Ventnor Botanic Garden has announced the appointment of a new Head Chef, Brad Roe, at the garden’s Edulis Restaurant.

Having grown up in Essex, Brad and his family moved to the Isle of Wight when he was 14-years-old. After college Brad ventured off the Island to develop his craft at the 5* hotel ‘The Berkeley’. One lucky day Brad won a green card in a lottery – a lucky ticket to work in the USA, broaden his culinary horizons and develop his own style in 5* hotels and Michelin restaurants in LA and Orlando, followed by 17 years in Las Vegas as Executive Chef.

Brad has now returned to the Island with his family and has made tracks to Ventnor Botanic Garden (VBG) to build on the garden’s tradition of serving ultra-fresh cuisine made from VBG-grown and locally sourced ingredients. Brad now describes his style at classical European with an American flair, explaining that he loves to juxtapose innovative ingredients and let the plate come together organically.

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The new Head Chef will bring many of rare and edible plants at the Botanic Garden into his kitchen. For example, VBG has the largest outdoor collection of Eucalyptus in the UK and Brad has wasted no time creating a Eucalyptus Sea Salt. With VBG Curator, Chris Kidd, Brad has embarked on the next phase of his culinary journey – a kind of ‘Gardener meets Chef’ story for the Isle of Wight.

Speaking about the new venture, Brad has said:

“The name of our restaurant, ‘edulis’, means edible in Latin. We have a unique opportunity to create an experience like no other restaurant can. That is to grow our own produce on site using our microclimate, plant sourcing and propagation skills to create a dining experience that pushes local food one step further.

“My main goal is to create a buzz across the Island, so that edulis is known as a great food destination.

“Our Curator has selected unique and interesting vegetables to grow in our nursery beds and serve alongside our exotic mushrooms, micro herbs and salads ensuring that our food is literally Garden fresh.”

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Brad’s unique culinary style is in evidence in Edulis Restaurant, open 12:00-16:00 daily. Call 01983 855397 to book.

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