Thank You for Another Wonderful Year of Memories and Culinary Delights!
Thank You for Another
Wonderful Year
of Memories and
Culinary Delights!


2018 Headline Chefs

  • Eric Ripert

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    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.

  • Yannick Alléno

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    Creative, audacious and precise, rewarded twice 3-Michelin starred French chef Yannick Alléno has surprised and delighted the world of gastronomy, offering a refined, ingenious and mastered vision of contemporary French cuisine. Passionate culinary perfectionist, Alléno shares the qualities of innovation, excellence and craftsmanship with Moët & Chandon, making him a perfect ambassador for the French champagne House.

  • 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

  • Stephane Chéramy

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    Chef Chéramy was educated and trained throughout the South of France and moved to the United States in 1998 to work as Assistant Pastry Chef at The Bellagio, Las Vegas.
    He joined The Ritz-Carlton Company in 2000 in Naples and moved up after a year to Executive Pastry Chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota before joining The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando and JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes.
    He has received many awards and accolades including the Rising Chef Award for Ritz-Carlton Worldwide in 2004, trained pastry chefs, participated in and judged numerous competitions and became part of the Academie Culinaire de France.

  • 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.

  • Rick Laughlin

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    Chef de Cuisine Rick Laughlin was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His love for food led him to culinary school at Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Scottsdale, Arizona. After graduation, he joined the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale followed by further training at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman.

    In 2002, Rick joined The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida where he held various positions in the hotel. In 2005 he joined The AAA Five Diamond, Grill Restaurant located at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Shortly after he became part of the opening team for Salt Restaurant, which was a new concept Restaurant for the hotel.

    In 2010, Rick took over as Chef de Cuisine and continues to strive for perfection. As Chef de Cuisine, Rick is redefining Contemporary American Cuisine with his philosophy of “Keeping flavors familiar and most importantly, keeping the integrity of the ingredients”. Chef Rick’s innovative ideas, contemporary techniques, and integration of salts from around the world has taken Salt Restaurant to new heights.

    Chef Rick’s passion has led Salt Restaurant to such accolades as: The prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018, Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Hall of Fame 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 17, Best of Jax 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2015, Ritz Carlton Amelia Island Manager of the Year 2015, Winner of the Rising Star Marriott Award of Culinary Excellence 2016. Hosted Amelia Island Sojourn Dinner in 2016 at the James Beard House. He was also featured in Emeril’s Florida Season 3, American Airlines in Flight Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide and Saveur Magazine.

  • 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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    A native of Le Mans, France, Chef Samake began his career 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. He graduated in 1992 after alternating periods of work, school, and military service.
    A veteran of Ritz-Carlton hotels, Chef Samake has worked in Buckhead, Georgia; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Dubai, UAE; Half Moon Bay, California; and most recently, Atlanta, Georgia. Chef Samake is a member of the esteemed culinary association, “Maitre Cuisinier de France”. 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, Chef Samake oversees all culinary operation for the 300-room hotel, including Quadrant, Westend Bistro, in-room dining, and banquet operations for over 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
    Chef Samake has experienced a unique professional trajectory; from cooking on supertankers in Saudi Arabia to writing a recipe book of spa cuisine, and most recently being named “Chef of the South” by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. An avid kick boxer and 5th degree black belt, Chef Samake was named the amateur world champion by the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) in 1998, and he has won the Professional Karate Association (PKA) USA championship four times. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling the world and teaching his two children English, French and German.

  • 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

  • David Anderson

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    Born Sep. 3rd 1985 in Portland, Oregon, David Anderson began his travel-hungry journey in the culinary world at the age of 16 working in restaurants from coast to coast in North America. The last ten years he has worked on opening operations in California, Oregon, Idaho, and now and most notably opening restaurants in uber-premium American beef markets of the Middle East such as Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. Currently the Executive Chef for Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes in Dubai, he has become one of the world’s renown experts in premium beef and its application in super-premium café’s and boutiques. He currently flies in hand-selected super-premium blends of beef directly from Greater Omaha Packing Co. in Nebraska to his landmark operation in Dubai.

