Join chef Eric Ripert at the culinary event of the decade

Headline Chefs

  • Eric Ripert

    Photo of Eric Ripert

    Eric Ripert is the chef and co-owner of the acclaimed New York restaurant Le Bernardin. Born in Antibes, France, Eric moved to Andorra, a small country just over the Spanish border as a young child. His family instilled their own passion for food in the young Ripert, and at the age of 15 he left home to attend culinary school in Perpignan. At 17, he moved to Paris and cooked at the legendary La Tour D’Argent before taking a position at the Michelin three-starred Jamin. After fulfilling his military service, Ripert returned to Jamin under Joel Robuchon to serve as chef poissonier.

    In 1989, Ripert seized the opportunity to work under Jean-Louis Palladin as sous-chef at Jean Louis at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. Ripert moved to New York in 1991, working briefly as David Bouley’s sous-chef before Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze recruited him as chef for Le Bernardin. Ripert has since firmly established himself as one of New York’s—and the world’s—great chefs.

    In September 2014, Ripert and Le Coze opened Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, named for their acclaimed wine director Aldo Sohm. That same month, the two expanded Le Bernardin’s private dining offerings with Le Bernardin Privé, a dynamic space above Aldo Sohm Wine Bar that can accommodate a range of events. Some of his most recent accolades include La Liste’s #1 restaurant in the United States and #2 restaurants in the world (2017).

    Ripert is the Vice Chairman of the board of City Harvest, working to bring together New York’s top chefs and restaurateurs to raise funds and increase the quality and quantity of food donations to New York’s neediest When not in the kitchen, Ripert enjoys good tequila and peace and quiet.

  • José Andrés

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    Named as one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” and awarded "Outstanding Chef" by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, television personality, humanitarian and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in the United States, he is also known for his groundbreaking avant-garde cuisine and award-winning group of 25 restaurants located throughout the country and in Mexico City. Andrés’ work has earned awards and distinctions such as Outstanding American by Choice, the McCall-Pierpaoli humanitarian award, the 2015 EY Master Entrepreneur of the Year in Greater Washington and CHCI’s Chair’s Medallion Award.
  • Rick Bayless

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    Winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Chef Rick Bayless, host of Mexico-One Plate at a Time has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Best Culinary Host in 2016. An author of 9 cookbooks, Rick has also received a great number of James Beard award nominations in many categories and has won seven awards total. Rick’s side-by-side award-winning restaurants, the casual Frontera Grill and 4-star Toplobampo are located in Chicago. His award winning Frontera line of salsas, cooking sauces and organic chips can be found coast to coast. In 2016, he opened two new restaurants in Chicago; the Baja-inspired, wood-fired Lena Brava and Cervecería Cruz Blanca, a craft brewery and Oaxacan-style taquería – both of which have earned critical acclaim. Rick and his staff established Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003 to support small Midwestern farms. To date, the foundation has awarded nearly 200 grants totaling nearly $2 million. In 2007, Rick was awarded Humanitarian of the year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals for his many philanthropic endeavors. The Government of Mexico has bestowed on Rick the Mexican order of the Aztec Eagle – the highest decoration bestowed on foreigners whose work has benefited Mexico and its people.
  • Daniel Boulud

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    Daniel Boulud, a native of Lyon, France, is considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities and one of the most revered chefs in New York, his home since 1982. Daniel is Chef-Owner of 13 restaurants around the world, and is best known for his eponymous, exquisitely refined DANIEL on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Outside of New York, the chef’s cooking can be found in London, Singapore, Toronto, Montréal, Miami, Palm Beach, Washington DC, and Boston. Boulud is the author of nine cookbooks, the recipient of multiple James Beard Foundation awards including “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurateur,” as well as The Culinary Institute of America’s “Chef of the Year Award” (2011) and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants “Lifetime Achievement Award” (2015). Boulud was named a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur by the French government in March 2006 in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of French culture. He is a generous supporter and Co-President of Citymeals-on-Wheels for more than two decades, and is Chairman of the Ment’or BKB foundation.
  • Anthony Bourdain

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    Anthony Bourdain is best known for traveling the globe on his stomach, on his Emmy and Peabody-winning TV series Anthony Bourdain:Parts Unknown. He is the author of 13 books, including the bestselling Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, a portrait of life in restaurant kitchens that has been translated into more than 28 languages. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Times of London, FOOD & WINE, Vanity Fair, Lucky Peach and many other publications. Bourdain joined the writing staff of HBO’s Treme in 2011, contributing to the popular drama’s restaurant storylines. In 2012 he launched his own publishing line with ECCO, Anthony Bourdain Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. The first titles were released in 2013.

    Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations , which he made from 2004 – 2012, won two Emmy Awards, with several other nominations. He is an executive producer of Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent, a documentary about legendary chef Jeremiah Tower, which made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2016, and will have a theatrical release in 2017. He is also an executive producer of Wasted! The Story of Food Waste, which will debut at Tribeca in 2017.
  • Sean Brock

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    Sean Brock is chef/partner of McCrady’s and McCrady’s Tavern in Charleston, South Carolina, Husk in Charleston and Nashville, and Minero in Charleston and Atlanta. He won the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Southeast, in 2010 and is a four-time finalist for Outstanding Chef. His cookbook, Heritage is a New York Times Bestseller and winner of the 2015 American Cooking James Beard Award. Brock’s TV resume includes Iron Chef America and hosting season 2 of the Emmy Award-winning The Mind of a Chef. Raised in rural Virginia, he is passionate about preserving and restoring heirloom ingredients. He divides his time between Charleston and Nashville.
  • Dominique Crenn

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    Dominique Crenn, the chef/owner of two Michelin starred Atelier Crenn of San Francisco, focuses on cuisine as a craft and the community as an inspiration.

    Crenn’s parents had a strong influence on her interest and love for the culinary arts. She began her formal culinary training when she moved to San Francisco in 1988 to work at Stars, under luminaries Jeremiah Tower and Mark Franz. In 2011, Crenn opened Atelier Crenn, a deeply personal project, where her heritage and ode to “poetic culinaria” is embodied through the whimsical creations she shares with her guests. Atelier Crenn received its first Michelin Star in 2011, and its second Michelin Star in 2012. Crenn was awarded World’s Best Female Chef in 2016 by San Pellegrino’s 50 Best, and continues to be an active member of the international culinary community, to promote innovation, sustainability, and equality, through her collaboration with Basque Culinary Center, TasTAFE, and others.
  • Robert Irvine

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    With over 27 years in the culinary profession, Chef Robert Irvine has cooked his way across the world. As the host of one of the Food Network’s highest-rated shows, Restaurant: Impossible, Irvine saved struggling American restaurants. Previously, he was the host of the Food Network’s Dinner: Impossible and Worst Cooks in America and has also authored two cookbooks and one healthy living book. He is currently on tour with his new interactive show, Robert Irvine Live, and appears regularly as an expert guest on national talk shows. In 2015, Robert Irvine Foods was launched, featuring a nutritionally-improved line of products. He established the non-profit The Robert Irvine Foundation to support military personnel and their families. For his efforts, he was designated Honorary Chief Petty Officer by the U.S. Navy as well as awarded the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment and Support of our Service Members. To further his support, he opened Robert Irvine’s Fresh Kitchen at the Pentagon last fall. Recent efforts include launching the Robert Irvine Magazine, the opening of a Gold’s Gym in Florida, and the debut of Robert Irvine’s Public House this fall in Las Vegas.
  • Emeril Lagasse

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    Chef Emeril Lagasse is the chef/proprietor of 12 restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando and Bethlehem, PA. His 13th restaurant, Meril, opened in New Orleans in September 2016. Lagasse has hosted more than 2,000 shows on the Food Network, and is the food correspondent for ABC's "Good Morning America." He has appeared as a guest judge in three seasons on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and in 2016, he entered his fourth season of “Emeril’s Florida” on the Cooking Channel. His latest project, Eat the Worldwith Emeril Lagasse, premiered on Amazon in September. Lagasse is the best-selling author of 19 cookbooks. In 2002, Emeril established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support children's educational programs through the culinary arts, nutrition, healthy eating, and important life skills.
  • Dean Max

