Passenger Pick of the Month
Guy Harvey’s Island Grill
Overlooking the picturesque George Town harbor, Guy Harvey’s Island Grill is one of the very best restaurant experiences on the island. As this month’s Passenger Pick of the Month, we wanted to learn more about the story behind Guy Harvey’s Island Grill, so recently we caught up with the mastermind, partner Chef Bruno Deluche.
PP: Bruno, where did the connection between you and Guy Harvey start?
BD: When I moved to the Cayman Islands, I met Dennis Hunter, who happened to be a neighbor of Dr. Guy Harvey. Guy asked my opinion of what it would take to create a restaurant, and from there Guy Harvey’s Island Grill was born! Having his gallery and painting studio next door was a perfect concept for our seafood restaurant. Good publicity for both of us...and his well known name helped me a lot!
PP: Locals and passengers alike say that you are a perfectionist in picking out the fish you prepare...to the point that you uniquely mark your fish so you receive the actual fish you chose, and have even sent fish back! Why and how do you mark a fish?
BD: Selecting the highest quality seafood is critical for an excellent dining experience. I look at the fish’s eyes; they need to be very shiny. The skins should be hard, also I give a quick smell inside the belly to see if it was cleaned by the fisherman as soon it was caught. To mark the fish I’ve personally selected, I cut a unique shape into the fish’s fin so that when the fish are delivered I can be sure these fish are the same ones I chose that morning. Yes, sometimes I have sent fish back when they were not what I ordered. But that doesn’t happen as much anymore.
PP: Everyone notices the beautiful seafood display you have near the front door of your restaurant. It seems like a signature touch that only you do! What is the story behind this unique practice?
BD: Well the story is...early on, when I received fresh sea food or fish, I got so excited I wanted to share this with my friends and customers. So I used to bring them to the kitchen to show them. But as you can imagine, as we became more popular, that became impractical. So now, I make a fresh display on ice in the front to make my life a bit easier and faster. Many times when a guest orders one fresh lobster or fish, I send them to the front display to choose the one they’d like to eat. Also when it gets busy, if there is a little wait at the door, it’s more interesting when you can look at fish, especially for the kids.
PP: Tell us more about the style and inspiration of your dishes.
BD: Our restaurant features a selection of popular West Indies and French entrees. All our seafood and other dishes are prepared fresh daily with the finest ingredients. In our menu you’ll find local catches of Wahoo, Tuna, Jack, Snapper, Butterfish, Lion fish and Dolphin fish as well as Lobster, Salmon, Oysters, Scallops and much more. Besides seafood, we offer mouth-watering versions of Duck, Pork Tenderloin, Steaks, Chicken and much more…all prepared in many different ways never before imagined – each dish is truly an original masterpiece! A well rounded assortment of appetizers and desserts complete the meal, in addition to a vast wine list including Guy Harvey’s own brands.
PP: Why is your Flavors of Cayman Sunday Brunch focused on Caymanian cuisine?
BD: I want our Caymanian Sunday brunch to be different than all the other places. Some people visiting want to try local food instead of the hotel brunch that is almost the same around the world.
PP: You are a Sea Sense compliant restaurant, what does that exactly mean?
BD: In keeping with the conservation mission of Dr. Guy Harvey, you’re right, our restaurant is Sea Sense compliant, serving only sustainable fish rather than putting added pressure on already depleted species. The Cayman Islands, like many cultures, has a strong maritime tradition, in which fish has been a staple food. However because of increasing demand worldwide, many popular species have been overexploited like swordfish, grouper, billfish and shark. By not serving these over fished species we want to contribute to the long term improvement of these fish stocks and to support Dr. Guy Harvey's cause in providing scientific information necessary to understand and protect the world’s fish resources and biodiversity from continued decline.
PP: Do you cook at home?
BD: When I’m home, I don’t cook. The only time I do, it’s to make BBQ. On my day off, the love of my life Silviya, cooks for me. She’s from Bulgaria and I love her eastern European-based cuisine.
PP: Do you think your son Emanuel will be a future Chef?
BD: I hope Emanuel will stay away from the restaurant business so he will have more time to enjoy with his children, not like me.
PP: Besides your passion for cooking, what other things capture your heart?
BD: Besides cooking, I love my family, traveling, diving, motocross, boating and horseback riding. I’ve got two horses, Goliath, and also a baby foal, Kalhua.
Chef Bruno grew up in Condat-sur-Vienne in central France, and was greatly influenced by his grandmother, Jeanne, who perfected her dishes for numerous family and guests using just a pot over a fireplace and fresh ingredients from the farm. He’s worked in restaurants in France, New York and London, and at Les Chefs de France in Disney World’s Epcot Center, under the tutelage of three renowned French chefs before moving to the Cayman Islands.
Sometimes those from France can get a bad rap as being typically aloof and impersonal. Chef Bruno couldn’t be more the opposite. He’s one of the most down to earth, warm, humble people you’ll meet, with a wonderful self-effacing personality. This personable feel has really infected the staff. They greet you warmly and have smiles on their faces continuously. “Most of our staff have been here since inception and are happy to work here, people can see it on their faces and taste it in our food,” says Bruno.
Guy Harvey’s Island Grill is open every day with different promotions. ½ off Happy Hour is from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Check out their $9.99 daily dinner specials, as well as their $30.00 four course dinner menu.
55 S. South Church Street
George Town, Grand Cayman