For years the farm to table concept has been gathering momentum across the world and for good reason. Eating local, shopping local produce, farmer’s markets, organic and now the freshest of the fresh – straight from the garden to the plate – means that many of us are eating better than ever.
Finally, the initiative is starting to arrive in the BVI – first with local farmers and now the restaurants.
Chef Regis Bourdon, and his team at Brandywine Estate Restaurant, are the latest to embrace the movement and have been working hard to cultivate an impressive garden area, bringing all the herbs and vegetables out of the earth and right onto their menu.
Regis and his climbing spinach seedling army in the nursery – who knew there was climbing spinach?
It’s been no small undertaking, a labour of love – not without it’s challenges. Leveling the ground, building the beds, keeping out the livestock, improving the soil quality, irrigation, it’s still a work in progress and Chef Bourdon has big plans, but what they’ve achieved already is very exciting.
I took some time this weekend to go and explore this herby-oasis, their garden of green goodness in the midst of the Caribbean cacti and aloe plants. I sampled some of the harvest and wanted to hear a bit more about what they’ve been up to.
Beautifully peppery arugula.
The plan is that once the garden is fully established it will be supplying all of the herbs and vegetables for the restaurant, (with maybe the exception of onions and potatoes). Even better news for the rest of us, Chef Regis estimates that some of his farm fresh produce will be available for sale since supply may well exceed the restaurant’s demand.
Brandywine recently changed up their lunch and dinner menus for the summer season – so along with our usual favourites there were a few new treats available. This and the new half-price bottles of Rose on offer on a Saturday lunchtime made for some big smiles and full tummies.
Creamy Burrata and Parma Ham salad with their fresh arugula leaves
The new salmon deviled eggs are a bit of a game-changer
We typically ended up staying far later than intended (it miiiiight have had something to do with the half-price wine deal) but it’s just such a charming place to wile away a leisurely afternoon. We took ourselves up to the pétanque court, caught up with friends and spent ages just enjoying the views and the breeze on the terrace, until before we knew it we were the only ones left… (Oops!)
The garden at Brandywine is just getting started and I can’t wait to see what they’ll be coming up with next. Looks like I have a few more long Saturday lunches on the cards, maybe I’ll see some of you there… 🙂
See more about Brandywine Estate Restaurant here, or call +1 (284) 495 2301 for reservations.
EDIT: Very sadly the Brandywine Estate Restaurant was significantly damaged during Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The team are busily re-building their restaurant but a re-opening date has not yet been confirmed. In the meantime you can find Chef Regis’ culinary creations at their newly opened ‘Rooftop by Brandywine’ restaurant in the heart of Road Town. Serving tapas plates in the evening as well as a delicious lunch time menu (featuring many of the old favourites and some of the dishes mentioned above), ‘Rooftop by Brandywine’ is open for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Monday through Saturday. The same contact details apply.
PS. See more about where and what to eat when visiting the BVI here.