Anytime a celebrity chef comes to Bermuda, I have to find my way there. Why?! Because I know the food is going to be top notch and the experience will be incredible. But also because I love all things food and meeting awesome chefs is always a vibe.
Last weekend, I was invited to attend a dinner at Maree at The Loren featuring Chef Tiffany Derry from Texas. Chef Tiffany is a celebrity chef, a judge of The Great American Recipe, a restaurateur and much more. Because Chef Tiffany has Louisiana roots, I knew the food was going to blow me away and it absolutely did.
On arrival, my friend and I were welcomed with two cocktail options: a Pear Ginger Martini or a Hennessy-spiked watermelon drink. Because I wasn’t sure if I could handle a drink with Hennessy, I went with the martini and it was an excellent choice – refreshing but amazing depth of flavour from the ginger and lemon. They were created by Kenny Foggo, a bartender at The Loren.
Once we were seated, we continued sipping our cocktails while Chef Tiffany plated the first course in the restaurant’s private dining room. Glass doors meant we could watch her whole process. I’ve been to many of these pairing dinners and I’ve never been able to watch the plating process so it was a treat.
Chef Tiffany was introduced to the diners by Andre Roberts, Director of Food and Beverage for The Loren. She explained that while she is a southern woman, she wouldn’t be cooking fried chicken or macaroni and cheese for us because southern food was so much more than that. As much as I adore both, I was looking forward to non typical southern food.
OK, on to the food. The first course was Peach Salad with local peaches, burrata, pecans, mint and prosciutto. It was paired with A Coroa Godello, a Spanish white wine.
Now, I’ll be honest and say I wouldn’t have ordered this from a menu, but that’s the beauty of these sorts of dinners. This salad was an excellent summer dish combining ripe, juicy peaches with creamy burrata, crunchy pecans and the prosciutto. It was topped with a vinaigrette made from sugarcane vinegar that Chef Tiffany brought in with her.
The second course was what I was most excited for: Fried Green Tomato with crab ravigote, charred corn relish and remoulade. It was paired with Chateau Peyrassol Cotes de Provence Rosé.
The tomato was fried like chicken with two dredges, making it nice and crispy. The acidity paired well with the creamy, herby crab salad, the crunch from the corn relish and remoulade was the icing on top. When I got everything in one bite, it was heaven. A truly perfect appetizer.
On to the main course: Crispy King Salmon with brothy butter beans, preserved lemon, olives, tomato and salmon roe. This was another dish I probably wouldn’t have ordered, but I’m so glad it was on the menu.
The salmon was the crispiest I’ve ever had and was cooked perfectly. No dry salmon over here. I wouldn’t have thought to pair brothy beans with fish, but it was excellent. The broth added a lightness to the dish that was already rich thanks to the fatty salmon and the roe. As much as I loved the fried green tomato, this dish was better because it exceeded my expectations.
For dessert, Chef Tiffany prepared Old School Southern Banana Pudding with vanilla wafers, custard and bananas. I don’t eat bananas at all aside from in a smoothie, so this was a no for me. I did eat some of it but really couldn’t get past my banana aversion.
Overall, this was an excellent dinner. I truly enjoyed the food and left a very happy girl. Cheers to Chef Tiffany and her team for an incredible experience.
The final guest chef dinner is taking place on August 27 featuring Chef Dayanny De La Cruz. To learn more, click here.
‘m Mikaela, an island girl who’s obsessed with finding the best eats and drinks in Bermuda and beyond. If you love all things food and wine, click here to join my email list to get awesome recommendations.