cayman cookout

Chefs for the Cayman Cookout 2014 included:

Headline Chefs

Chef Eric Ripert

Eric Ripert is the chef and co-owner of the New York restaurant Le Bernardin, which ranks 19 on the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The celebrated restaurant holds three stars from the Michelin Guide, a “29” food rating from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Zagat Guides, the highest of any restaurant in the city, and has upheld a four-star review from The New York Times for over two decades. It has never dropped a star throughout five reviews, and is the only restaurant to maintain four stars for that length of time.

In September 2011, Ripert unveiled the next chapter in the restaurant’s history: a significant redesign from Bentel & Bentel that earned Le Bernardin a James Beard Award for “Best Restaurant Design” in 2012,followed by a 2013 “Outstanding Restaurateur” award for co-owner Maguy Le Coze. Additionally, Ripert has partnered with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to open Blue in Grand Cayman.

He is chair of City Harvest’s Food Council, a New York-based food rescue organization, as well as a recipient of the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor. He is the host of YouTube’s “On the Table,” which debuted on the RESERVE CHANNEL in July 2012. He was also the host of his own Emmy-award winning PBS TV series “Avec Eric,” which ran for two successful seasons. Ripert is the author of four cookbooks, including Avec Eric (2010), On the Line(2008), A Return to Cooking (2002)and Le Bernardin –- Four Star Simplicity(1998).

Named “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation in 2011, José Andrés is an internationally-recognised culinary innovator, passionate advocate for food and hunger issues, author, educator, television personality and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. José is the force behind renowned dining concepts in Washington, DC, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, and Puerto Rico.

He is Dean of the Spanish Studies programme at the International Culinary Center and he also teaches at Harvard and George Washington University. He is the founder of the non-profit World Central Kitchen. In May 2012, José was also named to the Time 100 list of most influential people.

Lidia Bastianich is one of the best-loved chefs on television, a best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. Lidia has married her two passions in life – her family and food, to create multiple culinary endeavors alongside her two children, Joseph and Tanya.

Lidia is the chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants - Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto, as well as Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City. Along with her son, Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali, and Oscar Farinetti, the team opened Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in New York City.

Chef Rick Bayless

Most people know him from winning the title of Bravo’s “Top Chef Master” beating out the French and Italian with his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated on-going Public Television Series, “Mexico—One Plate at a Time” can be found on television sets coast to coast, as well as his award-winning, seven cookbooks. Restaurants include his side by side award-winning restaurants in Chicago, Frontera Grill and the 4-star Topolobampo, and a third restaurant XOCO—a quick serve LEED certified restaurant featuring house-ground chocolate and wood grilled tortas. Rick Bayless has won James Beard awards for: Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year.

Daniel Boulud is today considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities and one of the most revered French chefs in New York. Daniel is chef-owner of db Bistro Moderne, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Bar Boulud, Café Boulud, Boulud Sud and Épicerie Boulud. Best known for New York’s exquisitely refined DANIEL, the three Michelin-star Relais & Châteaux restaurant, you’ll also discover his French-American cooking in Miami and Palm Beach, FL, London, Singapore, Beijing, Montréal and Toronto.

He is the author of seven cookbooks, the recipient of three James Beard Foundation awards, including Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurateur, as well as Chef of the Year 2011 by The Culinary Institute of America.

Chef, author, and raconteur Anthony Bourdain is best known for travelling the globe on his stomach, daringly consuming some of the world’s most exotic. The “chef-at-large” at New York’s famed Brasserie Les Halles, Bourdain is the author of the bestselling Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly and others. Bourdain joined the writing staff of HBO’s “Treme” in 2011. He recently launched his own publishing line with Ecco, Anthony Bourdain Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations”, which he made from 2004 – 2012, was widely popular all over the world, has won two Emmy Awards, with several other nominations. 2013 saw the premiere of two new television shows hosted by Bourdain: “The Taste”, a cooking competition series for ABC with Nigella Lawson, and “Parts Unknown”, a travel docu-series for CNN.

Chef Daniel Humm

A native of Switzerland, Daniel Humm is the executive chef of Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad Hotel, where he creates modern, sophisticated French cuisine that emphasizes purity, simplicity, and season flavours and ingredients. A classicist who embraces contemporary gastronomy, his delicate and precise cooking style is experienced through constantly evolving menus.

In 2011 Eleven Madison Park received the “Outstanding Restaurant in America” award, both by the James Beard Foundation. 2011 also marked the year the restaurant received three Michelin stars. It was in that year that he purchased Eleven Madison Park and in 2012 went on to open The NoMad Hotel.

