from school (primary 2 I believe) and took me to Hamilton for lunch. The reason this was so memorable was because I was only about 6 years old and went to school in St. David's. The restaurant we went to was called Loquats and was located on Front Street. This restaurant has closed long ago, but it will always remain in my memory (as food always does ;-). I can't remember exactly what I ate but I’m sure the food was good and that was my favourite restaurant as a child. This was before 'kids meals' were invented so I know I didn't have chicken fingers!!!
Premier The Hon. Michael H. Dunkley J.P. M.P.
The Premier of Bermuda who gives a behind the scenes and lighter look of being Premier and Bermudian via his colourful Instagram feed where he can be recently seen getting in with H&H Gombey Troupe on Bermuda Day.
“My mouth is watering as I write!”
My earliest food memories are when I was a young child and the very special times when on holidays and special occasions family and friends came together to celebrate. …I still clearly remember as a child stopping at the Paraquet to enjoy a black and white milk shake with a hot turkey sandwich and cole slaw!
What is your ONE favourite traditional Bermuda dish that you look forward to at a special time of year?
Nothing beats a summer barbecue with all the traditional favorites, Christmas with turkey and cassava and Good Friday with Hot Cross Buns and all the associated mouth watering favorites.
Director of Public & Stakeholder Relations for the Bermuda Tourism Authority, quite often found with the Mic in hand, expounding on all things Bermuda. Rest assured if you find yourself at some occasion and Glenn is there too, you’re in the right place.
“Mad Hatters earned my endorsement without ever having to ask for it.”
What is the one restaurant that you recommend to friends family or visitors?
I think the one restaurant I always recommend to friends and visitors is Mad Hatters. It encapsulates some of my favourite attributes in a restaurant -- the service is exceptional, the specials are always filled with delightful surprises and the ambiance and feel of the place is never pretentious or artificial. Simple, reliable, good.
Thomas Lightbourne, City of Hamilton's Event and Marketing Coordinator for the City Food Festival loves the gym as much as he loves food. He goes back and forth between cooking up healthy eats and indulging in weekend ch-eats. Right now he's pretty busy gearing up for the City Fashion Festival which returns this July.
I recommend all of my family members, friends and visitors to check out Pickled Onion. If you are looking for a great atmosphere, entertainment, FOOD and drinks you can’t go wrong.
Patrina "Power Girl" Paynter
Managing Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, Radio DJ, Event Hostess Extraordinaire and recently unofficially given the title Bermuda’s ‘Periscope’ Queen! When she’s not giving the Energizer Bunny a run for his money, she also has a LOVE for food.
Patrina might have gotten a little carried away with this question
Can you name that ONE restaurant that is your go-to for a night out?
Every weekend you can find me and my family getting takeout from Rosa's because I am addicted to their honey garlic ribs and their BBQ steak combo!! I could eat it for dinner every night! I want to buy shares in the ribs and steak!! There I said it!! Oh yeah and don't get me started about the Brownie sundae... Oh... Hold up... You said "one" item!! As you can tell... I love Rosa's!
Carla Saunders Zuill, ABJ
Founder of TodayinBermuda.co, full time, capital P.R.O.U.D Mom of 3 who has yet to cross over into the food loving side…but slowly but surely we’ll get her!
What is the one food that you were squeamish (why were you nervous?) about but tried any way and actually liked?
Hands down--sushi. I thought it was the grossest food ever! Raw fish?! Really?!
A coworker of mine used to eat it all the time and was always trying to coerce me to try it. I held to the wicket and refused until one day I decided to take a leap. First I tried shrimp tempura maki rolls and then subsequently I moved on to "bolder" rolls. Now I'm eating virtually anything.
Best decision ever!
Chef Keith Deshields
Executive Chef, Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa. Ultra talented and creative chef who we first met through Instagram resulting from the food art and unparalleled west end vistas he shares. Later we sat down for an unforgettable lunch at Breezes restaurant and chatted at length. And now we are regularly inspired by Chef Deshields love of Bermuda and food and how he brings them both together so creatively. (Seriously you're missing out if you aren't following him)
Tell us about the ONE Bermudal ingredient you really enjoy using.
