Chefs for the Cayman Cookout 2013 include:
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 Zagat Guide, 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.
Ripert has partnered with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to open restaurants at various destinations including Blue in Grand Cayman, Westend Bistro in Washington D.C., and 10 Arts Bistro in Philadelphia.
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 serves as a regular guest judge on “Bravo’s Top Chef”, hosts his own Emmy-award winning PBS TV series “Avec Eric”, and currently cooks with celebrity guests from in his kitchen as he hosts “On the Table”, a mini-series on the Reserve Channel -a specialty YouTube channel.
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-recognized culinary innovator, passionate advocate for food and hunger issues, author, educator, television personality and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup.
TFG is team behind renowned dining concepts in Washington, DC, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami including minibar by josé andrés, Jaleo at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills and the SLS Hotel South Beach. Next Andres will debut a dining destination at the new Dorado Beach, Ritz Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico. Recently Andrés was named by Time Magazine onto the 2012 “Time 100” list of most influential people in the world.
Often considered an unofficial Ambassador of Spain, he is the new Dean of the Spanish Studies program of the International Culinary Center, the first and only program of its kind to be offered in the United States. Andrés can be seen on PBS as host and executive producer of Made in Spain. His cookbooks include Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America. Andrés also teaches “Science and Cooking” at Harvard.
Two-time James Beard Award winning chef, Paul Bartolotta, offers a simple and refined Italian menu at his eponymous restaurant, BARTOLOTTA, Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas. Focusing only on indigenous seafood, BARTOLOTTA imports 1.5 tons of seafood each week from the Mediterranean.
Bartolotta’s skills as a chef were hard-won through a seven-year apprenticeship in the most renowned restaurants in all of Italy and France. Upon his return to the US, he opened San Domenico in New York City to great commercial and critical acclaim, including receiving three-stars in the New York Times, as well as Best New Restaurant New York in Esquire Magazine.
Prior to joining Wynn Las Vegas, Bartolotta worked in Chicago as chef and managing partner of the four-star Spiaggia. With his brother, Joe, Bartolotta also co-founded The Bartolotta Restaurants in their hometown of Milwaukee where their seven fine dining restaurants receive rave reviews.
Bartolotta has been honored as an official ambassador of Italian cuisine and continues to spread his unique philosophy of combining a few essential ingredients in perfect balance - courageously simple but with tremendous impact.
Chef, author, and raconteur Anthony Bourdain is best known for travelling the globe on his stomach, daringly consuming some of the world’smost exotic dishes on his hit TV shows “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and “The Layover”. Somewhat notoriously, he has established himself as a professional gadfly, bête noir, advocate, social critic, and pork enthusiast,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 LesHalles, Bourdain is the author of the bestselling Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, a candid, hysterical, and sometimes shocking portrait of life in restaurant kitchens that has been translated into more than 28 languages – as well as the travel journal, A Cook's Tour, 3 crime novels, a cookbook, a biography of Typhoid Mary, the bestselling graphic novel Get JIRO!, and others.
His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times,The Times of London, Bon Appetit, Gourmet and many other publications. He has shared his insights about team building and crisis management with the Harvard Business Review. He has been profiled by “CBS Sunday Morning” and“Nightline”, and has been a guest on “The Late Show with David Letterman”, “Morning Joe”, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”, “The Daily Show”, “CharlieRose”, “The Colbert Report”, and “Real Time with Bill Maher”.
Bourdain joined the writing staff of HBO’s “Treme” in 2011,contributing to the popular drama’s restaurant storylines. He recently launched his own publishing line with Ecco, Anthony Bourdain Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. His first titles will be released in early 2013.
“No Reservations”, widely popular all over the world, has won two Emmy Awards, with several other nominations. 2013 will see the premiereof two new television shows hosted by “Bourdain: The Taste”, a cooking competition series for ABC with Nigella Lawson, and a travel docu-series for CNN.
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 flavors and ingredients. A classicist who embraces contemporary gastronomy, his delicate and precise cooking style is experienced through constantly evolving menus.
In 2003, Daniel moved to the U.S. and immediately garnered attention being nominated for a James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef in both 2004 and 2005. He was also named one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2005.