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    Dean Max is the president of DJM restaurants, a company specializing in restaurant concept development and ongoing management, and has been an established leader in the culinary world for many years now. He has celebrated the launch of numerous destination restaurants, starting in 1999 with his flagship, 3030 Ocean restaurant created in the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He quickly opened Latitude 41 in the Renaissance Columbus, Ohio and then the Brasserie in Grand Cayman, AMP 150 in Cleveland, Asador restaurant in the Dallas Renaissance, Parallel Post restaurant in Trumbull, Connecticut, his namesake restaurant, James Republic, in Long Beach California, and most recently his the restaurants at Pink Sands Resort in Harbor Island Bahamas. His restaurants are all based around farm-to-table concepts and they are deeply involved in grass roots marketing programs that develop them as destination locations. Max has a laundry list of accomplishments from multiple James Beard nominations for Best Chef, crowned King of American Seafood in 2010, wrote an amazing seafood cookbook in 2006 called “A Life by the Sea,” and holds many restaurant accolades from multiple properties.
  • Michael Mina

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    Michael Mina’s story is one of two decades of influence, passion and achievement. With the October 2010 opening of MICHAEL MINA, his eponymous signature restaurant in San Francisco, Michael is at the helm at the same location (formerly AQUA) and city where he first established his culinary reputation 20 years ago.

    With accolades including James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage” inductee in 2013, Bon Appétit Chef of the Year 2005, San Francisco Magazine Chef of the Year 2005, as well as the International Food and Beverage Forum’s Restaurateur of the Year 2005, Michael continues to dazzle the culinary world with bold dining concepts that have contributed to San Francisco’s reputation as a world-class epicurean destination and made him an integral part of the dining scene across the country.

    Michael’s culinary and business vision led to the founding of Mina Group, with partner Andre Agassi in 2002. Under the auspices of Mina Group, he has opened 30 operations including Michael Mina, Clock Bar, Rn74, Bourbon Steak, Arcadia, Stonehill Tavern, Stripsteak, Wit & Wisdom, Pub 1842, The Handle Bar, Michael Mina 74, Pabu, The Ramen Bar, Bourbon Pub, Locale Market, Farmtable Kitchen, Bardot Brasserie, The Mina Test Kitchen, Firebird Diner, And Penrose Lounge.
  • Alfred Portale

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    Chef Alfred Portale is a culinary creator whose heart belongs to the very restaurant where his career began 31 years ago—Gotham Bar and Grill. In 1985, Portale created a restaurant that emulated the standards of the 3-Star Michelin restaurants from his time in France with Jacques Maximin, Michel Guérard and the Troisgros brothers. Portale continues to transform haute cuisine, making it vibrant, contemporary and relaxed. Among his many accolades are five separate three-star reviews from The New York Times; the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurant in 2002; and the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef in 2006.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Chefs

  • Luke Anzano

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    Luke is from Cincinnati, Ohio and grew up in a large Italian family where cooking was a time to celebrate food, family, and friends. He found his passion for cooking at Jean-Robert at Pigalls, awarded four stars for five consecutive years by Mobil Travel Guide. Luke continued his passion for cooking, joining The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, where he developed creative menus with the freshest foods from local farms. Luke was the Chef De Cuisine at The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa before becoming the Banquet Chef at The Hilton Netherland Plaza, #1 Hilton food and beverage hotel in the USA for six of the last seven years.
  • Jennifer Dodd

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    Chef Dodd serves as the Sous Chef with The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Chef Dodd is responsible for overseeing meal preparation and execution throughout dining outlets, in-room dining and private dinners. She also coaches and develops a staff of over 20 ladies and gentlemen in accordance with hotel standards.
    Prior to joining The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Dodd worked as a private chef in Vancouver B.C. where she developed menus for families and worked on custom creations of healthy children's menus. She was also the opening chef at Edible Canada at the Market, where she hosted demo dinners and focused on sustainable produce in conjunction with local farmers. Dodd has over 11 years of experience and attended the Dubrulle International Culinary & Hotel Institute of Canada.
  • Melissa Logan

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    Chef Logan oversees all pastry and dessert operations at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. She began her career at hotels in Las Vegas, Maui and Great Exuma. She has also worked as pastry chef at the Valley View Casino and the Grand del Mar Resort. A graduate of the esteemed Culinary Institute of America in New York, Chef Melissa brings her strengths in specialty cakes, baking and pastry applications and chocolate work to Cayman Cookout.
  • Frederic Morineau