  • Dylan Benoit

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    Originally from Canada, Benoit has been living in the Cayman Islands since 2010 and has traveled extensively throughout North America, Central America and South America as well as Asia, Europe and other parts of the Caribbean. His experiences in Asia and South America in particular have played a crucial role in the development of his latest restaurant concept YARA Global Steakhouse, where Benoit and his team use local ingredients and international influences to curate a truly unique dining experience for both visitors and residents of the Cayman Islands alike.
  • 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.

  • Cody Bush

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    Cody comes from a family of men that love to grill and cook. His career in the culinary field launched after winning the Ritz's Carlton Amateur Chef Competition. Cody is Co-Owner of Smokin Bros, Cayman's finest mobile kitchen and catering company. Originally from Indiana, he spent a good part of his life down South mastering the skills of low and slow. He's back on the center stage again this year with his cooking buddy and business partner Anthony Lawson.  
  • Britta Bush

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    Britta Bush is the vegan chef, kombucha brewer, and sourdough baker of Saucha, a company dedicated to using local and organic ingredients to create nourishing and delicious vegan offerings. She completed her Raw/Vegan Chef Training with Plantlab Culinary in 2013. Since co-founding Saucha, her style has evolved to a fusion of raw/vegan techniques, slow simmered dishes, and almost always some sort of fermentation. From kombucha to kimchi to sauerkraut; her most recent obsession is sourdough bread. Britta captures the essence of local produce by showcasing seasonal menus and offering a meal delivery service, catering and private chef options, as well as cooking classes.
  • Gilbert Cavallaro

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    Gilbert Cavallaro has been immersed in the Cayman Islands’ restaurant scene since 1999. His experience on the island began at Lantana’s on Seven Mile Beach, followed by the Hyatt, Rum Point and Hemingway’s Restaurant. Gilbert then moved to The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s 7 Prime before joining the team at the Cracked Conch as Executive Chef. In the time he has been at the Cracked Conch and Macabuca Tiki Bar, Chef Cavarallo’s experience and passion for innovative cuisine has been apparent, bringing the dining experience to new levels. Utilizing local ingredients and recipes and combining them with his European roots, Gilbert has created a menu that is sure to please all who visits the restaurant.
    The Cracked Conch is situated on the northern point of the island, boasting stunning ocean views and an option to dine under the stars, it’s one of West Bay’s most beautiful restaurants. 

  • Massimo De Francesca

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    Massimo De Francesca is an award-winning chef whose career launched from journeys through kitchens of Italy, USA and the Caribbean. With over 18 years of experience, Massimo has been at the helm of creating innovative dishes infused with local flare. In 2008 he joined Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group at Domaso Trattoria Moderna and then spent three years as Executive Chef at Nios in The Muse Hotel in Manhattan. Most recently he was producing dishes at Taggia at FireSky Resort and Spa in Scottsdale and SaltRock Kitchen at Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona. He’s appeared on television and radio programs and was featured in The New York Post, USA Today, The Washington Examiner among others. Chef Massimo has participated in events including Beach Glamour Dinner at the James Beard House, NY Wine & Food Festival, AZ Central Food and Wine, Devoured Food & Wine Classic and Flavors of Phoenix.

  • Joao B. Fernandes

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    Joao B. Fernandes has been immersed in the culinary world for over 28 years. Inspired by his mother’s natural talent for cooking, he started learning how to cook professionally at the age of 16 in his homeland Goa, India. It was during this time he worked in restaurants as a waiter, to put himself through school, determined to become a chef. He traveled the world as a chef on Carnival Cruises. He decided to settle in the Cayman Islands and has been living in Grand Cayman for the last 22 years and during which time he has worked for some of the finer hotels and restaurants on the island. He has won many local culinary awards and was even featured in the first edition of the Who’s Who of Chefs Book 2004-2005. In 2010, he joined Kirk Market as executive chef, where he creates a diverse range of gourmet and home-style dishes for the Kirk Gourmet Deli
  • 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.