He then made his way to New York City in 2006 where he quickly transformed Eleven Madison Park in to one of the city’s top dining destinations elevating to three stars from the New York Times in 2007, four stars in 2009, and was awarded its first Michelin star.
In 2010, he received the award for “Best Chef: New York City” and 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.
David Kinch has forged a distinctive culinary path putting him at the forefront of new contemporary California cuisine. His philosophy is fostered by the terroir, or "sense of place" of the California Coast, and the kind of ingredient-driven cooking and modern technique he studied around the world.
Influenced by French and modern Catalan cooking, Kinch finds inspiration from European traditions and refinement, American ingenuity, and the vast bounty California offers. His pursuit for exceptional products inspired an exclusive partnership with Love Apple Farms, where most ingredients for Manresa are grown. This relationship creates a closed loop between the farm and kitchen assuring the dining experience imparts to guests a distinct sense of place and time.
Manresa has held two Michelin stars for six consecutive years and is one of Restaurant Magazine and San Pellegrino’s "Top 50 Best Restaurants in the World." In 2011, Kinch was named "Chef of the Year" by GQ magazine and in 2010, he received the "Best Chef: Pacific" award from the James Beard Foundation.
Before opening ensemble restaurant & bar and ensemble Tap restaurants in Vancouver in 2011, Top Chef Canada Winner Dale MacKay worked kitchen front lines and opened restaurants for top chefs Gordon Ramsay and Daniel Boulud. At the age of 27 Chef MacKay became the youngest Grand Chef Relais & Chateaux in the world – on of just 160 globally.
Dale made Canadian culinary history when he was named Top Chef Canada –the country’s first. He made history again when the 13-episode series became the highest rated program in Food Network Canada network history.
Chef MacKay is a successful restaurateur, single father to ten year-old son Ayden, dedicated mentor to at-risk youth and aspiring young chefs, and is one of Canada’s most sought-after culinary celebrities.
In January of 2004, Mendelsohn began his education at the Culinary Institute of America and went on to work for Chef Gerard Boyer at his famous Restaurant Les Crayeres in France.
While working at the Michelin starred restaurant Mai House in New York City, Chef Spike took to a national stage when he became a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef: Chicago and soon became one of the popular series biggest breakout stars. He’s since been asked to be part of Bravo’s recently aired “Top Chef All-Stars” season and will soon appear on “Life After Top Chef.” He was also enlisted as part of Food Network’s “Next Iron Chef: All-Stars” and the upcoming “Next Iron Chef: Redemption” season.
His full time passion remains his restaurants. He opened his first, Good Stuff Eatery in Washington D.C., to rave reviews. He opened its second location in Crystal City, VA and plans to open the third soon in the Georgetown neighborhood. Next door to the original Good Stuff Eatery location is Spike’s second concept called We, The Pizza. Soon he’ll open his third with a steak frites restaurant.
His first cookbook “The Good Stuff Cookbook” features American comfort food classics and favorites that are just right for the home cook.
Widely regarded as one of America’s finest pastry chefs, Sherry Yard is the innovator of sweet endings for the Wolfgang Puck empire. Sherry’s indomitable spirit has delivered her from Brooklyn to Beverly Hills via some of the country's greatest restaurants, including the Rainbow Room, Montrachet, Tribeca Grill and San Francisco's Campton Place.
Since her arrival at Spago in 1994, Sherry's incomparably creative and fresh from the farm desserts have played leading rolls at the Academy Awards Governor's Ball, Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards. She was the Consulting Culinary Producer as well as guest Judge for Bravo's Top Chef Just Desserts, Baking Competition.
Yard has collected many accolades including Bon Appetit magazine’s Food and Entertaining Awards “Pastry Chef of the Year”, The James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef.”, and Food Arts Magazine’s “Silver Spoon Award” for lifetime achievement.
Sherry’s first book, "The Secrets of Baking" was nominated for the International Association of Culinary Professionals Julia Child Award, and won the James Beard Foundation’s KitchenAid Award for Best Baking Book. Sherry's most recent title, "Desserts by the Yard", traces her sweet life from Brooklyn to Beverly Hills with stories and recipes.