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    Chef Frederic Morineau has served as Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman since 2008, overseeing one of the largest culinary divisions within The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company worldwide. In his current role, Chef Frederic also heads the Caribbean’s most prestigious annual culinary event – Cayman Cookout – with Eric Ripert and an incomparable roster of world-famous chefs. For more than a decade, Chef Frederic has presided in some of the finest kitchens in Europe and the Caribbean. He joined The Ritz-Carlton in 1996, working and overseeing culinary divisions in many premium Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts including those in Buckhead, Atlanta and Sarasota, to name a few. In 2011, Chef Frederic was invited into the ranks of the elite Maîtres Cuisiniers de France; presently he is one of two chefs in the Caribbean to have achieved such distinction. Chef Frederic was honored with the Gold Standard Award and the J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence in 2014, prestigious awards bestowed to top employees across the brand for exemplifying outstanding performance and demonstrating service excellence.
  • Marcello Piacentini

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    Chef Marcello graduated in August 2005 from the Colleggio Ballerine as Chef and Food Science and he is now the current Chef at Andiamo, the Italian Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Chef Marcello ‘s experiences back in Italy helped build his reputation and definitely his passion for Italian cuisine, taking him to work in different locations of the world, but always bringing Italian cuisine with him. Chef Marcello first started at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman in June 2015 as Sous chef de cuisine for the kitchen operations of Seven Restaurant, Barjack Beach Restaurant and In-Room Dining. His great performance has presented him with new challenge—chef of the famous Italian restaurant Andiamo. He is definitely a great addition to the Cayman Cookout team.
  • Xavier Salomon

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    Fourth in his family, and only second in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to earn the title Maître Cuisinier de France (French Master Chef), Xavier Salomon is a fifth-generation restaurateur with a passion for food that began at his family’s kitchen table in Savoie, France. His European tenure includes training under Jo Rostang at his Michelin three-star restaurant La Bonne Auberge in Antibes, France. Chef Salomon continued his education at Le Bateau Ivre in Courcheval and graduated from Thonon les Bains Culinary Academy. In 1991 he joined The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company as the executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Aspen and in 1996, he moved to Atlanta as executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. Chef Salomon joined The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay in July 2001, where he oversees all dining experiences at the Northern California resort, including the signature fine dining restaurant Navio, The Conservatory Lounge, The Library, and 17,000-square-feet of banquet and wedding suites and ballrooms.
  • Yves Samake

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    Chef Samake’s career began in 1985 as commis de cuisine in three Parisian restaurants, Le Vivarois, Le Petite Bretoniere and La Tour D’Argent before coming to the U.S. to study at Johnson & Wales University. A veteran of Ritz-Carlton hotels, Chef Samake has worked in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Dubai, Half Moon Bay, California, and most recently, Atlanta, Georgia. Although his cooking techniques are primarily French, Chef Samake was heavily influenced by his upbringing in West Africa and has since also developed a great passion for Southern American foods. In his current role at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, Chef Samake oversees all culinary operation for the 300-room hotel.
  • Thomas Seifried

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    Chef Thomas Seifried oversees the Caribbean’s only AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Blue by Eric Ripert, as Chef de Cuisine. Starting his career in Europe, the Austrian-born chef has presided and worked in some of the world’s most respected restaurants. He joined The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman in 2013 after serving as Chef de Cuisine of Sand at The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya in China. In his current role, Chef Thomas works under the guidance of Chef Eric Ripert of New York’s famed Le Bernardin to create an unforgettable dining experience at Blue by Eric Ripert.
  • David Serus

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    Chef David Serus’ earliest memories were spending vacations at his uncle’s bakery in France and waking to the smell of freshly baked bread. At the age of 14 he decided to pursue his passion…food. This passion led to a career which includes stints at Michelin starred restaurants like Villa St. Elme and Jean-Christophe Novelli in London.
    Since joining The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in 2002, Chef David refined his cooking style to express his passion for simple, well executed yet flavourful dishes. Currently, as Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, Chef David is exploring products native to the Sonoran desert focusing of impeccably prepared  dishes to deliver optimal flavours. In 2013, Chef David was awarded the title of Maître Cuisinier de France
  • Carlos Sierra

