In the four-year history of Restaurant Weeks, 2015 was
decidedly the best—more restaurants, more creativity,
more social engagement and more Bermudian authenticity.
For the first time, local chefs were challenged to create
Bermuda-inspired dishes as part of the Bermuda Tourism
Authority’s (BTA) strategy to cultivate the island’s food culture.
“Visitors tell us they want Bermuda-inspired dishes when they travel and through
Restaurant Weeks we motivated local chefs to give consumers what they want,”
said Pat Phillip-Fairn, the BTA’s chief product and experiences development of-
ficer. “Culinary tourism is an untapped opportunity for Bermuda and our local food
culture is a rich story waiting to be shared.”
It seems locals responded to the Bermuda-inspired theme as enthusiastically
as visitors did. Restaurants reported brisk sales, one declaring business up 97 per
cent year-over-year. The BTA says its goal was to show restaurateurs—through their
pocket books—that infusing Bermuda inspiration in their menus is not only a good
move culturally, but a smart move economically as well.
“We did not participate in 2014 and regret that now after getting a great re-
sponse,” said Red Steakhouse owner Rick Olson. “Overall our dinner sales during
that period were up 20 per cent.”
Along with victories on the bottom line, chefs were challenged to win the en-
dorsement of the public as well. Diners voted for their favourite Bermuda-inspired
dishes and the top vote-getter in each of three price-tier categories was rewarded
with accolades from the BTA, along with the hope of notoriety going forward.
The 2015 People’s Choice winners are: $29 Category: La Trattoria; $39 Category:
Muse; and $49 Category: Red Steakhouse. Ultimately Muse was voted the best overall
having accumulated more votes from the public than anyone else.
Each year, Restaurant Weeks is the starting pistol in a year full of culinary events
and activities. The BTA says its goal is to weave all of these food-related happenings into one story that, at its core, tells the island’s food culture story. Next year’s
Restaurant Week will take place January 14 - February 4, 2016.
Visit www.thebermudian.com fora listof2016 participants.