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New Chef at Brandywine Bay

Tortola, British Virgin Islands, November 29, 2010 – After twenty-two years of pioneering culinary excellence in the Virgin Islands, Chef Davide and Cele Pugliese have introduced a new executive chef to their signature Brandywine Bay Restaurant so they can focus on other culinary ventures.  Husband and wife team, Relais et Chateaux chef, Eric Brunel and his wife, Cecile, now will run one of Tortola’s most renowned restaurants which re-opened on Saturday, November 27.

(L-R) Cele Pugliese, Chef Davide Pugliese with new Brandywine Bay Restaurant manager, Cecile Brunel, and Executive Chef Eric Brunel.

“Brandywine Bay has been our life for the last two decades, and Cele and I are proud of its success,“ said Davide Pugliese. “We want to see the restaurant flourish and grow, but we are also ready to explore new culinary opportunities. We needed a strong team to continue to serve Brandywine Bay and to enable us to achieve our dreams.”

Chef Davide Pugliese will provide counsel for Chef Brunel as needed but also plans to work on other culinary projects. Chef Davide recently has been involved with culinary events in New York, St Martin, Bermuda and Wilmington and he will continue to showcase his culinary talents and the BVI at others in the Caribbean and the USA.
“When we were introduced to Chef Brunel and his wife, Cecile, we knew that we had found the right couple to build on the legacy of the restaurant. The ambience and romantic, flagstone setting will remain the same but the menu will be Chef Brunel’s creation. Cecile has many years’ experience of working as front of house and will be taking over as floor manager and sommelier,” continued Pugliese.

As a native of France, Chef Eric Brunel will be introducing dishes that reflect a mainly French influence with Caribbean accents. Specialties include half dozen Burgundy snails with garlic butter and mash sweet potatoes; minestrone of conch, Caribbean dark rum and sherry pepper; assiette du pecheur with shrimps, fish, baby clams and sea scallops with aioli and croutons of focaccia; grilled Certified Angus Beef® fricassee of yams, roasted asparagus, reduction of port wine and black trumpet mushrooms; sushi of fruit with chocolate sauce and lime sorbet. The diverse wine list, selected by Cecile, offers different varietals from renowned French regions and the New World.

Chef Brunel has worked in the industry for 30 years in multiple destinations including France, Switzerland, Bermuda, the British West Indies and French Polynesia. The Virgin Islands have previously been home to Eric and Cecile when they lived in Virgin Gorda for more than four years. During this time, Chef Brunel worked as executive chef at Little Dix Bay, a Rosewood Resort. In his repertoire of positions at prestigious resorts, Chef Brunel has served as Executive Chef at La Taha’s Private Island & Spa, Relais et Chateaux; Executive Chef at the Grace Bay Club in Turks and Caicos; Executive Chef at Bora Bora Lagoon Resort and Spa, Head Chef at the Romanoff Restaurant in Hamilton, Bermuda; Executive Sous-Chef at the Reefs Hotel in Southampton, Bermuda; Chef de Partie at the Belmont Hotel in Warwick, Bermuda; and at The Ritz Paris. Chef Brunel obtained his Certificate of Professional Education in Classical Cuisine in 1980, and completed a two-year apprenticeship at Le Pont des Soupirs in Royat, France.

Davide and Cele Pugliese took over Brandywine Bay Restaurant in 1986 and have earned a reputation for creating and serving consistently fine cuisine. The Puglieses are a part of the fabric of the BVI community and, over the years, Chef Davide has been instrumental in progressing the culinary arts both at home and abroad.

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