With his new restaurant, Bayside, due to open its doors to the public in mid-December, Chef Joe Hughes sat down to tell me about his lifetime passion for cooking and how he came up with the inspiration for creating the menu and theme for this exciting new restaurant and bar, situated next to Fosters’ supermarket in West Bay.
Chef Joe has incorporated his years of experience in fine dining to create a menu that combines a variety of influences from around the world, using only the highest quality ingredients to create a selection of contemporary classics at affordable prices. Patrons can look forward to a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu combined with artisan coffee and modern style pizza.
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Devon in the south-west of the UK.
When did you first come to Cayman?
I first arrived in Cayman in 2009. I moved back to the UK from 2011-16 with my Caymanian wife, Sarah Cuff, and have lived here ever since.
Where else in the world have you worked before arriving in Cayman?
I have worked in Australia, New Zealand and USA, working for a variety of different restaurants in and out the kitchen.
Who or what inspired you to become a chef?
I dedicate my inspiration for becoming a chef to Gordon Ramsay, he is my hero. During the late 90s/early 2000s, the UK was experiencing a revolution in its culinary scene, and Gordon Ramsay was spearheading that revolution, however, I am not a chef that shouts like Gordon!
What made you decide to open your own restaurant?
I’ve always wanted to open my own restaurant. I feel it should be the dream for every young chef out there that wants to challenge themselves and progress in their career.
How did you come up with the concept for Bayside Restaurant?
My business partner and I decided the time was right to buy in West Bay as we believe we can offer the community something different, something modern and fresh with a focus on quality of ingredients and affordability.
We will be offering breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, alongside an artisan coffee programme in the morning and modern style pizza in the evening.
What are your “go to” seasonings and why?
My go to seasonings would be (in no particular order):
What is your favourite dish and why?
As a Brit, I would have to say a well-executed roast dinner is my favourite meal. It’s a reason for family and friends to get together and always invokes great memories.
How do you decide what to include on the menu?
There are multiple ways I decide what goes on the menu:
I am a staunch believer in cooking everything in-house wherever possible and have very high standards when it comes to ingredients, performance and execution
What would you recommend as a romantic meal for two?
Oysters, tuna and king crab tartare, duck breast and cherries, followed by double chocolate and pistachio fondan.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a culinary career?
Put your ego aside, listen, learn and enjoy yourself. This industry is hard work, there’s no denying that, but at the end of the day it is also equally rewarding. It’s like anything in life, the more you invest your time and effort, the more you get back.
“Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, And moribund.” – Anthony Bourdain
Bayside is due to open its doors to the public in mid-December.
Drop by in the morning for a choice of barista inspired coffees, choose from a selection of grab and go’s, or sit down and enjoy a breakfast from their creative menu in house.
They will also be open for lunch and dinner serving up contemporary classics, such as chef Joe’s artisan burger with house smoked bacon and homemade seeded buns and the best fish and chips on Island, using local beer battered fish & triple cooked chips.
At night you can also choose from a selection of modern and classic pizzas all inspired by Chef Joe’s love for combining the old with the new alongside sourcing the finest ingredients.
Great menu, great pricing, and great quality!
For more information about Bayside, visit https://www.bayside.ky/
Telephone: 1-345- 325 6953
By Juliette Heath
Juliette Heath is a Caymanian foodie, weddings and events planner, and author of kids’ books.