I was invited to attend The Loren here in Bermuda for one of their incredible chef series dinners over the weekend. This time the featured chef was the acclaimed Eric Adjepong, a Ghanaian American chef who was a finalist on Top Chef and currently hosts a show on Food Network with Alex Guarnaschelli called Alex vs America.
There’s nothing I love more than eating food from a celebrity chef that’s worth the hype (sometimes the chef is all hype). Add in intentional, creative wine pairings and I’m very happy. Super simple.
Why?! Because I truly love an upscale dining experience. Of course I enjoy casual spots and street food, but gourmet food has always had my heart and that will never change. And Saturday night was no exception.
I met Chef Eric a few years ago and have had the pleasure of enjoying his food, so I knew it would be a memorable experience. Honestly, I think memorable is an understatement. OK, let’s rewind to the beginning and get on the same page.
We started the evening in Marée Lounge with a Kir Royale to kick off the dinner. After mingling for a bit, it was finally time to take our seats. Andre Roberts, Food + Beverage Director for The Loren welcomed everyone and introduced Chef Eric, who thanked us for coming before explaining the vibe for the dinner. He also encouraged us to think about what we love the most about Bermudian cuisine as he would be asking us throughout the night (I had interviewed him earlier that day for a project and asked him that very question).
Andre also introduced Brian from Two Rock Wines who explained the pairings for the dinner, which I must say were fantastic. The first course was Grilled Pork Belly with labneh, chili oil and pickled cucumbers. The spicy pork was beautiful with the creamy yogurt and the crispy, briny cucumbers. It was a great start to the night paired with Fitapreta Palpite Branco from The Azores.
For the second course, we enjoyed a beautiful Curry Butternut Squash Bisque with salmon, crab and caviar. This dish was spicy, creamy and super decadent but yet light. I loved the varying textures and flavours throughout. For the wine, we enjoyed Cibonne Rosé Cuvee Tradition. As a rosé lover, this wine delighted me and was beautiful with the bold flavours.
The main course was the best for me – Local Grouper with roasted + pickled carrot and peanut salsa. I usually don’t order grouper, but if it’s cooked this way, I could eat it on a regular basis. The fish was seared beautifully and the salsa packed such a punch. There was also this sauce in the bottom of the bowl made with carrot juice that gave the dish such an amazing complexity with asian flavours. Overall, excellent and paired nicely with Bachelet Monnot Bourgogne Rouge.
Finally, it was time for dessert and Chef Eric went with something light – Peaches + Cream: grilled marinated peaches, cassava crumble, peach marshmallow and goat’s milk ice cream. Honestly, I wouldn’t order this if I saw it on a menu cuz I’m more of a chocolate girl, but it was incredible. I loved all the textures, the creaminess and how it wasn’t very sweet. It was a great way to end the meal alongside Vietti Moscato d’Asti Cascinetta.
Overall, this was such an incredible experience. From the food to the wine to the blackity black blackness of it all during Black History Month, it was exactly what I needed. I have to give a massive shoutout to Chef Eric for creating such an outstanding dinner and also to Andre and his entire team at The Loren.
Stay tuned because the guest chef series at The Loren will be kicking off in May. If you missed it last year, you definitely want to pay attention this year. I’ll have all the details soon so make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter.
I‘m Mikaela, an island girl in Bermuda who’s obsessed with sharing gourmet food, fantastic wine and luxe experiences. If you love all things food and wine, click here to join my email list to get awesome recommendations.