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Globetrotting chef lends expertise for new Rosedon menu

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Visiting chef Jonathan Cartwright, left, with Rosedon Hotel executive chef Damien Griffith (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

New cuisine is coming to the table at a high-end Pembroke hotel, where a visiting chef with global experience has brought his expertise to bear on a reimagined menu.

Jonathan Cartwright, a globetrotting chef and consultant, rolled up his sleeves this month in the kitchens of the Rosedon Hotel, which is undergoing a rebrand in tandem with its 70th anniversary.

It marked Mr Cartwright’s second stint at the hotel on Pitts Bay Road after he was called in as an adviser by Scott Kitson, the hotel owner, when the Rosedon closed its doors after the Covid-19 pandemic shut down Bermuda tourism in 2020.

Visiting chef Jonathan Cartwright, left, with Rosedon Hotel executive chef Damien Griffith (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Mr Cartwright said: “We’ve had a good time and accomplished a lot. We set out to develop a new concept and get the things we had on paper executed — a new summer menu for Huckleberry Restaurant.”

Damien Griffith, Rosedon’s executive chef, who has worked closely with Mr Cartwright, also highlighted the upcoming launch of Clarabell’s.

The pizzeria out in the sheltered grounds of the hotel will come with wood-burning brick ovens and a “playful, kid-friendly area”, he said.

Visiting chef Jonathan Cartwright, left, with Rosedon Hotel executive chef Damien Griffith (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

“Clarabell used to be a chef that worked here when Scott, the owner, was much younger and would do a few chores in the kitchen and enjoy some treats.”

Clarabell’s will open in August, serving from 4pm to 11pm.

Some of the new cuisine developed at the Rosedon Hotel (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Mr Cartwright said Huckleberry Restaurant’s new menu, which launched last Tuesday, featured “fresh, quality ingredients with a very clean presentation that really makes the ingredients pop and stand out”.

Mr Griffith, who enjoys a plant-based diet, said: “I like that we get to enjoy the flavours of spring and summer as well. There’s a lot of fresh items such as peas, fava beans and the local roasted carrot from Wadson’s Farm.

“Our philosophy is based on honest cooking, good quality produce and developing the flavours as best we can. We’re also known for our artistic creations.”

Kitchens have a reputation as high-pressure environments.

However, Mr Griffith said the Rosedon, which is approaching 60 per cent Bermudian staff with new hires, offered a learner-friendly environment for budding chefs.

“We can show them the heart of what goes on in the kitchen,” he said. “People think we’re crazy, but we’re driven by passion.”

Mr Cartwright added: “It’s a work-friendly atmosphere. It comes with some pressure but it isn’t done in a stressful way. The chef is a mentor, not a suppressor or a screamer.”

The two chefs have each come through Le Gavroche, which was a top French restaurant in London, although they worked there at different times.

Mr Cartwright comes from Sheffield in England. His experience ranges across Europe and the Americas — including the mentorship of the late Lawrence Bongiorno, who emphasised balancing respect for the team with professionalism.

He launched his consulting business in 2015 and also runs the Musette Restaurant in the town of Kennebunkport, Maine, with business partner Selena Roy.

Mr Griffith, from Barbados, started out cooking in the family kitchen and moved on to work in luxury hotels.

He worked as a chef at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel before becoming executive chef at the Rosedon in 2021.

Both chefs see the upcoming pizzeria as a popular offering for the public as well as hotel guests.

Mr Cartwright said: “Bermuda is so blessed with the weather, and people like to be outside. This will be a place where people can gather and enjoy themselves.”

He said he had called upon his experience from various quarters of the world in developing the new menus, but also the varied skills of the Bermudian and international staff in the kitchens.

The two chefs said the hotel had built good connections among the island’s farming and fishing community, with fresh ingredients reflected in specialist dishes — including for people with food allergies and dietary restrictions.

Mr Griffith said: “We have a few vegan items on the menu that I think are creative and out of the box.”

A Saturday and Sunday brunch menu from 10am to 4pm was launched this weekend at Huckleberry; while afternoon tea on Fridays resumes this week — with live music beginning on June 21 with pianist Katie Ewles.

The Rosedon also runs a stall at Harbour Nights in Hamilton every Wednesday, where the Cronut, combining the croissant with the doughnut, has proved popular.

Mr Cartwright will return to Kennebunkport on Saturday.

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Published June 10, 2024 at 7:57 am (Updated June 10, 2024 at 7:57 am)

Globetrotting chef lends expertise for new Rosedon menu

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