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    Chef Carlos oversees the culinary operations at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman as Executive Sous Chef. Born in Ecuador, he began his career in his native city of Quito, and also worked in Dominican Republic, Mexico and now in the Cayman Islands. Chef Carlos brings his experience of Latin American cuisine and his style influenced by the cuisines of the world.
  • Chris Southwick

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    Chris Southwick directed culinary operations for two years at The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya in China prior to his current position as Executive Assistant Manager of Culinary and Food & Beverage at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. His illustrious, 20-year career is highlighted by a Ritz-Carlton pedigree with some of the brand’s top hotels.
    Throughout his career, Southwick has had the opportunity to create dining experiences for dignitaries, heads of state and presidents worldwide. Southwick has also designed and implemented major dinners for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs™ annual culinary event and the Aspen Food & Wine Festival.
  • Rainer Zinngrebe

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    Rainer Zinngrebe has had an illustrious 34-year career full of awards and recognition. In his current role as Vice President Culinary, Corporate Chef Luxury Brands, he heads the global culinary innovation, strategy and execution for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts. A German national, Rainer has inspired Ritz-Carlton chefs the world-over not only to achieve excellence - but to cook with passion, relevance and with the cultural preferences of their guests in mind. His culinary leadership expertise spans 27 countries including the USA, Canada, China, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, UK, Egypt and Qatar.

Participating Chefs

  • Gerard Bertholon

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    Gerard Bertholon, chief strategy officer since 2012, joined Cuisine Solutions in 1989, as corporate chef. While working for the world renowned Oriental Express train, he first began using the sous-vide technique to prepare 70% of all proteins served on the train. He was a co-founder of Fiveleaf, a gourmet food brand with Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Mark Miller, a concept that brought sous-vide preparations of the world’s greatest chefs into homes. He trained in France with two, three-starred Michelin chefs, Alain Chapel and Louis Outhier, who he cites as his greatest inspirations. In 2012, he was named Maitre Cuisinier de France. This very exclusive and prestigious society focuses on the continuity of French culinary traditions. Currently, he is a major contributor to Sous-Vide Magazine, the world’s first publication dedicated to the art and science of the cooking method, and is referred by many as the “Sous-Vide Guru”.
  • Tony Biggs

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    From cooking with family to cooking for royalty, Tony Biggs has a world view of the culinary scene. He brings this knowledge and experience to the table as director of culinary arts for the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) brand. In this role, he focuses on expanding the brand's culinary vision and heightening its position in the culinary community. He also works alongside CAB’s sales team and in the Education & Culinary Center to help customers interpret the use of premium beef on menus and in meat cases around the globe. Biggs has 36 years of international hospitality management experience, most recently as executive chef for the royal family in Jordan. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he also worked at Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans, Casino 5-Star Resorts in the Philippines, Tokyo America Club in Japan and Hyatt Hotels in the U.S. and Caribbean. Biggs has appeared on Food Network's "Chopped," the "Late Show with David Letterman" and for nine years on a cooking show in Savannah, Georgia. He's currently writing a book about his culinary journey, starting in his hometown of Cohasset, Mass. In his spare time, Biggs enjoys golf, skiing and cooking at home for his wife, Candy, and their two children.
  • Tyson Grant

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    One of the established stars of Tampa Bay’s restaurant scene, Tyson Grant has established Parkshore Grill as downtown St. Petersburg’s premiere dining destination. Self-taught and widely traveled, with tours in Washington, DC and Turks & Caicos, Tyson first won acclaim at The Grill at Feather Sound in Clearwater, where his vision for contemporizing American Cuisine won him the award for Best Chef of Tampa Bay 2001.
    Parkshore Grill, now in its 10th year of business, boasts the accredited Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the 6th year acknowledging their well versed wine list and collection as well as the Florida Trend Golden Spoon Award in addition to many other accolades of Best Contemporary Cuisine and Best Sidewalk Dining and having been awarded a third year as Tampa Bay Magazine’s Best Chef of Tampa Bay 2015. He has been appointed as a Chef Ambassador for Niman Ranch. The menu at Parkshore Grill reflects Tyson’s respect for our environment serving Niman Ranch meats, sustainably caught fish and seafood and organic, local produce.  Along with his wife Sommer, Tyson has created Zoe’s Edible Garden at All Children’s Hospital in memory of their daughter Zoe. Recently being appointed as a Chef Ambassador to the Deputy Mayor’s “Healthy St. Pete” initiative, Tyson uses the Garden as a tool to educate young kids about a healthy eating and where food really comes from.
    While continuing in the successes of Parkshore Grill as St. Pete’s premiere steakhouse, Tyson has now established Parkshore Grill Catering, a full service catering business specializing in uniquely memorable and flavorful events all over the Tampa Bay area.
  • Keith Griffin