Chef Rhagu began his hospitality career with Oberoi hotels and resorts in India where he worked with master chefs from Germany and Austria. After honing his skills, his career with Oberoi led him to a position as Pastry Chef at the historic Mena House Oberoi Hotel and Casino in Cairo at the foot of the great pyramids. During this time, he had the opportunity to serve and cook for international statesmen and leaders. Opportunity in Canada soon beckoned and Chef Raghu accepted a Pastry Chef position with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Golden Tulip Hotels. His career with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel commenced in Cancun, Mexico and soon led him back to Canada for the opening of one of The Ritz-Carlton’s newest properties –The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. Chef Raghu claims that his global travels have greatly influenced his food and the way he cooks. When outside the kitchen, he is routinely involved in training young students, participates as a judge in several culinary competitions, and works on an educational advisory boards to help develop student curricula for culinary schools in Cairo, Calgary and Toronto.
Chef Nathan Beriau, a native of New England, comes from a family of culinarians. He spent many of his early years training alongside some of New England’s best chefs, leading him to the position of Chef de Cuisine at the Four Diamond Harraseeket Inn, located in Freeport, Maine. Trading one coast for another, Chef Nathan then traveled to San Francisco to work for Ron Siegel at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. Breaking into the San Francisco culinary scene, Chef Nathan soon after opened Epic Roast House under the renowned Chef Jan Birnbaum. The accolades ensued and in the summer of 2008, Chef Nathan returned to The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. Late 2010, he was promoted to Executive Sous Chef.
Gilbert Cavallaro has been in the Cayman Island’s restaurant scene since 1999. His experience began at Lantana’s on Seven Mile Beach, followed by the Hyatt, Rum Point and Hemmingways Restaurant. Gilbert then moved to The Ritz-Carlton’s 7 Prime before joining the team at the Cracked Conch as Executive Chef. 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.
Born and raised in Venice, Italy, Federico enrolled in culinary school in 1990 in Jesolo, Venice at the young age of 14 and worked during the summer holidays in various restaurants throughout Tuscany, Venice and surrounding provinces.
In 1999 his journey brought him to Cayman where he began his Caribbean culinary career as Sous Chef at Ragazzi restaurant. Within two years he became Ragazzi’s head chef. In 2007, Chef Federico opened LUCA Restaurant as Head Chef.
Chef Federico has a passion for what he does, and says the most important element in his style of cooking is his ability to manipulate the freshest ingredients, and top quality meats into simplistic dishes abounding with flavour. “The less fuss in your dish, the better it is. Allow the food to speak for itself”.
From County Durham, in England, George Fowler, Chef/Owner at Calypso Grill originally trained in classical French cuisine under renowned French chefs in the heyday of the British Transport Hotels group, which at the time included prestigious, luxury hotels such as Scotlands, Gleneagles, and the Old Course at St Andrews. Then followed 30 years as Chef on seven different Caribbean Islands which developed his love of Caribbean cuisine, with its fragrant herbs, pungent spices and wonderfully fresh tropical ingredients. Now he incorporates these elements into signature dishes such as crispy mango shrimp served with a mango rum sauce or wahoo escovitch.
Fabien Gnemmi brings his passion for cuisine and a unique culinary perspective to his position as Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas. In this role, he oversees the operations for Bleuwater, Great Bay Lounge, Coconut Cove, Sails, banquets, in-room dining, garde manger, pastry, employee cafeteria and all culinary operations for the Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas.
Originally from France, Gnemmi learned to love the art of cookery at a young age and credits his family with cultivating his culinary talents. Starting his career at age 16, Gnemmi brings international expertise to The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, having learned a variety of cuisines and methodologies while training and working for fine restaurants in Italy, Ireland, France, England and Spain. “I believe in the importance of cooking from your heart and soul and putting passion into everything you create,” said Chef Gnemmi. “It’s passion, along with a focus on freshness and quality that will elevate the restaurants venues of TheRitz-Carlton, St. Thomas to new heights.”
