Cambridge Beaches launches pop-up restaurant – The Royal Gazette

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Created: 16 Dec. 2021 10:33

Cambridge Beaches Executive Chef Keith DeShields launches DeShields’ Bistro pop-up at the resort (photograph provided)

Cambridge Beach Resort & Spa in Sandys has launched a pop-up restaurant celebrating the Bermuda Jamaican heritage of its longtime executive chef, Keith DeShields.

DeShields’ Bistro is now open and offers everything from callaloo pasta to hot-pressed oxtail terrine and lobster tail wrapped in pork belly.

“One of my favorite things on the menu is the poached rockfish fillet in coconut milk,” Mr. DeShields said.

The dish was inspired by his childhood memories of cooking fish caught off the rocks in Devonshire.

“We used to put sea salt or wild herbs on the fish we caught,” recalls the chef. “Then we would make a fire and cook it on rocks in foil.”

He was born in Jamaica (Jamaican mother, Bermudian father) and moved to Bermuda when he was seven or eight years old. His family was foodie and often had food battles when he was a kid.

“Sometimes I’m nostalgic for certain foods and flavors from my childhood,” he said. “Then I have to duplicate it to match memory. Then I’ll have someone try it out and get the feedback. I’ll go from there. That’s how most of my business come out.

Mr DeShields enjoys creating experiences for his customers.

“I want to tell a story,” he says.

DeShields’ Bistro will operate for the next three to four months. This is a test run for a restaurant concept that Cambridge Beaches hopes to launch at the end of its three-year, multi-million renovation project.

“Keith has developed some really cool things here,” Cambridge Beaches chief executive Clarence Hofheins said. “The concept of this pop-up is to tell the story of the family and tell their story, and to really embrace what we call a roots kitchen.”

Mr DeShields said the property’s new owners, Dovetail + Co, seem passionate about maintaining the Bermuda vibe in the hotel.

“I think it’s good,” he said.

“The new owners love Keith’s creativity and they really want to push him and support a Bermudian executive chef,” said Alexis Roberts, sales and marketing manager at the hotel. “They have nothing but love for him.”

Dessert at DeShields’ Bistro (Photograph provided)

Mr. DeShields studied cooking at Bermuda College under chef Fred Ming Sr.

“I still have great respect and love for Fred Ming Sr,” Mr. DeShields said. “He taught me and my peers who are still in the business a lot.”

From there he studied at the famous Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

For 13 years he honed his skills working in Germany. The pinnacle of his experience was working as a chef de cuisine at the 5-star Kempinski Grand Hotel Heiligendamm in Bad Doberan, Germany, where he worked alongside top chef Ronny Stewart.

“In 2010, I was on my way to France to take over Michelin-starred cuisine, which I was looking forward to,” Mr DeShields said.

But Cambridge Beaches general manager Richard Quinn asked him to return to Bermuda and work for the hotel.

“He wanted me to mentor young kids,” Mr. DeShields said. “I couldn’t argue with that. That’s why I chose to go home.

Over the years, he has worked with several interns in the Culinary Arts program at Bermuda College.

After his years abroad, Mr. DeShields is now fluent in German.

“It helps Cambridge Beaches,” he said. “We have different suppliers who are based there. Or we will have colleagues and colleagues who come from there, and it is just easier to speak to them in their language.

At home, Mr. DeShields is an avid gardener and grows many herbs and fruits that he uses in his kitchen.

“It’s pretty fun when you can go to your backyard and get an idea of ​​what you’re going to do for a menu item,” he said.

There are also Portuguese and English influences on the menu.

Ms Roberts said there would be no closures during the hotel’s renovation process. The first phase is underway, upgrading the hotel’s 86 rooms and adding a new restaurant and public space.

The project will cost between 5 and 10 million dollars. Cambridge Beaches last underwent a major renovation in 2007 when they remodeled the outdoor pool and added the restaurant called Shutters and built two private ocean view cottages.

The new owners have also changed the hotel’s no-kids policy and now want to encourage family bonding.

www.cambridgebeaches.com

Dine at DeShields’ Bistro in Cambridge Beaches (Photograph provided)

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