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    With over 30 years’ experience in the Hospitality Industry, Executive Chef Keith Griffin is one of Cayman’s most renowned chefs. As the Past President of Cayman Culinary Society and Director of the Caribbean Culinary Federation, Keith is the Manager of the Cayman Islands National Culinary Team. He is Certified as a Culinary Judge for International Competition and Vice Consular Culinaire of the Chaine des Rotisseures (Cayman). He has traveled extensively as a Culinary Ambassador for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and has won numerous awards in national culinary competitions. After nine successful years as a popular local restaurateur, Keith is now focusing on teaching, cooking demonstrations and Personal Chef Services.
  • Bernard Guillas

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    Maître Cusiniers de France and award-winning chef, Bernard Guillas, joined La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club Inc. as Executive Chef in 1994. Guillas is responsible for directing the resort’s three restaurants and all catering operations for the Club and the Shores Restaurant at the La Jolla Shores Hotel, and the landmark Marine Room restaurant. For this chef, it is the magic of adding unusual seasoning to titillate the palate. Born into a family of butchers, bakers, and restaurateurs, Guillas’ Britannic upbringing was influenced by his daily exposure to fine cuisine.
  • Phillippe Haddad

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    Philippe Haddad has 37 years of global, culinary and hospitality experience, offering innovative cooking techniques and recipe creations along with his character and passion for food and wine. Prior to joining the Cape Dutch team, Haddad starred as guest chef of the restaurant, Yebo, for their Sunday brunch series, in addition to leading the kitchen in Atlanta as Executive Chef for three years. A Belgium native, Haddad began his culinary journey as a teenager with deep interest in the culinary arts. Haddad was accepted to a renowned hotel institute in Belgium, Hotel School Ter Duinen after enrolling in a preliminary cooking school at age 14. Haddad’s passion and elite training exposed him to work in many countries such as Belgium, France, the UK, Bermuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the United States. Along the way, Haddad gained insight into the many customs and cultures that surround each country’s culinary traditions.
  • Roman Kleinrath

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    Roman Kleinrath was born in a small town in Austria where he apprenticed as a chef/waiter. He decided to become a full time chef so he moved to Vienna, where he worked in some of the finest restaurants. Wanting to see the world, he moved to Grand Cayman where he worked at Ragazzi, (LUCA’S sister restaurant), for 6 years. After 2 years in Australia he returned to Cayman where he is now the head chef at LUCA. 
    On his days off he is always out fishing, where whatever he catches ends up on the menu at LUCA the next day. His favorite things to cook include risotto, homemade pasta, seafood, including local fish, octopus and jumbo scallops. He is inventive and skilled, and loves to combine the freshest ingredients, including produce grown on the island, to make a vast array of colorful and sumptuous dishes. As Head Chef at Luca, he now has the opportunity to showcase his innovative and inspired style of cooking.
  • Norman Love

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    Norman Love blends a master’s appreciation of the sensuous with the art of a chef to create handcrafted chocolates reserved for those who expect nothing less than perfection. Norman Love Confections has been satisfying connoisseurs of fine chocolates since 2001, when the chocolatier first introduced the masterpieces he produces at his facility in Ft. Myers, FL. Today, Love enjoys international recognition for the incomparable, handcrafted natural sweets with tastes and textures that arouse the senses.
  • Jose Martinez