When speaking about can’t miss desserts, no other name in the region elicits a more passionate response than that of Hedy Goldsmith. Recently awarded a James Beard nomination (Outstanding Pastry Chef 2012), the Executive Pastry Chef of The Genuine Hospitality Group of restaurants (Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami and Grand Cayman, Harry’s Pizzeria in Miami) remains one of the most respected professionals in the country.
With the October 2, 2012 release of her debut cookbook, BAKING OUT LOUD: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors (Clarkson Potter), Goldsmith is busier than ever. Now in her 3rd season of Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets, she has appeared on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Iron Chef America and Food(ography). Hedy and her recipes have been featured in People, The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, The New York Times, Bon Appétit, The New York Post, Wine Spectator, Huffington Post and MSNBC. Hedy is a regular contributor on foodnetwork.com and her seasonal recipes can be found on cookingchannel.com.
Hedy creates desserts that are layered with straightforward flavors, textures and techniques. “My whole life has influenced the desserts that I make, and those early salty-sweet memories and big flavors still shape my palate.” In Hedy’s first cookbook, you’ll find signature in-your-face flavors like her tangerine cremsicle pots de crème, buttered popcorn gelato, chocolate bourbon fudge tart and basil panna cotta as well as playful riffs on her childhood favorites like her now legendary Pop Tarts, Snickers, Milk Chocolate Candy Bar, Nutters and O’s.
Goldsmith lends her time and support to a number of causes dear to heart like Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation which helps raise money and awareness of childhood cancer causes, primarily research into new treatments and cures.
With over 30 years 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). After nine successful years as a popular local Restauranteur, Keith is now focusing on teaching, cooking demonstrations and Personal Chef Services.
Maitre Cuisiniers de France and Award-winning Chef Bernard Guillas joined La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Inc. as executive chef in June 1994. Right at home in La Jolla, Guillas’ affinity for the coastal lifestyle reminded him of his home in Brittany. Guillas is responsible for directing the resort’s three restaurants and all catering operations for the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, 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 seasonings to titillate the palate. He learned his alchemy early. Born into a family of butchers, bakers, and restaurateurs, Guillas’ Britannic upbringing was influenced by his daily exposure to fine cuisine.
Guillas has published his first cookbook, Flying Pans with co-author and chef de cuisine of the Marine Room, Ron Oliver. Flying Pans was awarded two IACP book of the year awards in the categories of Chefs and Restaurants and the coveted People’s Choice.
Cindy Hutson is a self-taught chef who developed a passion for cooking at the age of nine. Inspired and amused by the “Original” television culinary genius of the “Galloping Gourmet” and “Chef Tell”, the would emulate their creations on Saturday afternoons.
In her teen years she was exposed to Italian and Portuguese cuisine through her best friend's father, a successful restauranteur from New Jersey. After leaving New Jersey to head for the sunny skies of Miami, she honed her skills as a sport fishing captain and mate on a 36 foot Bertram Yacht. It was over those years of fishing, she procured a touch for handling and preparing many ocean delicacies.
Taking time out from fishing in 1985,Hutson married Jamaican born, Charles Hutson. Together they opened Blue Mountain Imports, a Jamaican coffee and condiment import / export company. During her travels back and forth from the Blue Mountains and beautiful Jamaican coastline, Hutson began cooking Island cuisine.
She relished in the highly aromatic herbs and spices that grew in the mountains, bringing them down to prepare fresh caught Parrotfish from the North Coast reefs. Her Island hopping included the Bahamas, Barbados, Martinique, The Virgin Islands, Mexico and more. With every island stop she learned something about that island's history and cuisine.
When asked “are you spreading yourself too thin?” Hutson reply’s “This culinary travel is what I thrive on teaching other chef hopefuls about our earth’s bounties and edible history. Their indigenous ingredients regionally prepared. What more could an artist ask for?
