Dining on the Greatest Waterfront
- January 21st, 2015
- in Lifestyle
Photography courtesy of Brandywine Estate Restaurant
Best BVI Restaurant – this is arguably one of the toughest classes of the 32 categories in the 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards due to the vast number of options across the islands. Regardless, there has to be a winner and in October 2014, Brandywine Estate Restaurant emerged victorious in what was the fourth annual VIPY reader vote.
Regis and Claudine Bourdon—Head Chef and Manager—were ecstatic about the award and grateful to all who have supported their efforts over the years.
Having dined at the establishment and following, interviewed Claudine, I found that Brandywine presents a service paralleling the management’s hospitable style at its distinctive venue, allowing one to enjoy the view of the famous Sir Francis Drake Channel – a scenic spot that is challenging to find anywhere else in the BVI.
“This is what perhaps sets our restaurant apart,” Claudine said, explaining the various aspects that form their successful model. “It’s not just in the cooking but the whole restaurant. We believe our staff and style is not pretentious. It’s family style and full of fun, smiles and love,” she continued.
With a drive for constant improvement in their service and consistent attention to detail, Claudine recalls their initiation in running the restaurant.
“We were pleased that when we opened in 2012, we were quickly accepted into the BVI community…we were busy from the start,” said the manager. “We wanted to make certain that we maintained and improved upon that. We have worked hard to keep our menu fresh and interesting while making sure that the classics are still available.”
In enriching the interior design of the restaurant, maintaining impeccable customer service, and their personal goal to source the best quality ingredients for their cuisine and wine selection, Claudine and Regis have witnessed exponential growth of their guests.
Delving into their background, Claudine explained that Regis spent many years working as a private chef in luxurious homes and on board luxury mega yachts.
“Catering to the demands of the affluent community and high standards gave Regis a foundation of knowledge in almost all culinary styles,” said the restauranteur. “However, in running Brandywine, he chose to return to his roots of pure Mediterranean cuisine. His style is not gastronomic and we won’t win a Michelin star…his food is Bistro Style. It’s tasty, well-presented, and not pretentious. For Regis, his food is home cooking—Regis’ mother and grandfather were both excellent chefs. We like to call it Bistronomic.”
Claudine worked as an estate manager and chief stewardess on mega yachts, bringing her background in high end service to the partnership as well. “I enjoy nothing more than greeting customers at the door with a smile and a hug,” she said in light of her current role that was made possible by her varied skills. Reviewing her win of the RC award, she acknowledges that competition is fierce in the BVI: “There are many excellent dining establishments across our various islands and we welcome the diversity, the competition, and the fact that these other restaurants, along with ourselves, keep bringing our tourists back to the BVI at the same time as keeping the BVI residents fed and happy.”
In the future, Brandywine would like to cater for more destination weddings—a portion of tourism that is huge in the BVI due to its unspoiled scenery. Progressing forward, Claudine sees a bright future and anticipates healthy competition in the Readers’ Choice this year.