  • Steve Griffon

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    Steve’s passion for cooking is rooted in his childhood when he would make desserts with his mother, using only fresh products from their farm. He also loved to go fishing, a hobby that he is still passionate about today. His love for fishing and seafood has inspired many of his signature dishes, including his famous bouillabaisse. His first opportunity to work in a kitchen was at the famous Chef Bocuse-owned restaurant “Bistot de Paris” at Epcot in Disney World; he then decided that he wanted to see the world. In 2001, he moved to Grand Cayman where he worked at the Brasserie restaurant. In 2005 Steve moved back to Grand Cayman after spending 2 years in Jamaica and was part of the opening team at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman where he managed the Seven restaurant as Sous Chef. At this juncture in his career, he decided to return to his native France. In 2014, Steve moved back to Grand Cayman and is currently the Executive Chef at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. Steve’s passion, drive and culinary expertise have been huge contributing factors for the success of the resort’s Food & Beverage operation.

  • 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.

  • Jamie Guy

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    After spending many an hour working in kitchens whilst supporting himself through art school, he put down the paintbrush and took up the knife to carve out his career. After a successful seven years running a Michelin BIB Gourmand awarded pub in the English countryside, he headed into London. A chef passionate about provenance and seasonality he took up the role of Head Chef at HIX Oyster and Chop House, cooking the very best of British ingredients. After 4 years at the helm of Chop House, he was promoted to group head chef of HIX restaurants overseeing seven establishments throughout London, before island life came calling just 3 months ago.
  • 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.

  • Kyle Jenkins

    Photo of Kyle Jenkins
    Kyle Jenkins trained for ten years in London’s most iconic establishments. His seven years Michelin background developed his style to focus on flavour first, quality ingredients and precise execution. He escaped the rat race and embraced island life, when he joined the Kaibo team in 2016 as Head Chef, where he continues to make his restaurant a go-to destination and worth going further for.
  • 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.

  • Anthony Lawson

    Photo of Anthony Lawson
    Inspired by his sister and their time together in the kitchen, Anthony has always been passionate about food. As a hobby, Anthony and his partner Cody successfully competed in numerous local Jerk competitions, giving them the title of ‘Best Jerk in the Cayman Islands’.  Anthony’s culinary career then took form after winning the Cayman Cookout Amateur Chef Competition in 2014. Chef Anthony is now the co-owner of Smokin Bros, formed in 2014. It has become a household name and the most sought after smokehouse serving Cayman’s best BBQ.
  • 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.

  • Mikel de Luis

    Photo of Mikel de Luis

    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. 

  • Sara Mair-Doak

    Photo of Sara Mair-Doak

    Sara Mair-Doak started her culinary career at Johnson and Wales University and was in the second graduating class. While at school, Sara worked for James Beard Award winning chef Mark Millitello of “Mark’s Place”, she was there for 4 ½ years and worked her way up through the ranks of the kitchen. While at Mark’s Place, Sara befriended co-chef Michelle Bernstein which she later worked with as Michelle’s Sous Chef at two hip South Beach restaurants called “Tantra” and “The Strand”. After four years of working together, Sara and Michelle parted ways and Sara went on to be the Executive Chef of “55 The Restaurant.” Alas, Sara had to make one more move in Miami. She went on to be the Chef De Cuisine at the world renowned restaurant, Ortanique On The Mile. While working with Chef Cindy Hutson at Ortanique, Sara assisted with the opening and maintenance of four other concepts in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Vegas and Destin, Fl.

    Sara left Chef Cindy after five years to pursue her lifelong dream of making cheese. She spent ten months at Bobo Link Dairy with Jonathon White and learned how to make 100% grass-fed Artisan cow’s milk cheese. Sara eventually took over the day-to-day running of the farm. After leaving Bobo Link Dairy, Sara intended to move home to Jamaica to open her own dairy farm, but it was not meant to be just yet. She was offered a position on Bravo’s Top Chef which she accepted and placed in the top five.