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    Chef Martinez’s experience resides with the chefs and restaurants he trained in with exceptional results. Chef Martinez established a presence as a first-rate talent seizing an opportunity to apprentice with the legendary French chef and restaurateur, Joël Robuchon at Restaurant Jamin in Paris. Chef Martinez continued his career working at Lucas Carlton, in Paris with Alain Senderens, a founder of New French cuisine; and then with Chef Michel Guerard at Eugénie les Bains, which earned three Michelin stars. Chef Martinez was awarded his own Michelin star for Maison Blanche, Paris and in 2010 became a James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef South. Maison Blanche on Longboat Key is unanimously praised by foodies and reviewers as Sarasota’s best. Additionally, the restaurant just made the OpenTable list of the 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2016. Chef Martinez is married to Victoria with three children, Jose, Jr., Sophia and Carla.
  • Vidyadhara Shetty

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    Executive Chef Vidyadhara Shetty with 28 years of experience, orchestrates culinary feats, including superb banquets served in luxurious surroundings and with undeniable panache.
    Born in Mumbai, India his passion for cooking began as a child spending time in the kitchen of the famous Udupi restaurants, as typically Shetty’s in Mumbai are known for.
    Chef Shetty says, “A good chef should always have his heart in the art.” His secret ingredient remains his reliance on the usage of seasonal produce, which he claims inspires his style of cooking. “I can trust them to impart the best flavor and quality which are the basic requirements to prepare a delicious dish.” Chef Shetty looks forward to taking many more guests on an exciting and exotic culinary journey at Blue Cilantro.
  • Sandy Tuason

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    Over the course of his 25 year career, Tuason has worked in New York City as Executive Sous Chef at the 5 Star Four Seasons Hotel, in the Caribbean at the 5 Star Four Seasons Resort Nevis and in Hawaii as Executive Chef at the 4 Star Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. While in Hawaii, Tuason hosted two James Beard Celebrity Chef Dinners with Chefs Jonathan Waxman, Michael Symon, Tyler Florence and Ming Tsai. Some of the highlights of his career include stints at New York City’s Le Cirque, Park Avenue Café and Sign of the Dove. Additionally, he has worked numerous dinners at the James Beard House in New York City, and worked with Chefs Daniel Boulud, David Burke and Andrew D’Amico.

    Tuason joined the Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort in 2014 where he brought his passion for food and working collaboratively in his kitchen to the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.

Wine Experts

  • Ray Isle

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    Ray is the executive wine editor of Time Inc.’s FOOD & WINE, the sophisticated trend-spotting and talent-seeking epicurean brand. In addition to this role, Ray writes the monthly column “Tasting Room” and directs all spirits coverage. Ray’s articles about wine, food and spirits have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Wine & Spirits, The Washington Post, Martha Stewart Living and Gastronomica. He has been nominated for a James Beard Award. Ray regularly conducts wine-tasting seminars at epicurean events throughout the world and appears as a wine and spirits expert on national television, including NBC’s “Today”, “CBS This Morning” and CNBC.
  • Will Loyd

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    William Loyd is the Head Sommelier at Blue by Eric Ripert, the Caribbean’s only AAA Five Diamond restaurant. Raised in the Cayman Islands, Will has spent 15 years honing his knowledge in restaurants and wineries in the US and Europe and he is excited to bring that knowledge home to the Caribbean. Will deeply believes that a sommelier’s goal isn’t merely to share wine knowledge; it’s to help create the best dining experience possible—even if those elements are not always about wine.

Culinary & Beverage Experts

  • Hossein Aimani

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    Established in 1991 by husband and wife team Hossein Aimani & Amy Arrow-Aimani, Paramount Caviar is one of the largest direct importers & distributors of fine caviar worldwide. With Aimani’s vast 33 years of caviar experience he takes pride in selecting the finest caviar from around the world, often times flying to remote areas to select the very best of this extremely rare & precious commodity. Currently his abundant inventory is the largest and most diverse within the United States, satisfying the most discerning of Michelin starred chefs including Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, Chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison and Chef Cesar Ramirez of Chefs Table at Brooklyn Fare.
  • Aurélie Bessière

