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New website samples Bermudian cuisine

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(Photograph by Bite of Bermuda)Food glorious food: Fried shrimp from St David’s Seafood at the first county game this summer. Just one of the meals highlighted by Bite of Bermuda, a new foodie lovers’ website and social media group

They see. They eat. They appraise.

That’s the philosophy behind foodie website www.biteofbermuda.com.

It started after three friends bonded over a shared love of all things edible.

These days they’re having fun eating their way through menus across Bermuda — and inspiring others to do the same.

The team at Bite of Bermuda wish to keep their identities secret, but they spoke with The Royal Gazette about what’s driving them.

Q: How did Bite of Bermuda begin? Did one of you have an idea? If so what sparked it?

A: Bite of Bermuda was an idea we had well over a year ago. We’re food lovers ourselves, and found that our conversations inevitably turned towards food, whether we were debating the best conch fritters, pizza or mixed drinks, or discussing the best spots for special occasions. We realised that our own experiences could become a great resource for others and loved the idea of creating an outlet for capturing our thoughts and sharing our opinions and love for Bermuda and its fantastic food scene.

Q: How have things been going since you launched on Instagram and Facebook? How do you feel about the success so far?

A: We started with Instagram and Facebook at the end of May, and then established Twitter at the beginning of June. We wanted to grow organically, so it was exciting to get those first likes and followers, and even more exciting to watch it grow so quickly. Following the launch of our website on July 7, the followers across social media have continued to climb steadily and we’re loving the engagement we have with our followers through comments, re-posts, direct messages and questions we’re receiving. We’re really proud of the success so far, especially given that we have no machine or brand behind us. We’re just three people who love food, sharing that love with others.

Q: What’s your goal?

A: The restaurant landscape in Bermuda has really changed over the past few years, and Bermuda is incredibly fortunate to have so many inspired chefs and bakers (and mixologists) contributing to that. We did notice a gap in holistic information available, so we set out to create a resource for anyone looking for information on Bermuda’s food scene — tourists and locals alike. So whether that means the “must-try” places for visitors, sourcing great spots to dine with children, restaurants that cater well to special diets (such as gluten-free or vegan), or even the best place to eat while enjoying a sunset — we want to showcase it all. We aren’t necessarily focused on Bermudian food, but more so on food in Bermuda. Most importantly for us is that our readers trust our recommendations. We will always be open and honest with our readers about what we think, because what good is a resource you can’t trust?

Q: How big is your team? Was this page what brought you together or were you friends beforehand?

A: There are three of us and we have been friends for awhile. We are varied in our likes, dislikes and backgrounds, so we feel like we can bring a pretty well-rounded view to the table (no pun intended). We don’t always agree, but those debates are what make it fun! Each week we plan our posting schedule, split up the duties between the various channels, and keep in contact constantly to ensure that we’re consistent with our voice and staying on top of our upcoming projects.

Q: Do you remember when you first realised you had such a love of food?

A: Food is such a foundation for so many great memories for each of us. As we mentioned, the three of us come from very different backgrounds. One of us grew up on the West Coast of Canada, and has memories of family dinners at the summer cottage, eating barbecued salmon caught right off the bay less than an hour before it hit the grill. Another was “born into food”, so to speak, with a family-owned restaurant. Working in the business, getting to know customers from all walks of life, and having weekly family dinners has made the idea of food being a social time a normal part of life.

Growing up in Bermuda it was always fascinating watching relatives orchestrate a huge family meal, which seemed to consist of so many parts — which dishes had to be served hot versus cold, the setting up, the serving and the ensuing good feelings that came from appreciative family and friends. These memories are part of the reason we strive to capture the atmosphere in each of our pictures and updates on our website.

Q: Are you guys cooks yourselves? If so, what are your favourite dishes?

A: This is another topic we talk about a lot and will likely branch into on the site at some point, because we like to cook for ourselves as much as we like to dine out. During this time of year, we have the benefit of the availability of both fresh fish and the fresh produce at the various vegetable carts. These items tend to lead the menu. In the fall and winter, we’re obsessed with soup and try to get as creative as possible using all of the amazing local produce available during those months. With full-time job obligations and the time it takes to keep up with this site, one of the things we’ve been experimenting with is meal planning. Meal planning has allowed us to do a bit of recipe sharing and tweaking with the benefits of being a money, time and calorie-saver. At the end of the day, we have to keep things healthy at home to counteract all of the dining out!

Q: For many people the best part of a meal is bonding. What’s your favourite part about food?

A: In many parts of the world, daily life is centred around a meal shared with family. We love how food connects people, no matter who is around the table. We love that food constantly evolves, whether via a trendy new ingredient or a new method of cooking. We love watching a chef describe his or her process and being able to see the pure passion behind what they do. And we love creating and sharing a meal with the people we love. Bermuda is a diverse community, full of pockets of cultures rich with traditions and people who love connecting over a meal. The love of food is a big part of Bermudian life. It’s this love, shared by everyone who calls Bermuda home, which we want to tap into and connect with through our readers.

Q: Why do you hope people will follow one of your pages?

A: We want people to follow our pages because they like what they see — plain and simple. We deliberately keep our own social profiles separate from Bite of Bermuda because we want people to follow us for what we are doing, not who we are. We want them to see us as friendly, open, engaged, transparent and, most of all, good at what we do.

Q: Where do you ultimately hope this will go?

A: We don’t know yet what this will become because our vision is constantly evolving, but we figure that as long as we’re enjoying it and getting positive feedback, we’ll keep at it and see where it goes. Overall, we’re working to build a great resource and when we get to that point, we’ll build something even better!

•Follow them on Instagram and Twitter: @biteofbermuda or Facebook: Bite of Bermuda.

Friday afternoon cupcakes at work (Photograph by Bite of Bermuda)
These mahi mahi tacos from North Rock Brewing Co in Smith's were a delicious summer dish for the Bite of Bermuda team (Photograph by Bite of Bermuda)
The Bite of Bermuda team took part in a small plate tasting at Marcus’ at Hamilton Princess. Chicken and waffles, fish chowder bites, fresh oysters and watermelon and goat cheese salad were all on offer (Photo Bite of Bermuda.)

The team at Bite of Bermuda gave us the lowdown on three of their favourite spots to eat on the Island:

1. For amazing sunset views, they recommend Ocean Grill at Pompano Beach Club. They think it’s an “incredible spot” that few people know about.

2. Mad Hatters is another one of their favourites. It boasts “extensive and delicious” daily specials and is known for consistently cooking up excellent food, they said.

3. Wahoos Bistro & Patio Restaurant in St George’s can’t be beat for its “atmosphere, relaxed attentive service and great fish”. “We featured their wahoo tacos on our Instagram in our first few weeks and quickly found that they were a favourite of a lot of people,” the Bite of Bermuda team said.