Eric Ripert is 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 consistent “29” food rating, the highest in the city, from the Zagat Guide since 2011, 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 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 by Eric Ripert in Grand Cayman. He is chair of the City Harvest’s Food Council, a New York-based food rescue organisation, as well as a recipient of the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour. He is the host of YouTube’s “On the Table,” which debuted on the RESERVE CHANNEL in 2012. He was also the host of his own Emmy-award winning PBS TV series “Avec Eric,” which ran for two successful seasons. Eric 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. Andrés 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 2012, Andrés was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential.
Daniel Boulud is today considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities and one of the most revered French chefs in New York. Boulud 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, his French-American cooking can also be discovered 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” in 2011 by The Culinary Institute of America.
Chef, author and raconteur Anthony Bourdain is best known for travelling the globe on his stomach, on his TV show “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” Somewhat notoriously, he has established himself as a professional gadfly, bête noir, advocate, social critic and pork enthusiast, and recognised for his caustic sense of humor worldwide. He is as unsparing of those things he hates, as he is evangelical about his passions. 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”, among other celebrated works and has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Times of London, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Vanity Fair and Lucky Peach. “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, which won two Emmy Awards in 2013 and a Peabody Award in 2014.
Many chefs have their first exposure to cooking at a young age. For Sean Brock, who was born and raised in rural Viginia, it was the experience of his family growing their own food that left a deep impression. Fine tuning his craft in acclaimed restaurants across the south, Brock joined McCrady’s Restaurant as executive chef. In 2010, Brock opened his second restaurant with the Neighborhood Dining Group, Husk, a celebration of Southern cuisine, only serving food that is indigenous to the South. Brock and the Neighborhood Dining Group, inspired by the success of the restaurant in Charleston, opened a second Husk location in Nashville, TN in 2013. Brock’s abilities have earned him a number of awards and accolades. In 2008 and 2009, he was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef” award and in 2010 he took him the foundation’s award for “Best Chef Southeast.” Most recently, he was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Chef” award for 2013 and a semifinalist in 2014. He appeared on “Iron Chef America” in December 2010, taking on Michael Symon in “Battle Pork Fat”, and in September 2011 Bon Appétit named Husk “Best New Restaurant in America”. In the fall of 2013, Brock hosted season two of Anthony Bourdain’s “The Mind of a Chef” on PBS. In February 2014, GQ named Husk Nashville one of the 12 Most Outstanding Restaurants of the year. His first cookbook is slated to be released in October 2014 by Artisan Books.
Food Network Celebrity Chef and celebrated award-winning cookbook author, Lynn Crawford has over 25 years of culinary experience. Crawford was the executive chef for the Four Seasons Hotel in both Toronto and New York and is currently the chef-owner of the acclaimed Ruby Watchco in Toronto’s East End. The first female Canadian invited to participate in the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” in battle with Bobby Flay, Lynn has made regular television appearances on programs such as “Top Chef Masters Season Five,” “Chopped Canada,” “The Marilyn Dennis Show,” “Steven and Chris,” CBS’ “The National,” “CityLine,” CTV’s “Canada AM” and Global TV’s “Morning Show.” In addition, she has received numerous professional awards, including the OHI’s Chef of the Year (2012), Chevalier du Fromage, Thomas Jefferson Award Honouree from The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Consumer’s Choice Business Woman of the Year and Spokesperson for the James Beard Celebrity Tour.
During the past decade, Sven Elverfeld has continually redefined his contemporary German and modern international cuisine. Personal memories, a thirst for knowledge and the constant search for new challenges are the inspiration for AQUA, the first three Michelin-star restaurant in Germany, at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg. Having presided in acclaimed restaurants in Germany, Crete, Japan and Dubai, Elverfeld started his career with The Ritz-Carlton in Dubai in 1998. Two years later, he returned to Germany as a member of The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg’s pre-opening team, devoting his energy and talent into AQUA. Since its opening, AQUA has been lauded with top ratings including recognition as one of S. Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
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.
Award-winning chef and cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson is the youngest chef ever to receive two three-star ratings from The New York Times, the first of which was awarded to him just after three months as executive chef of Aquavit. His impressive list of accolades includes a 2003 James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: New York City,” having already won the foundation’s 1999 “Best Rising Star Chef” honour. He has received consecutive four-star ratings in Forbes’ annual All-Star Eateries feature, named one of the 40 under 40 by Crain’s, and was hailed as one of The Great Chefs of America by the Culinary Institute of America. Also named by the World Economic Forum as one of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow, this Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised talent studied at the Culinary Institute of Goteborg, Sweden before apprenticing in Switzerland and Austria. Having made Aquavit a landmark in Scandinavian dining in New York City, Samuelsson has found additional success as the author of “Yes, Chef,” “The Soul of a New Cuisine” and “New American Table.” Samuelsson also served as guest chef for the Obama Administration’s first State Dinner honoring the Prime Minister of India.