    Finally, back in Jamaica she started her consultancy business and has opened and revamped many restaurants on the island i.e. Pizza Pazza, Fiction, Jack Sprat, John Crows. She has also partnered with Tanya Taylor to produce “The Local Gourmet” as well as “The All Jamaican Jack Danielle’s Grill Off”.

    Sara reunited with Chef Cindy Hutson on her new endeavor, to be her Executive Chef of Ortanique at Camana Bay on Grand Cayman. In her limited spare time, Sara was chef/host of her own Jamaican culinary show produced by Mega Mart, “Culinary Journey’s with Chef Sara Mair” that is televised locally each week.

    Sara parted ways with Cindy once again to open her consulting company “Cooking n Tings” and has opened her first concept “Smokies. BBQ Smoked House“,  located  at AL Thompsons in Grand Cayman. 

  • Jose Martinez

    Photo of Jose Martinez

    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.

  • Brad Nelson

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    With over 6,500 hotels worldwide, serving nearly 1 million guests a day, Brad certainly has no problem with boredom. Directing the global portfolio culinary strategy for Marriott International’s 30 Global Brands, including The Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Westin, Renaissance, Courtyard, Aloft (plus 24 more) it is not an understatement to say his plate is always full. In his 20 years with Marriott, the company has grown from 1,200 hotels to the largest Hotel company in the world. He has been honored by the Int’l Food Manufacturers Assoc. as the 2014 Silver Plate “Foodservice Operator of the Year”, cooked at the Beard House, and authored food blogs. A Board of Trustee for The Service Source Foundation, Brad has helped raise over $4 million over 10 years to directly fund programs and services for people with disabilities and their families. Never one to be content, his motto is “you’re only as good as your last meal”, good advice from a humble CIA grad, Seattle native.

  • Jolene Nelson

    Photo of Jolene Nelson
    Jolene Nelson, originally born and raised in Jamaica, moved to the Cayman Islands almost 20 years ago and has lived here ever since. Always passionate about food, she entered the Cayman Cookout, Amateur Chef Cook-Off competition in 2009 and went on to win the title in 2010; a move that would begin her culinary career with The Ritz-Carlton Grand, Cayman for almost 6 years.

    Her training and experience in those 6 years along with being personally motivated to live a healthier life, found Jolene deeply focused on the pitfalls of our common, every day diets built around artificial foods, chemicals and generally unhealthy outlook on what we eat.

    Seeing a need to encourage friends and family to improve their health starting with their diets, in 2016 she launched her nutrition-based, meal delivery service, Nyämaste. Crafting complete, nutrient dense and delicious salads based on whole foods that nourish body, mind and soul and delivering them to her health conscious clientele island wide.
  • Makoto Okuwa

    Photo of Makoto Okuwa

    With over 25 years of experience, Chef Makoto Okuwa has developed his own take on Japanese cuisine, where traditional Edomae-Sushi meets innovative flair. Chef Makoto’s introduction to the intricacies of Japanese cooking began in his hometown of Nagoya, Japan. At the age of 15, Makoto began an apprenticeship with Sushi Master Chef Shinichi Takegasa. In 2006, Makoto received a New York Rising Chef award by He also made several appearances on The Food Network’s original “Iron Chef America”. In 2007, Makoto fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening up his own restaurant, Sashi Sushi + Sake Lounge in Manhattan Beach, California. In 2016, he opened his second namesake restaurant and first venture outside the United States, Makoto Panamá.

  • Jonathan Rivard

    Photo of Jonathan Rivard

    Jonathan Rivard is the head chef at Agua and also the Certified Angus Beef brand ambassador for the Cayman Islands. He started his career at the tender age of ten working after school for his mother who owned a food truck in Quebec. So saying Jonathan has the chef genes in his blood might be closer to home than you think! He has worked in Canada, Paris and Bermuda, and he is pure French Canadian, though with a little bit of Toronto thrown in as well.

  • Vidyadhara Shetty

    Photo of Vidyadhara Shetty

    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.