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    Passionate about sharing all aspects of tea and its culture, Aurélie Bessière co-founded and leads the development of the renowned French tea brand Palais des Thés in the US. For Aurélie, tea is an amazingly tasteful, rich, and interesting beverage that has greatly impacted her life. She educates discerning consumers, culinary students and award-winning chefs and their team about such topics as tea varieties, tea selection, tea preparation, tea tasting techniques, pairing fine tea with food and cooking with tea. She is currently working with chefs and team at The Plaza New York, The Pierre, Ritz-Carlton, Half-Moon Bay, Eleven Madison Park, Gabriel Kreuther, Geoffrey Zakarian, Dominique Ansel and more. Aurélie combines her love of tea with strong preparation in international business, as a graduate from ESCP Europe (France) and Aston (UK) Business Schools.
  • Michele Buster

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    Michele Buster has been importing cheese for over 21 years and is an expert in Mediterranean food. Her experience living in Italy and Spain helped fuel her passion for the business. She has helped shape the emergence of unique products in our marketplace over the last decade. Michele and her partner formed Forever Cheese, which focuses on cheeses and specialty foods from Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia. She spends a good deal of her time sourcing products in Europe as well as traveling the U.S. conducting classes and tastings for the finest specialty stores and restaurants in the country. Recently she was inducted into the Guilde International des Fromagers and was awarded in Murcia, Spain for being the person who most stimulated the agronomy of the region. In April of 2015 Michele was invited to be an honorary member of the D.O.P for the Sao Jorge cheese.
  • Amba Lamb

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    Amba Lamb is an award-winning mixologist at Seven restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Originally from New Zealand, she moved to the Cayman Islands in 2014 as a mixologist for what is currently Andiamo, the Italian restaurant of the resort, and later moved on to Seven. In 2017, Amba participated in the World Class Mixology competition in the Cayman Islands, winning first place for her innovative and flavorful creations. During the finals of the competition, she created a Carnival-themed bar, where she served a popcorn and Bulleit bourbon cocktail and a salted-caramel infused Johnnie Walker Premium, that led her to earn the title as the best bartender on the Cayman Islands and allowed her to enter the international World Class Mixology competition in Mexico City. For Amba, this was a great opportunity to showcase the talent and craft the Cayman Islands has to offer and she certainly demonstrated it through the competition’s challenges, which landed her a spot among the world’s top 55 mixologists
  • Mikel de Luis

    Photo of Mikel de Luis
    Chef Mikel de Luis was born in Basque Country, Spain. His culinary experience extends to working with renowned Chefs like Martin Berasategui and Anthony Bombacci. He has been executive chef and Chef de Cuisine for prestigious restaurants in the US and Spain, and has received awards for his culinary contributions to the contemporary Spanish cuisine. 
    Recently Chef de Luis represented Spain as Chef Ambassador in the 2017 Tapas Tour and La Ruta PDX in Portland, OR. De Luis focuses on his companies aMona Salsas and aMona Events and is currently the Executive Chef at Casita, a Spanish Restaurant & Market in NY with plans to expand to other cities in the near future. 
  • Jeremy Schaller

    Photo of Jeremy Schaller
    Ferdinand Schaller began his career in 1918 as an apprentice butcher and sausage maker in Stuttgart, Germany. After five years, he began looking for opportunities to expand his knowledge and talents, traveling throughout his homeland for another five years, learning his craft at the sides of masters - their techniques, recipes and dedication. He would take this learning with him when he signed up in Hamburg for a cook’s mate position on a ship bound for America. Almost a century after opening its doors, Schaller & Weber is still a family-run business and is operated by the third generation, Jeremy Schaller. He is still dedicated to producing the same premium meats—according to the same standards and time-honored recipes—that originated in long forgotten butcher shops. To eat any Schaller & Weber product today is to experience something increasingly rare in this world—the tradition of taste.
  • Adèle Schober

    Photo of Adèle Schober
    Adèle Schober re-located from Australia to the U.S. to be the Communications Manager and 'face’ of Breville, the premium electrical appliance brand. Her background as an actress in film and television as well as a Media and Marketing Degree made her the ideal candidate for the position. Over the past 11 years, she has appeared in over 300 product demonstration and recipe videos, QVC, HSN, The Martha Stewart Show, Top Chef Masters, The Chew and as a presenter at the James Beard Foundation Awards. In her spare time Adèle enjoys playing the violin, hot yoga and hiking in Los Angeles.
The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman
If you have any event-related questions, please call 345-815-6117.