One that comes to mind straight away is the light purple Bermuda onion. Another is the Bermuda honey the flavor is like none I have used anywhere else
Despite the different answers from the varying walks of life above, there is one thing they all have in common, a genuine love for Bermuda. That love is apparent in their answers of one final question:
It has been said that you haven’t truly experienced a destination until you’ve sampled the food, so what's the one Bermuda dish that visitors must try before they leave the island?
Kamilah : Bermuda does have a very distinct cuisine, but because our staple foods are still home prepared the variations are great. So I have to say that visitors must try Bermuda fish chowder. Fish Chowder is the most consistently prepared and available Bermudian dish across the island and it is packed with tons of flavour.
Premier Dunkley: The traditional Bermuda breakfast of Cod Fish and Potatoes and everything that goes with it.
Dinner with a starter of Bermuda Fish Chowder, Sherry Peppers and Black Rum followed by fresh Bermuda fish at anytime of the year, pan fried with bananas at any restaurant as they all have their own flair for both dishes!
All visitors must sample the traditional food as mentioned above and of course Dunkley's Egg Nog at Christmas ( I could not resist!)
Glenn: Every visitor to Bermuda needs to try a Bermuda lobster. We're the only place in the world where you can get one fresh. So it's a unique experience that shouldn't be missed by any visitor if they want to claim they had the full local culinary experience. And if that person is here when lobsters are not in season, they'll just have to come back.
Thomas: I truly believe visitors must try a homemade codfish and potato breakfast with all of the trimming on a Sunday. I stress the word “homemade” simply because I believe this dish tastes better when it’s made with love and not on a large scale.
Carla: A traditional plate of holiday food! Peas n rice, fried chicken, coleslaw and potato salad. Hands down, the BEST meal ever! Yes these foods can be found in other regions of the world but the Bermuda taste is unique!
PowerGirl: I would recommend Bermuda codfish & potatoes and fishcakes made by moi!! Two meals in one! I make sure I have a lot of codfish and potatoes because I have the codfish for breakfast and then make fishcakes from what's left over. (Like I said... I make a lot) once I start frying up the fishcakes my family literally inhales them!! Every batch I fry up disappears! My dad even told me that mine tastes better than my mother's (shhhh... please don't tell her). Sorry I am passionate about codfish and got sidetracked from the question. However, I am being serious when I say tourists would love to experience a Bermudian home cooked codfish meal!
Chef Deshields: if they can find a place that makes really good authentic Bermuda Shark hash... I don’t mean the mutated version, I mean the days long process which even I only do sometimes but what I never do is replace the shark liver... when I’m making REAL traditional shark hash its pure pleasure.. I have my dad beside me in spirit! He was a master he took no short cuts and if a stage would go wrong we do it again no compromising do it right or not at all!! I know he gets mad at me sometime cause I take shortcuts sometimes to get the oil form the shark liver. I can almost hear his voice telling me off and shaking his head saying "son, what in the world!!!!"
But to answer your question a well-made traditional Bermuda shark hash with the traditional sides is a year old classic that is not seen so often but it screams Bermuda and it has history! Imagine having one of the old masters make this for you and sharing their story of how they learned the recipe and how their teacher told them of the history of the dish and the many uses of shark oil.. that is time well spent - yummy food and good stories ..
Home prepared Codfish and Potato breakfast. Bermuda Fish Chowder. Shark Hash and Bermuda Lobster. Black and White Milkshake from Paraquet. To all these recommended dishes we say YES. AGREED. TOTALLY! And at this point, if we haven't shared them via our Instagram feed, Facebook page, Pinterest Boards or on Twitter, rest assured they're coming soon. Because year ONE is only the beginning.
Thanks for all your support and we look forward to many more!!