  • Thushara Siriwardana

    Photo of Thushara Siriwardana

    Born and raised in Sri Lanka, Thushara Siriwardana’s grandmother discovered his passion for flavor and cooking and introduced him to many essential skills and knowledge, which he still applies. After graduating from culinary school, he has traveled the world and worked in many renowned kitchens. During his travels Thushara has won numerous awards and furthered his cooking education everywhere he went.
    He now is one of the most recognized, respected and innovative chefs in the Cayman Islands. After winning “Chef of the Year in 2010” and bringing home countless awards for “Best” in every single category, Thushara was offered the position as Executive Chef at Grand Old House. He is contagious with his enthusiastic cooking skills and passion for flavor and presentation and is also a natural leader, which is reflected on every plate that leaves his kitchen. Thushara is actively involved in the University College of the Cayman Islands and teaches students carving and plate presentation, among many other things. He is currently mentoring 3 students, who are acing their school effortlessly.

  • Thomas Tennant

    Photo of Thomas Tennant

    Cooking started at an early age where Thomas had tested recipes from his family's library. Ultimately, his pursuit to bring satisfaction and joy to people through his food, has allowed him to be passionate about cooking. It was when he worked for James Beard Award winning Chef Michael Schwartz at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami in 2007 at which point Thomas was taught the utilization of local ingredients in an approachable manner. Bringing this ideology to Cayman, Thomas was able to translate this to the cuisines he enjoys. With his Argentinian heritage and his love for Caribbean cuisine, he combines global techniques with localized ingredients. During his time in Cayman, he learned about lionfish and its negative impact to the marine biodiversity and set out to do his part as a chef to make a change. He used this experience to bring his ideology to Michael’s Genuine in Grand Cayman and to The Brasserie where he was the Head Chef. During his time in Cayman he coached Cayman’s youth in culinary competitions. Thomas now heads the kitchen at Michael Schwartz’s Fi’lia in the SLS Baha Mar, in Nassau, Bahamas, where he brings the knowledge and experience of Michael, Cayman, and lionfish.

  • Sandy Tuason

    Photo of Sandy Tuason

    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

  • Fritz and Caren Hatton

    Photo of Fritz and Caren Hatton

    Fritz and Caren Hatton own Arietta Wine, an artisanal Napa producer of Bordeaux-inspired blends. Founded in 1996, Arietta has grown from 300 cases and one wine to 3,500 cases and eight wines. One of Napa’s most respected winemakers, Andy Erickson, has fashioned the Arietta wines since 2005. Arietta sources most of its grapes from Napa’s cooler AVA’s—Carneros and Coombsville—to support its goal of balancing Napa’s rich fruit with refreshing acidity. An avid amateur classical pianist, Fritz is also America’s foremost wine auctioneer. Fritz and Caren live in downtown Saint Helena, CA, with their two teenage daughters, four Bernese Mountain dogs, and two adopted cats.

  • 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.

  • Michael Kennedy

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    Michael Kennedy is an award-winning sommelier and winemaker, who was formerly the Head Sommelier for Cayman Cookout, Blue by Eric Ripert and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. He got his start in the wine industry at an early age, working for a winery, then moved to become the sommelier for Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Washington, DC before moving on to the Cayman Islands. In 2016, Michael and his wife Rachel, yearning to get back into the winemaking side of the business, moved back to the US to start their winery in Napa Valley, Component Wine Company. Since founding the winery, he has been named Forbes 30 Under 30 and his winery has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Vogue and Barron’s

  • 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.

  • Andy Myers

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    Andy Myers has been in restaurants for all but 14 of his years; apparently he's hooked. He found his love of wine when working at the Inn at Little Washington and never looked back. He did a long stint as Sommelier at CityZen with Chef Eric Zeibold. At this moment he is the Wine Director for José Andrés' ThinkFoodGroup. He is covered in tattoos, practices yoga, drinks all the Fernet Branca, listens to Slayer like it's his job and spends all of his extra cash scuba diving any and everywhere he can. 