Michael White is chef and owner of the renowned Altamarea Group, acclaimed worldwide for restaurants Marea, Ai Fiori, Costata, Ristorante Morini, Osteria Morini, Due Mari, Nicolette, The Butterfly, Chop Shop, Al Molo and Campagna and The Barn at Bedford Post Inn. Although White’s soulful, flavourful interpretations of Italian cuisine indicate otherwise, he is in fact a Midwesterner who spent his childhood in Beloit, WI. White has earned awards and accolades, receiving multiple stars from The New York Times and Michelin, and as Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux. His restaurant, Marea, won the James Beard Foundation’s award for “Best New Restaurant” in 2010 while White earned consecutive nominations for the foundation’s “Best Chef New York” award from 2010 to 2013. He is a member of The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s Culinary Council and was named one of the 40 Most Influential New Yorkers under 50 by Crain’s New York Business.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Chefs
Born in Troyes, France, Christian Clair joined The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company with over 20 years of experience, having begun his culinary career at age 16. His seasoned resume showcases extensive background in French and Mediterranean fare, which led him to The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in California in 2006. After two years, he became executive chef at Fort Lauderdale where he was named “Best New Chef” on Fort Lauderdale Magazine’s “Best of South Florida 2009” list. Now serving as Executive Chef of Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Clair oversees signature culinary experiences including Mi Casa where Chef José Andrés fuses his knowledge of regional flavors with a taste of modern Caribbean cuisine, among others.
Chef Fistrovich leads more than 122 culinary professionals and oversees all food and beverage operations and culinary services for the ten dining experiences and group banquets at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples and The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, both located on Southwest Florida’s Paradise Coast. Fistrovich has more than 21 years of culinary experience, and most recently served as executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne where he directed the resort’s three full-service restaurants, exclusive Rum Bar and more than 80 culinary professionals.
Benjamin Kallenbach brings more than ten years of international culinary experience to his role as Executive Pastry Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Chef Benjamin started his career in acclaimed hotels throughout the Midwest before joining The Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation, and travelling to The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain before he was named executive pastry chef at the brand’s resort in Grand Cayman. In addition to overseeing pastry operations for five restaurants, in-room dining and extensive banquet services, Chef Benjamin serves as Regional Advisory Board Pastry Chef for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
Japanese chef Yoshikizu Kazu combines artful technique with delectable flavours to create unforgettable pastries at The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando, Grande Lakes. Born and raised in Tokyo, Kazu trained at Kona To Tamago, which translates to “flour and egg” in English and focused on advancing his skills as a pastry chef. He later specialized in artistic creations created with fine chocolate, sugar and pastillage at Disney’s Ambassador Hotel in Tokyo. Four years later, he joined an elite team of Ladies and Gentlemen in opening The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo as sous chef where he worked under World Champion Executive Pastry Chef Shuji Muto before moving to the company’s expansive resort in Orlando, FL.
Born in the small town of Oaxaca, Mexico, Executive Sous Chef Luis Lujan oversees culinary operations at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Chef Luis has presided in kitchens across the world, including The Ritz-Carlton, New York, Central Park, The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun and The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando, Grande Lakes. Prior to being named executive sous chef, he lead the acclaimed culinary team of Blue by Eric Ripert as Chef de Cuisine. Awarded with numerous distinctions for his culinary acumen, Chef Luis earned the title of Best National Young Mexican Chef 2007 and was recognised as a rising star receiving Marriott International and The Ritz-Carlton’s ACE Culinary Excellence Award in 2010.
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.
Originally from Berlin Germany, since his youth Andreas Schatzchneider has felt a devotion to the combination of flavors and essences in the kitchen and turned this into a career satisfying even the most demanding palates. His continuing desire to learn and share his knowledge led him to roles on the distinguished culinary teams of two Ritz-Carlton hotels; at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans at the gourmet restaurant Victors and then with The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island’s famous Grill Room. Both of these restaurants carried the coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award. In 2006, Schatzschneider transferred to The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun as Chef de Cuisine of yet another AAA Five-Diamond dining room, the Mediterranean Restaurant Fantino. After four years in Cancun, Schatzschneider was then offered the prestigious opportunity of opening several new Ritz-Carlton Hotels. These included the brand’s exciting Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, followed by a return to his European roots as the Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Vienna, Austria, and then an introduction to Asia leading the team at The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou in China.
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.
Peter Zampaglione is Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan. In his role, he is responsible for all culinary activities for the 416-room property, including overseeing the hotel’s dining venues, room service, catering and culinary events, as well as further enhancing the resort’s celebrated culinary offerings. As a culinary veteran with almost 20 years of experience, Zampaglione most recently served as Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama where he strengthened the resort’s stellar culinary excellence for its 11 dining outlets. Throughout his tenure he’s worked alongside Michelin chefs at luxury hotels and resorts across the world, refining his culinary ambitions and gaining international recognition along the way. An influential and highly regarded culinary innovator, Chef Zampaglione also served on The Ritz-Carlton Culinary Advisory Board with responsibilities for the company’s hotels in Santiago, Moscow, Berlin, Wolfsburg and Powerscourt and has held executive culinary leadership positions at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, Half Moon Bay, Portugal and Atlanta.