Memphis native Raymond Jackson graduated from The Institute of Culinary Education and then worked for Emeril Lagasse in three different restaurants in New Orleans and Orlando. He also worked with Norman Van Aken in Miami and Key Largo. His travels later took him to the Loire Valley and Italy after which he returned to New York to head a number of restaurants specialising in Spanish tapas, regional BBQ and the Best Fried Chicken in Westchester County. Chef Raymond moved to the Cayman Islands in mid-2012 and has been heading the culinary team of Dine by Design Catered Events, a sister company of Al La Kebab, creating inspired menus for local and visiting clients.
As the chef of Abacus restaurant, Chef Jacobson has spent over 20 years in professional kitchens. After completing his culinary apprenticeship in Calgary, positions with Delta & Canadian Pacific Hotels in the Canadian Rockies followed. Further experience with private golf clubs in Victoria, B.C. & Calgary, Alberta, created an opportunity to join the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Grand Cayman in 1993. He then moved on to roles in Grand Cayman which included opening the renovated Rum Point Restaurant and serving as the Executive Chef of the Marriott Beach Resort.
Ron briefly left Cayman, working in Florida & California but was lured back to enjoy the great quality of life on the island when offered the opportunity to open Prime Churrascaria and then Abacus.
Ron was fortunate to train with members of the Culinary Team Canada & Team Alberta, earlier in his career which allowed him to earn a place on the Cayman Culinary Team and represent the Cayman Culinary Society in competition & culinary festivals in the United States & Canada.
In his spare time you will find Ron on the golf course perfecting his swing or taking a ride around the island on his motorcycle.
Food For Thought was founded in 2004 by Chef Wayne Jones O’Connor. He wanted to make available his catering services after many years of entertaining friends and family in his home. Wayne has spent the past 19 years working with some of the island’s finest Chefs.
Before arriving in Grand Cayman, Wayne worked in England, The Channel Islands and Switzerland. Bringing his wealth of experience here to Grand Cayman, Chef Wayne now owns and operates Food For Thought outside catering, located in Cayman Business Park, Elgin Avenue in the heart of George Town.
Chef de Cuisine Luis Lujan was born in the small town of Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2003, Chef Lujan joined The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and has worked at The Ritz-Carlton, New York Central Park, Cancun, and Orlando Grande Lakes. Recognised for his culinary acumen, Chef Lujan was selected to compete for the prestigious award of Best National Young Mexican Chef 2007, and he merited first place. In December 2009, Chef Lujan joined The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman as Chef de Cuisine for Blue by Eric Ripert.
Considering his position as one of South Florida’s foremost seafood provocateurs, it’s not surprising to discover that Dean James Max, the Executive Chef of 3030 Ocean, grew up on a small farm just minutes from the rich shores of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay.
His modern American cuisine has been noted as “stylish” and “tongue tingling” by Gourmet magazine. Dean, himself, would claim that his love of food comes from living in Florence, Italy, his technique derives from working with French chefs and his understanding of what freshness is all about was learned from growing up on a farm.
Chef Dean is President of DJM Culinary Inc., which specializes in restaurant concept development and ongoing management. He has celebrated the launch of many destination restaurants: Latitude 41 (Columbus, Ohio), AMP 150 (Cleveland, Ohio), Asador (Dallas, Texas), and The Brasserie (Cayman Islands).
He has appeared on Home & Garden’s “Smart Solutions”, “The Organic Farmer”, as well as the TV Food Network’s Challenge.
Chef Frederic Morineau undertook the role of Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman in 2008 overseeing one of the largest culinary divisions within The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company worldwide. With a career that spans over a decade, Chef Frederic has presided in the kitchens of some of Europe and the Caribbean’s finest four and five star establishments.
Frederic Morineau joined TheRitz-Carlton family in 1996 and has worked for and overseen many of premium Ritz-Carlton culinary divisions including The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, Atlanta, and Sarasota.
In 2011, Chef Frederic was invited into the ranks of one of the most prestigious associations of chefs in the world: the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France. He is only the second Maître Cuisinier presently working in the Caribbean.
While some chefs stumble into their occupation, Chef Niven Patel realised his passion for the culinary arts from a young age, and after his first taste of the restaurant world during culinary school, he was hooked.