Martin Picard is the owner of Au Pied de Cochon, the famous Montreal, Canada restaurant where, since 2001, he has been breathing new life into traditional Quebecois cuisine, accentuating locally produced ingredients. In 2009, he opened Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack, devoted to the versatility of maple syrup. FOOD & WINE has included the Sugar Shack in its list of the world's 100 best restaurants. Martin's second book, entitled Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack, garnered the book of the year award at the 2012 World Gourmand Awards. He has also hosted two television series including “Un chef à la Cabane (A Chef at the Shack)”.

Michael Schwartz

James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz is known for his fresh, simple and pure farm-to-table cuisine emphasising local ingredients. In addition to his classic American Ale, Michael’s Genuine Home Brew (Est. 2012), Schwartz’s The Genuine Hospitality Group of restaurants now includes Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink® Miami (Est. 2006), Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink® Grand Cayman (Est. 2010), Harry’s Pizzeria (Est. 2011), 150 Central Park by Chef Michael Schwartz aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas (Est. 2011 & Est. 2013,) The Cypress Room TM (Est. 2013), and Restaurant Michael Schwartz at The Raleigh Hotel (Est. 2013.)

Referred to as Mr. Chocolate, Jacques Torres is the authority on all things related to this confectionery delight. Raised in France, Jacques fulfilled his American dream in 2000 with the opening of his first chocolate factory, Jacques Torres Chocolate, in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Jacques was a pioneer—the first artisan chocolatier to start from cocoa beans to make his own chocolate. In 2004, he opened his second chocolate factory and flagship store, Jacques Torres Chocolate, in downtown New York City on Hudson Street. Jacques prides himself on specialising in fresh, hand-crafted chocolates using premium ingredients free of preservatives and artificial flavours. Additionally, Jacques proudly serves as Dean of Pastry Arts at the International Culinary Center.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Chefs


Rainer Zinngrebe has had an illustrious 33-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

Chef Frederic Morineau

Chef Frederic Morineau undertook the role of Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman in 2008 managing one of the largest culinary divisions within The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company worldwide. With a career that spans over a decade, Frederic Morineau has presided in the kitchens of some of the finest four and five star establishments in Europe, U.S., and the Caribbean. In 2011, he was invited into the ranks of one of the most prestigious association of chefs in the world: the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France. Chef Frederic is only the second Maîtres Cuisinier presently working in the Caribbean.


Chef Pedro Contreras is the Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. With the Pacific Ocean at his backdoor and access to fresh produce year round, he is inspired every day and shares his passion for the cuisines of the Americas. As Executive Chef, he oversees the resort’s restaurants including 180blũ, an outdoor oceanfront lounge; Raya, a Richard Sandoval restaurant concept; enoSTEAK, an intimate steakhouse featuring local farms and grass fed meats, and The Market Place, a grab-and-go lifestyle outlet. Chef Contreras grew up in Venezuela in a family with roots in Spain and Mexico and studied at the University of Los Andes in Merida, Venezuela.

Chef Nathaniel Reid

Nathaniel Reid is the executive pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Saint Louis. There, he oversees the pastry and bakery operations for each of the restaurants and events. Dessert Professional Magazine recognised him as one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America in June 2012. In 2010, he was selected as winner of the U.S. Pastry Competition and named Pastry Chef of the Year. A graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu, Paris with a Grand Diploma in Culinary and Pastry Arts, Reid specialises in contemporary bakery creations with a European flair


Fourth in his family and second in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to earn the title Maître Cusiner de France, and a fifth generation restaurateur, Xavier Salomon’s passion for food began at his family’s kitchen table in Savoie, France. Chef Salomon joined The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay in July 2001 where he oversees all dining experiences throughout the resort. His passion for utilising Northern California’s rich bounty of local harvests has resulted in a celebrated dining experience, which has won national acclaim for the property and its accomplished culinary team.


At the age of 14 Chef David Serus decided to pursue his passion…food. This passion led to a career which includes stints at Michelin stared 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, yet flavourful dishes. Currently, as Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, Chef David is exploring products native to the Sonoran desert and incorporating them into his philosophy of impeccably prepared but simple dishes which deliver optimal natural flavour. In 2013, Chef David was awarded the title of Maître Cuisinier de France.


Chris Southwick’s illustrious, nearly 20-year career is highlighted by a Ritz-Carlton pedigree with some of the brand’s top hotels in Sanya, Sarasota, Moscow and Cleveland. Southwick has opened luxury hotels and restaurants across the globe, including Jeroboam at The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, which became the highest-ranked restaurant in the city within months of opening. Throughout his career, Southwick has created dining experiences for dignitaries, heads of state and presidents worldwide. Today, Southwick leads all hotel culinary and food & beverage activities at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, including In-Room Dining, Banquets, Hotel Catering, Off-Premise Catering, and Pool and Spa Dining.