    He doesn't like it when you mispronounce his title and call him a “Somalia”, but finds it funny when you call him a “Smelly-Air”. He's a freak for German Riesling, but he will drink great Burgundy if you let him.

     Oh yeah, he passed the Master Sommelier exam in May of 2014. If asked he would tell you that the experience was awesome.

  • Aldo Sohm

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    Aldo Sohm is the wine director of three-Michelin starred Le Bernardin, New York City’s longest The New York Times four-star restaurant and highest rated for food and service from the Zagat 2016 guide, where he oversees a wine collection consisting of 15,000 bottles made up of 900 wine selections. He is also the face of Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, a casual, convivial spot just steps away from Le Bernardin where guests can enjoy his approachable, meticulously crafted wine list. In addition to his work in the restaurant business, Sohm has collaborated with distinguished companies on wine products, including ZALTO glassware, a Laguiole wine key and a Sohm & Kracher Grüner Veltliner. Sohm received the 2009 James Beard Award for “Outstanding Wine Service” and was the first representative of America to win the highly coveted title, “Best Sommelier in the World 2008,” by the World Sommelier Association. Sohm was named "Best Sommelier in America 2007" after having upheld a similar title in his native Austria for four consecutive years starting in 2002, a feat never before or since accomplished. 

  • Lawrence Stone-Nilsen

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    After Master Sommelier Larry Stone won the prestigious Grand Prix de Sopexa title in Paris for Best Sommelier in French Wines, he continued as a restaurateur and sommelier for the next 20 years, associated with Four Seasons Hotels, Charlie Trotter’s, and Rubicon. At Rubicon, Larry’s wine program trained the best young sommeliers in America and earned many coveted awards. Today Larry runs Lingua Franca, a wine estate in the Eola-Amity Hills, which he founded with Dominique Lafon and David Honig. Larry has served as Trustee of the James Beard Foundation and on the board of the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Culinary & Beverage Experts

  • Hossein Aimani

    Photo of Hossein Aimani

    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.

  • 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.

  • Cristiano Creminelli

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    Master Artisan Cristiano Creminelli's family has been making salami in Biella, Italy for generations. He moved to Utah in 2007 to bring artisan salami to America. His greatest joy is sharing his craft with people who love great food.

  • Simon Crompton

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    Having been in the industry nearly 20 years, Simon has covered pretty much every job there is behind the bar. The current position of working with Jacques Scott and Diageo as Reserve Brand Ambassador allows him to work with the best bartenders on-island and throughout the Caribbean, running the World Class cocktail competition and promoting craft cocktails.
    Simon moved to Cayman in 2005 after running bars in Leeds and London to open the newly constructed Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman hotel. Having worked for six years at the busy pool bar, Simon moved to Agua restaurant just down the road and established one of the islands first boutique cocktail bars, based around fresh and locally sourced ingredients and classically made cocktails. In 2013, after competing in the Diageo World Class Competition, Agua Restaurant and Lounge was placed in Diageo’s World’s Top 50 Cocktail Bars for that year.
    Having completed the esteemed Beverage and Alcohol Resource course in New York in 2012, Simon has competed in numerous competitions, notably winning World Class Cayman Islands in 2013, and representing Cayman in the Global finals where he finished 11th in the world out of the 55 countries competing. The following year Simon also won Best Bartender in the Caribbean beating out the other Islands top competitors in Barbados.
    The most exciting part of the industry for Simon is witnessing the change in the regions drinking trends, and the possibilities of bartenders and bars in the Caribbean moving forward to joining the ranks of some of the best bars in the world.

  • Benoît Gouez

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    As Moët & Chandon’s Chef de Cave, Benoît Gouez has been behind the world’s most-shared champagne since 2005. A master of his art, he ensures the quality and consistency of the distinctive Moët & Chandon style: bright fruitiness, seductive palate, and elegant maturity. Gouez’s enthusiasm and expertise drove him to understand the spirit of the Moët & Chandon House, which he has been magnifying with boldness and elegance, vintage after vintage.

