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From high finance to haute cuisine

Career change: Bermudian restaurant owner Ryan Brining with fiancée Emily Battersby at his new venture, the Whlte Maple Cafe in Ridgewood, New Jersey (Photograph supplied)

Bermudian restaurateur Ryan Brining turned his back on the world of high finance to pursue his dream job.

Now the former investment banker is celebrating the opening of his first venture, the White Maple Café in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Mr Brining, 28, formerly of Southampton, worked as an investment banker in New York.

But he said: “I really thought about what I wanted to do. The hours are insane and the industry wasn’t for me.

“There’s not really any logical reason for it. It didn’t make a lot of sense, but it was something I wanted to do.”

Mr Brining said he had friends in the restaurant business and took part-time culinary science classes in New York before taking the plunge and landing a job at the two-Michelin starred Daniel in New York, run by celebrity French chef Daniel Boulud, who now operates a chain of restaurants around the world.

Then he went to the famous Rainbow Room, also in New York, which was just reopening after being closed for several years.

Mr Brining said: “I was part of the reopening team, which was great experience.”

He added: “The restaurant scene in New York is one of the best, if not the best, in the world. Mr Brining said his new venture is “a classic American restaurant focusing on local and sustainable produce”.

He has linked up with sustainable local producers and backs the US community supported agriculture drive, which sees boxes of produce delivered fresh from a local farmer as well as his own vegetables delivered to the White Maple Café for members of the public to pick up.

Mr Brining, whose father Dave still lives in Bermuda, went to Saltus before boarding school in Boston and earning a degree at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

But he said: “I always knew I wanted to one day open a restaurant — it just took me a while to get there.”

Mr Brining added: “I come back to Bermuda as much as I can, maybe twice a year, to see friends and my dad’s still there.”