Chef Andrew Yeo graduated with excellence from Singapore SHATEC, Asia’s top hospitality and tourism school. He first joined The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore’s culinary team and in 2003, he furthered his career with Ritz-Carlton with a move to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort of Naples. In 2007, Yeo transferred to The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande Lakes and in 2009, he was promoted to Executive Sous Chef, overseeing the hotel's culinary division while supporting the Executive Chef in all areas of food and beverage. In 2011, he assumed his role as Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common where he manages all aspects of the AAA Five-Diamond hotel’s culinary operations.

Participating Chefs

Chef Gilbert Cavallaro

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. Utilising 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.

George first started cooking at the age of 15 in Durham, England, working in major hotels in the UK before heading over to the Islands at the age of 26. George chefed over the next 30 years in Tortola, Antigua, Jamaica, Aruba, Bahamas and St. Martin with a year in 1993 spent in Moscow, Russia opening a new hotel. He then moved to Grand Cayman where he opened Calypso Grill in West Bay. When asked about his philosophy for preparing great food, George replies, “I believe that the best meals are fresh and uncomplicated with an emphasis on enhancing the natural aromas and flavours that are already present.”

When foodies and food scribes wax on can’t miss desserts in South Florida, no other name elicits a more passionate response than that of Hedy Goldsmith. Since the restaurant opened in March 2007 in Miami, with an outpost in Grand Cayman in 2010, part of its success has been the allure of Hedy’s magical touch, the perfect balance to fellow Philly native James Beard award-winning chef/owner Michael Schwartz’s fresh, simple, and pure cuisine.

The New York Times has referred to Hedy’s desserts as “strikingly beautiful, but not contrived marvels of texture and balance’’ and in addition to features in myriad publications, her regular contributions to “Unique Sweets and Food(o)graphy “on Cooking Channel have cemented her as a nationally-renowned expert in the pastry arts.

Hedy creates desserts with simple, straightforward flavours presented in interesting combinations, highlighting the balance between savory and sweet. She draws from a rich assortment of ingredients like local fruits and herbs, and unexpected techniques like roasting and smoking. Favourites include sophisticated sweets like Tangerine Creamsicle Pot de Crème to playful treats inspired by her childhood like house-made Cracker Jacks, Nutter Butters and Oreo cookies, buttermilk doughnuts filled with jams, family-style pies and her now-legendary homemade Pop-Tarts. At Schwartz's new Harry's Pizzeria, her fluffy zeppoli with honeyed homemade ricotta and chocolate chunk cookies are fast earning followings of their own.

The pastry chef’s first cookbook, Baking Out Loud, was published in 2012.

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. 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. While continuing in the successes of Parkshore Grill as St. Pete's premiere steakhouse, Tyson has now established Parkshore Grill Catering, 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House on Beach Drive, The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge at Albert Whitted Airport and Café Gala at the Salvador Dali Museum. His newest project is the Gulf Grill in Madeira Beach.

Chef Keith Griffin

Chef Keith Griffin completed his apprenticeship and training in his hometown of London, England before pursuing his career in Bermuda, the US and the Cayman Islands. He has won numerous awards in national culinary competitions and is actively involved in the development of the culinary arts throughout the Caribbean region. During his time as a Director of the Caribbean Culinary Federation Keith became certified as a Culinary Judge, presiding over international competitions both in the Cayman Islands and the US. Chef Griffin is Vice-President of the Cayman Islands Culinary Society and team manager to the Cayman Islands National Culinary Team and has travelled extensively throughout the US and Canada as a Culinary Ambassador for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.

In 2002, Keith opened his own restaurant, Bacchus, in George Town, Grand Cayman which became a firm favourite with the locals and visitors. After 10 years as a popular Restaurateur, Keith now focuses his time on teaching, cooking demonstrations and personal chef services.

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 butcher, bakers, and restauranteurs, Guillas' Britannic upbringing was influenced by his daily exposure to fine cuisine.

Chef Philippe Haddad

Born in 1961 in Ghent and raised in Bruges, Belgium, Philippe began his culinary journey at a very early age. By age 14, he enrolled in a preliminary cooking school and shortly thereafter was accepted at the most renowned hotel institute in Belgium, Hotel School Ter Duinen. His passion and elite training allowed him to find work in many countries such as Belgium, the south of France, the UK, Bermuda, West Indies, U.S. Virgin Islands and the US.

