The Edulis Restaurant at the Ventnor Botanic Garden is set for a shake up after Brad Roe was named the new Head Chef. Brad grew up in Essex and moved with his family to the Isle of Wight when he was 14. He left the island to work on his cooking skills after college as he went to work at ‘The Berkeley, a five-star restaurant. Brad later won the green card lottery which allowed him to move to the US to work there. For him, this was a great opportunity to expand his culinary vision and also a chance to improve on his own style as he worked in Michelin restaurants and Five Star hotels in Orlando and Los Angeles. He also worked as an Executive Chef in Las Vegas for 17 years.
The Chef is now back on the island together with his family and is now keen to carry on the Botanic Garden’s history of serving dishes that are made using very fresh ingredients, many of which are grown in the garden or sourced from the locals. As for his style, Brad describes it as classical European with an American flair which means that he likes to try out new ideas but also allows the dish to come together on its own.
As Head Chef, Brad is planning to make use of some of the edible rare plants that are grown in the Botanic Garden. The Garden, for instance, has the largest collection of Eucalyptus trees in the UK outdoors and the Head Chef has already created a Sea Salt flavoured with Eucalyptus. Together with Chris Kidd, the Curator at the gardens, the Head Chef is now working on the next stage of his culinary journey which is fashioned to be like a ‘Gardener meets Chef’ tale.
The Head Chef spoke about his recent appointment and stated that this was a great chance for them to create an experience unlike anything another restaurant could do because they were able to grow their own produce by taking advantage of the microclimate and thus create a dining experience that would greatly change what the local restaurant scene had to offer. He added that his intention at the moment was to create some hype around the island so people would realise the Edulis was a great place to have a meal. The Edulis Restaurant is open from noon to four in the evening every day.