Fusion in Bermuda
In recent years, we’ve seen the avocado frenzy, edible gold, activated charcoal, and even unicorn food take the culinary world by storm. For 2019, experts are predicting even more of a melting-pot of cuisine, as the fusion of different cultures becomes more popular.
Bermuda has turned into a melting pot. As of 2016, a reported 7,360 immigrants reside in Bermuda, coming mainly from the US, Canada, Asia, Europe, and other Caribbean countries. The diversity of cultures has inevitably permeated into the island’s cuisine, creating a varied gastronomy that surprises most when considering our size and population.
Chef Danai Hongwanishkul, head chef at Marcus’, was pleasantly surprised to see such diverse cuisine coming from Toronto. “There is a lot of Filipino food, as well as Jamaican, Indian and sushi.” He says. His Thai cooking classes are heavily influenced by his mother’s cooking and family tradition. Along with skills, he teaches what a culture’s food means to it’s people. “The food that I teach is something my mom would cook for me, I grew up eating this, and I want to keep that going.” Cooking ethnic food, for him, is about preserving culture.
Established restaurants like Little Venice are a testament to how successful and appealing cuisine from other cultures can be to locals.
There is a variety of food in Bermuda. Our daily specials are always really popular, people like to try new things.” – Chef Federico Basso.
They offer main courses such as Cartoccio di Frutti di Mare alla Mediterranea, Tortellone al Cotechino, and Ravioli Caprese.
By focusing on authentic Italian food while incorporating local and fresh ingredients, they have built long-lasting relationships with customers. Executive Chef Danny Lim mentions, “We have people come in multiple times a week, or even a day, who are always excited to try new dishes.”
Utopia on Front Street has committed to offering a nutritional experience throughout their Asian fusion menu. Chef Karsten, has worked alongside a nutritionist to offer dishes like Korean Wings, Yakitori, Thai Curry, Vietnamese Pho and Tom Kha Gai. “We’re all kind of melting together,” says Chef Karsten. “I like to pull from different cultures, while also understanding that food is personal, and has meaning behind it”.
Devil’s Isle Head Chef Josue Lemus offers Italian Flatbread With Tuna Tartare, Homemade Tofu Dumplings, and Arabic Spiced Cinnamon Lamb Lollies. Yum! “We are trying to get people to try new things every day, while also eating healthy and clean”. From owner, Holger Eiselt: “We introduce trends that we are passionate about ourselves.”
As the world keeps “getting smaller” with the help of social media, trends now move faster than ever. A trendy dish that is booming in Japan can spread to the rest of the world in a matter of weeks or even days. And although Bermuda might come late because of its isolated geographical proximity, population size, and logistics, people in Bermuda are thirsty for newness. Food is a gateway to understanding different cultures. Bring it on!
This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 edition of RG Magazine.