His impressive career includes Merv Griffin’s L’Escoffier in the Beverly Hilton Hotel, The St. James Club in Antigua and Paris, as well as many top country clubs throughout the U.S. By 1999, chef Haddad broke away from hotel and resort work and opened his own Zagat-rated Buckhead hot spot, Philippe’s Bistro and he is currently the executive chef at F&B Atlanta. Chef Haddad has won a DiRona and James Beard Award in addition to overseeing two Presidential dinners.

Chef Cindy Hutson

Cindy Hutson is a self-taught chef who developed a passion for cooking at an early age. In her teen years, she was exposed to Italian and Portuguese cuisine through her best friend’s father, a successful restaurateur in New Jersey. After leaving New Jersey to head for the sunny skies of Miami, she honed her skills as a sport fishing captain and it then that she procured a touch for handling and preparing many ocean delicacies.

Taking time out from fishing, Hutson explored many Caribbean islands, learning about their histories and cuisine. In late 1993, partner Delius Shirley convinced her to go into the restaurant business with him and they opened Norma’s on the Beach – touted as “the best Caribbean restaurant in South Florida” by USA Today, NY Times, London Times, Chicago Tribune, and Ocean Drive Magazine. In 1996, they were awarded the coveted “5 Star Diamond Award”.

In 1999, Hutson’s “Cuisine of the Sun” was featured at their new restaurant – Ortanique. Hutson flourished in this new setting with awards such as “Top 20 Restaurants” Florida Trend, “Best New Restaurant” Bon Appétit, “America’s Top Tables” Gourmet Magazine, “Top Ten Best List” Zagat…and the list goes on.

In 2010, Hutson and Shirley opened a second Ortanique location in Camana Bay, Grand Cayman and their success continues.

Chef Dean Max is President of DJM restaurants, specialising in restaurant concept development and ongoing management. 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, FL. He quickly opened Latitude 41 in the Renaissance Columbus, OH and then the Brasserie in Grand Cayman, AMP 150 in Cleveland, Asador restaurant in the Dallas Renaissance, Parallel Post restaurant in Trumbull, CT, and most recently his namesake restaurant, James Republic, in Long Beach CA. 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.

Whether he's working hand-in-hand with great chefs in their own kitchens or with foodservice accounts at Certified Angus Beef's Education & Culinary Center, Scott Popovic shares valuable preparation tips, recipes and product information to educate cooks of all types about premium beef and help them achieve greater levels of success. Since joining Certified Angus Beef in 2006, Popovic has also shined as a brand ambassador, spokesperson and culinary connoisseur. He has played an active role with headline chefs at the Cayman Cookout and the South Beach and Aspen food and wine festivals. He has led three James Beard House dinners featuring the brand's quality, as well as numerous special events including the 2011 James Beard Awards.

Chef Vidyadhara Shetty

Born in Mumbai, Chef Vidyadhara Shetty's passion for cooking began as a child spending time in the kitchen of the famous Udupi restaurants. In 1985 he joined the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition in Mumbai. Over time, a craving for travel consumed him and he cruised the Caribbean as Chef and gained experience in Caribbean Cuisine. He joined the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands in 1994. His secret ingredient remains his reliance on the usage of seasonal produce, which he claims inspires his style of cooking. Chef Shetty looks forward to taking many more guests on an exciting and exotic culinary journey at Blue Cilantro.

Chef Thushara Siriwardana

Thushara Siriwardana, Sri Lanka born native, trained at the National Apprenticeship board cookery course and attained a cake diploma followed by NAB. He has worked in places like Golden Star Beach Hotel in Sri Lanka, Ceylon Continental Hotel Sri Lanka, Gall Face Hotel Dubai, Millennium Hotel as a pastry chef, Carnival Cruise Lines as a fine dining pastry chef before he joined the Grand Old House team in 2006. He has competed in the Cayman Islands Culinary competitions and in 2007, he won Best Caribbean Recipe, Best of Show, Best Wedding Cake, before he won Cayman Chef of the Year Award in 2010. In Cayman Islands culinary history, he has won the most awards and medals.

Chef Jurgen Wevers

Born and raised in Holland, Jurgen worked at some of the finest Michelin star restaurants before moving to the Cayman Islands in 2001 where he joined the Brasserie as the Executive Chef. In 2005 Jurgen and Shruty Garrison, owner of Icoa Chocolates collaborated to open Icoa Fine Foods, Jurgen was at the helm in the position of Executive Chef and part owner.

Icoa Fine Foods, located in Seven Mile Shops prides itself in serving Breakfast and Lunch. Icoa also wholesales their products to some of the finest restaurants and hotels on the island. Jurgen is classically French trained but loves bold Asian flavours due to his Dutch – Indonesian background. When eating at Icoa his Asian influence is apparent in his menu selection. Icoa prides itself on having a strong local following of customers and chefs alike.

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