  • Arnd Heissen

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    Award winning mixologist, Arnd Heissen, is the Bar Manager of Fragrances at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin where one can enjoy exclusive drinks based on the scents and flavors of famous perfumes. Arnd is the creative genius behind this unique concept bar and Fragrances is the first bar, worldwide, dedicated exclusively to cocktail art in connection with perfume aromas.

  • Charles Joly

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    Chicago native Charles Joly is an award-winning, lifelong food and beverage professional. A certified mixologist, Joly focuses on a balance between the classics and his own original cocktails. His program at the Aviary, which won a James Beard Award in 2013, offers a glimpse at mixology in the golden age of the cocktail. His career quickly rose in the international mixology scene with a long list of competition wins and industry awards. In 2013, Joly launched Crafthouse Cocktails – the nation’s first all-natural, premium line of prepared cocktails. Crafthouse was awarded the highest ratings ever received in the prepared cocktail category.

  • 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 in 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

  • Luigi & Christina Moxam

    Photo of Luigi & Christina Moxam
    Luigi & Christina Moxam, owners and founders of Cayman Cabana Restaurant in downtown George Town, take a ‘Cayman Kind’ approach in all aspects of their business and personal ventures. They are champions of the arts, and committed guardians of the Caymanian and global culture.
    Cayman Cabana is a platform that seeks to celebrate and feature the culinary culture, premier talent, local flavor, and ‘Cayman Kind’ hospitality that the island has to offer. A place for artists and artisans, musicians and local farmers to unite, in the creation of a traditionally progressive celebration of local food, drink and arts in the Cayman Islands. It is a place of gathering, where guests can celebrate a collective passion for local life, food, drink and entertainment.
    This is a LOCAVORE establishment, thru and thru. They work with the local farmers island wide, including Plantation Organics, Island Fresh, Mr. Clarence, Cayman Farm & Garden and the local Fisherman. They aim to contribute to Cayman’s culinary heritage by providing authentic Caribbean cuisine and craft cocktails, featuring locally grown and inspired flavors, and consciously and creatively connecting the community.
    This is a true destination within a destination, located in the heart of the historic George Town waterfront, offering sweeping ocean views, authentically progressive, LOCAL Caymanian cuisine, and exclusive watersports activities from its own private beach.
  • Bob Peters

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    Bob Peters is actually a Charlotte native which makes him as rare and as special as the libations you will find behind his bar. With strong southern roots, Bob has always enjoyed the art of dining and taking care of friends. He is well known for his creative palate and ability to entertain. When you join Bob for a cocktail, be prepared to linger and let go of the reins. In no time, you will be carried away on a journey sure to delight the senses. Check him out at The Punch Room in The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte (NC). You will be delighted in what you find and heʼll have the hootch ready.

  • Arturo A. Savage

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    In 2011, Arturo Savage began formally as Reserve Whiskies Regional Brand Ambassador for Latin America and the Caribbean and full time with DIAGEO, leading the World Class Dark Spirits Waves. Today Savage is considered and respected as a World Whisky Guru. He has been a Global Judge in The World Class competition finals in Rio de Janeiro 2013, at Mediterranean Cruise in 2014 and in Mexico City 2017. As a part of his research, he has developed a Scotch Whisky Food Pairing and Whisky Blending Lab in which he shares passion and secrets of the Art of Blending Scotch Whisky.

  • 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 holding a degree in Media and Marketing 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.

  • Vicki Wheaton

    Photo of Vicki Wheaton

    Vicki Wheaton is one of the Cayman Islands’ foremost entertainers, emcees and auctioneers. Originally from the UK, she has spent most of her life on the stage as a singer, comedienne and host of premier charity events. She has worked with Bill and Giuliana Rancic, Hoda Kotb, Joan Lunden and Sir Richard Branson, and has interviewed such noted celebrities as Al Pacino, Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Groban, Cynthia Nixon and Lionel Richie. When not performing, she is the editor of What’s Hot magazine and the Cayman Compass’ Friday Weekender section, both focused on dining, entertainment, arts and culture.

The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman
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