Brigadoon restaurant under new ownership

Brigadoon restaurant in Windwardside has changed ownership, writes The Daily Herald.

Tjeerd “T.J.” Abma, a Dutch chef living on Saba for six years, took over the restaurant as of June 1 from long-time owners Michael and Tricia Chammaa.

One of the first major changes, signalling the change of ownership, has been to the menu. “The Brigadoon menu has not been changed for 12 years, probably for good reasons, so I kept some of Chef Michael’s original dishes. For instance, the falafel, the famous tuna salad and the ‘Shrimp Michael’ have stayed on, although the name’s been changed to “Shrimp Brigadoon.”

Chef Abma’s own signature dish, Chevre Normandie, is on the new menu. The dish has goat cheese, roasted almonds, apple and honey. Another new addition to the menu is called the “Eden Classic Fantastic Escargot.”

Connoisseurs will recognise the dish which originally came from Chef Norbert Schippers of the former Eden restaurant, now called Chez Bubba. Schippers will be the chef on certain nights at Brigadoon.

Abma’s nephew, also called Tjeerd, but is conveniently called “Junior” to avoid confusion, is the new host at Brigadoon. Junior is learning to make many cocktails.

Chef Tjeerd Abma (second left) with his new Brigadoon team of Mercilia Bossuet, Guerriez Bossuet, Tjeerd de Wit, Nina Pederson, Stuart Farmer and Mary Newman.
Chef Tjeerd Abma (second left) with his new Brigadoon team of Mercilia Bossuet, Guerriez Bossuet, Tjeerd de Wit,
Nina Pederson, Stuart Farmer and Mary Newman.

Abma said apart from dinner service he wants people to know Brigadoon as a place to stop by and have a drink, also in the late hours. “So far everything went smoothly. Of course, I need to find my way and everyone comes around to congratulate you so the first weeks have been a bit hectic at times,” Abma told The Daily Herald.

Abma has worked at many establishments on Saba and has become a well-known figure. He grew up in Friesland, the Netherlands and worked in the hospitality industry since age 18. He has been a maître d’ on several cruise ships and has worked in Friesland mostly as a chef.

After completing the hotel school in the Netherlands, he worked his way from server to restaurant manager, restaurant owner to chef. Abma has worked abroad in places such as in London, Germany and St. Maarten.

For a decade, Abma has lived in Amsterdam, where he was co-owner of a restaurant in the old town centre. “I am proud to take over the restaurant that Michael and Tricia Chammaa have made successful over the past 17 years. I will do my very best to keep Brigadoon as successful for all the coming years,” Abma said.

After 17 years, the Chammaas decided it was time for a new chapter in their lives on Saba.

Interested diners and returning guests can visit the restaurant’s Facebook page: “Brigadoon Saba” for menus, opening times, and updates. Brigadoon opens every day of the week from 6:00pm to 11:00pm, except Tuesdays. These opening times and days may change in the future.

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