Neeley Brimer and Bruno Terroso both have passions for food that goes well beyond simply preparing something to eat.
They realized that connection once they started working together at Hooded Merganser Restaurant in Penticton Lakeside Resort.
The result is Bluebonnet Culinary, a mobile restaurant that offers high-end culinary experiences and is unique to the province.
“What we found was people are really looking for these unique experiences,” Brimer says. “They want to have dinner in interesting places with interesting people with interesting stories.”
Brimer and Terroso are all about offering personalized, interactive and high-end events; wineries have become a big part of their business in their first year of operation.
“We wanted to see if there was a way we could create really amazing, high-end food while helping them tell the story of their brand, product and history,” Brimer says. “So essentially what we are is a travelling fine dining service.”
Brimer is originally from Texas, and that is how Bluebonnet Culinary got its name. The bluebonnet is the official state flower of Texas and is closely associated with the state’s female pioneers.
Terroso was the executive chef at the Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove Winery for its entirety and then at Play Winery before moving on to the Hooded Merganser, while Brimer worked within the Earls organization and played a key role in the growth and expansion of Salty’s Beach House.
Terroso was born in Portugal but moved to Canada when he was young. He got to the Okanagan in 2001 and has been making mouths water ever since.
“No matter what I did to get out, the industry always brought me back in. But I didn’t try that hard to get out,” Terroso says. “I was always destined to be in this industry. We both love food and wine, and neither one of us can think of anything else we’d want to do.”
Added Brimer: “Working together, we realized that we have very much the same interest and passion for the culinary arts and really wanted to dig down and make the food that we want to make.”
Bluebonnet Culinary takes care of all the logistics of an evening of fine dining. Terroso and Brimer will work with the client to create a menu and then handle the rest, from the setup to the decor to the takedown.
“We kind of mixed a private chef with a food truck and made a baby,” Brimer says with a laugh.
Nothing is off the table when it comes to the menu, either. Just last weekend Bluebonnet did a large barbecue and then 24 hours later conducted a five-course tasting meal.
They work with wineries, of course, but they also feel right at home doing corporate events, open houses and other private functions.
If you like good food, Bluebonnet Culinary is what you want.
“Food is the common denominator for every human being on the planet,” Brimer says. “Everyone has to eat. We eat to celebrate, to mourn and to make memories with people we love most.
“Bruno and I take a lot of pride in being a small part of helping people make those memories and being part of those celebrations or whatever they might be. That brings us a tremendous amount of joy.”
For more information about Bluebonnet Culinary, visit its Instagram page here.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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