Silence is only broken by chirping birds and the sound of fruits hitting the ground. The fauna and flora are no surprises here either, with the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust just a 5-minute walk away through gorgeous, lush vegetation.
Here at the Wild Fowl Trust’s Nature Retreat Centre on Petrotrin’s compound sits the familiar Petrea Place—a colonial structure on a sheltered hill and the home to Trinidad’s newest family-style, organic, environmentally-friendly, farm-to-table Freebird Restaurant.
The brother and sister team of Rhenard and Rhe-Anne Callender, have returned to Trinidad from their studies and work abroad to become the entrepreneurial duo in the roles of operator-manager-farmer-chef. The space they occupy is not new to them either, having spent part of their growing years on this camp while their dad was employed at Petrotrin.
Head down to Point-a-Pierre this weekend to try the new farm-to-table Freebird Restaurant.
Posted by Propa Eats on Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Returning from Los Angeles, California, USA, two years ago and for the past eight months the Callenders have worked tirelessly re-designing, and transforming the dining space with signature themes parallel to the idea of “Freebird.”
In California, Rhenard worked as a commodity broker and Rhe-Anne, among many lucrative opportunities, also had the distinct honour of working as a pastry chef for American actress and businesswoman Eva Longoria. Since opening Freebird a month ago, Rhenard has assumed the role of operations manager in charge of the restaurant, as well as managing the horticultural project of maintaining and improving the flora, and the organic farm, which is a major part of the property and venture. Rhe-Anne is the creative genius behind the menus and dining options.
Freebird Restaurant is currently open for tea on Thursdays and brunch on Sundays and is currently booking and hosting private and corporate events for parties of any size, 300 guests maximum.
Tea and brunch menus boast dishes created from Chef Rhe-Anne’s Herb Garden located just outside the kitchen. Rhenard and his staff care for the home-grown herbs such as mint, basil, lemongrass, sage, dill, thyme, and fennel.
From the fully-organic farm located further back in an area leading to a private trail to the Wild Fowl Trust, they are already harvesting pumpkin, bodi, ochro, pimentos, and squash. Rows of patchoi, kale, zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, and cucumbers are being tended to eventually make their way to the next meal.
Rhe-Anne loves crafting recipes with peppers, like Romesco sauce which is used in the “Trini Breakfast” during brunch. This Spanish sauce is made from roasted red peppers, charred tomatoes, roasted garlic, toasted almonds, homemade bread and spices.
The brunch and tea menus change seasonally to use available ingredients. Rhe-Anne pays close attention to detail, balancing flavours to perfection. Rhenard’s face lights up as he talks about his sister’s culinary talent.
“She’s incredible with flavour profiles,” he says. “She knows how to tweak each one on the menu until the flavour is just right.”
And his truth is an understatement. The food is outstanding. The presentation of every dish represents the thoughtful care of meals engineered from farm-to-table, featuring fresh herbs, and edible flower petals, as a finishing touch.
And there’s the added bonus of the dining room opening up to wide landscape views of the surroundings through large glass windows that break up the wooden, rustic, and homey decor. Wherever you are seated, you’ll feel like you’re outside in the beautiful, relaxing tropical garden with hummingbirds feeding off the nectar of exotic and usual flora.
Rhenard and Rhe-Anne are equal opportunity employers also big on recycling and reuse; they try to eliminate waste as much as possible from using hello green’s biodegradable packing to composting all vegetable scraps from the kitchen to be used for the crops on the farm.
They have had many options from which to choose for their life-work but their choices have led them both back home, becoming farmer and restaurateurs. They offer to T&T Freebird Restaurant because it is what they love and are committed to providing great food, exceptional service and overall unique dining experiences for all their guests.
Afternoon tea every Thursday: 3 pm to 6 pm
Brunch every Sunday: 11 am to 4 pm
Thursday Tea: 10 dishes at $195 per person, plus tax and service charge
Sunday Brunch: 5 meals costs $275 per person, plus tax and service charge
RESERVATIONS: Call: (868) 658-5322—all reservations must be made by 4 pm the day before.
ADDRESS: #2 Petrea Road, Petrotrin, Pointe-a-Pierre, Trinidad