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
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 ® 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 our 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 35 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.
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 D.C. and the Turks & Caicos Islands, 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. Previous to launching Parkshore Grill, Tyson led the kitchen at O’Bistro, a local favorite known for its straightforward flavors and innovation. Parkshore Grill, now in its 8th year of business, boasts the accredited Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the 4th 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 once more as Tampa Bay Magazine’s Best Chef of Tampa Bay 2013 and 2014. 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.
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.
At only 25 years of age, Adam Handling is inspiringly ambitious and a rapidly rising talent to watch. Well known as a “favorite to win” finalist on MasterChef 2013, Handling has recently been awarded British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year 2014. He was listed as one of the “30 Under 30” to watch in The Caterer & Hotelkeeper’s 2013 Acorn Awards and he was awarded Scottish Young Chef of the Year in 2011. Handling currently serves as Head Chef at the Caxton Grill in St. James Park where he leads a team of 22 and where MasterChef 2014 Finalists recently were filed cooking under Handling’s instruction. He is enthusiastically developing the restaurant’s reputation as one of the top places to eat in Westminster, with a menu designed to inspire and excite through inventive dishes that offer an ‘unexpected harmony’. Handling works with the finest ingredients and is meticulous in his attention to detail of his menus, which offer a wonderful complexity of flavor and texture.
A major player in the culinary world, Executive Chef Cindy Hutson has been exciting palettes throughout Miami and the Caribbean since 1994. Cindy’s signature “Cuisine of the Sun” infuses flavours and fare mastered from her travels around the globe. Alongside her longtime partner Delius Shirley, Chef Hutson owns and operates Ortanique on the Mile Coral Gables, Miami and Ortanique Camana Bay, Grand Cayman. They also design food and beverage concepts for The Dunmore, a Harbour Island Resort in the Bahamas. Launching Summer 2015, the dynamic duo will be opening 2 new restaurants in the Miami Financial district; Zest and Zest MRKT. Hutson’s first cookbook, From the Tip of My Tongue, is slated for release early February 2015. Cindy’s creative flavour combinations and her commitment to excellence have earned Ortanique Chef of the Year Award by Chef’s Magazine, numerous 5 Star Diamond Awards, as well as the prestigious Coral Gables Business Woman of the Year Award in 2014.
Dean Max is the president of DJM restaurants, a company specialized 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.
As Le Bernardin's executive pastry chef, Thomas Raquel creates modern, seasonal desserts rooted in classic technique that complement the cuisine of Chef Eric Ripert. Raquel grew up in the Philippines and Los Angeles, learning how to cook from his Filipino grandmother. He had planned to be a doctor, but after graduating from high school at the early age of 16, he took a weekend cooking class and decided to enroll in the California School of Culinary Arts before committing his studies to medicine. In 2008, Raquel accepted a pastry position at L2O in Chicago, where Chef Laurent Gras had a strong influence on him, driving his discipline and helping him hone his style of bridging modern elements with time-honored technique. Four years later, he became the pastry chef of Chicago's Acadia, which allowed him to create a menu all his own and further fine-tune his approach. His work would earn him the title of Rising Pastry Chef by the 2014 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence, and a spot on Zagat's Chicago 30 Under 30 list in 2013. Raquel brings his singular touch to Le Bernardin's dessert menu, calling upon his experience, travels and dedication to seasonality to create pastries with universal appeal that are at once simple, beautiful and delicious.
Laurence's resume includes a number of prestigious London restaurants including Le Caprice, Belgo Noord, Cafe Med, Quaglino's and Berkeley Square Café. In London, he trained in classic European techniques and combined this knowledge with cutting edge culinary procedures to climb the ranks in the competitive chef world. After earning 3 AA rosettes and the highly coveted Michelin star with his team, he left the prestigious 'Auberge du Lac' restaurant in England, to join Kaibo.
Laurence came with a mission, to shake up "Upstairs". Using modern European techniques, and locally sourced Caribbean ingredients he presents an accomplished menu in one of the island's most beautiful settings.
Executive Chef Peter Vauthy is turning the steakhouse business on its side and mixing things up while staying true to his home grown roots. Inspired by what he learned from his family while incorporating his own unique perspective on the classics, Chef Peter takes pride in Red, the Steakhouse/South Beach’s unmatched standards that continue to position him as a culinary force in Miami and all over the country. By using only the highest quality meat in the nation - Certified Angus Beef Prime, and sourcing the freshest ingredients in the world, Vauthy sets the bar high by serving up his interpretation of “classic steakhouse” accented by his trademark bold, pure flavours. Peter brought his expertise to South Florida in 2008 to open Red, the Steakhouse in Miami Beach where he has played a key role in the country’s largest wine and food festival, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, participating annually in “Best Of The Best” Chef event. Armed with this knowledge of the industry and love for cooking, Chef Vauthy is truly a leader in his field.
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