Cindy Hutson Celebrates 15 Years of Ortanique: "It Takes People, Skills, and Fresh Ideas"
It's a big month for Cindy Hutson and partner Delius Shirley. The duo and life partners are celebrating a 15-year run in the restaurant industry with their Miracle Mile darling Ortanique on the Mile. Hutson also will bring her Caribbean flair to downtown with the opening of Zest and Zest Mrkt come fall.
Courtesy of Cindy Hutson
But all this could not be possible without the loyal clientele of Ortanique, so to celebrate and thank locals for continuous years of support, Hutson and Shirley are hosting a charity wine dinner in union with Darioush Winery this Thursday, July 31 at 7 p.m.
We caught up with Hutson on what challenges the last 15 years brought and what's next for Ortanique.
Dinner starts with a champagne reception and passed hors d'oeuvres. A five-course menu curated by Cindy paired with varietals from Darioush Winery will follow. Tickets can be purchased for $250 with proceeds going to United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida and Baptist Health Breast Center.
New Times: How has Ortanique changed in the last 15 years? How has it stayed the same?
Cindy Hutson: When we first opened, Ortanique was thought to be a Caribbean restaurant. Most all of the dishes on the menu reflected Island flair and style. Still using ingredients found throughout the Caribbean, I incorporate these ingredients into a new ethnic cuisine that could be recognized as coming from regions other than the islands, and allowing me to create a cuisine that expands from inspiration around the world.
What do you know now that you wish you'd know then?
I don't think that there is anything I wish I knew differently. I think in the world of culinary/restaurants, you must always be willing to learn, evolve, and change when change is needed. It becomes a growth in your profession and a honing of skills more than a, 'I wish I had known that then,' sort of thing.