At the age of 19, Patel started working with renowned Chef Dean Max, his most influential mentor. After travelling to Italy to cook for six months, he joined the opening team of Watertable Restaurant at the Renaissance Baltimore. From there, Patel went on to become the Executive Chef at the four-diamond resort Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada, Florida, before joining The Brasserie team here in Cayman.
One of Patel’s strengths is his ability to assemble a team of professionals with the skills and passion to help him deliver his critically acclaimed dishes. His goal is to build cooks into chefs. For young cooks Patel offers this advice: “Be inquisitive. Every time there is something you don’t know, research it, look it up”.
As corporate chef for the CertifiedAngus Beef ® brand, a position he has held since 2006, Scott Popovic marries his extensive culinary experience with an enthusiasm for beef. Popovic enjoys educating cooks of all types about premium beef and sharing preparation tips, recipes and product information. Whether he’s visiting with consumers at special events or working hand-in-hand with great chefs in their own kitchens, Popovic shines as the brand’s ambassador and culinary connoisseur.
A cum laude graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, S.C., Popovic is well known and respected in the culinary world, particularly in his native Northeast Ohio, after stints at several notable restaurants both in Cleveland and Las Vegas. Popovic has cooked with many now-famous celebrity chefs: Doug Katz, Michael Symon, Charlie Palmer and Jonathan Bennett, to name a few. He’s also presented at the notable James Beard House in New York City (an honor given to only the world’s best and most exciting chefs), taught hands-on cooking classes and appeared frequently on radio and television in many parts of the country.
When Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink premiered in the Miami Design District in 2007, it opened to immediate acclaim and standing-room-only crowds. In an unpretentious setting, diners enjoy congenial service, a relaxed yet sophisticated setting and the straight forward, ingredient-driven cuisine of chef/owner Michael Schwartz.
With the launch of his eponymous restaurant, Schwartz (46) defined the Miami Design District as Miami’s hot new dining destination, raising his profile from well-respected local culinary personality to a nationally renowned culinary innovator. Honored with the prestigious 2010 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef South, Schwartz is recognized by his peers and the diners that flock to his restaurant for his culinary chops, as well as his supportof local farmers and commitment to sustainability.
Schwartz is a sought after television personality/culinary guest, having appeared nationally on a plethora of programs, including Rachael Ray’s Rachael’s Vacation, Throwdown with Bobby Flay,After Hours With Daniel Boulud, Top Chef, and Simply Ming with Ming Tsai, among others. Schwartz will cook along side Emeril Lagasse on the celebrity chef’s new Cooking Channel show, Fresh Food Fast.
A native of Philadelphia, Schwartz first became known to Miami diners in the mid-1990s when he opened Nemo, an exciting venue that quickly became one of South Beach’s most beloved restaurants – a hit with visitors and locals alike. Kudos quickly followed, including Nemo’s designation as one of the Best New Restaurants in America by Esquire Magazine. Under Schwartz’s aegis, other South Beach restaurants – Shoji Sushi and Big Pink – followed and were equally successful.
Schwartz,who considers himself a disciple of Alice Waters, has achieved national renown by creating the taste that diners crave – simply sublime cuisine created with the highest quality ingredients.
In February 2011, Schwartz’s first cookbook, Michael’s Genuine Food: Down to Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat, published by Clarkson Potter, went on sale.
Fourth in his family and second in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to earn the title Maître Cuisinier de France (French Master Chef), and a fifth generation restaurateur, Xavier Salomon’s passion for food began at his family’s kitchen table in Savoie, France.
Salomon’s European tenure includes training under Jo Rostang at his Michelin Three-Star restaurant La Bonne Auberge in Antibes, France. In 1991 he joined The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company as the executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Aspen and in 1996 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 has overseen all dining experiences throughout the resort including its signature restaurant Navio. His passion for utilizing Northern California’s rich bounty of local harvests has resulted in an acclaimed dining experience which has won national acclaim for The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay and its accomplished culinary team.
Born in Mumbai, India his passion for cooking began as a child spending time in the kitchen of the famous Udupi restaurants. He joined the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands in 1994 and his dedication paid off in 1999 when he won the prestigious award of “Chef of the Year”.
Even with his challenging schedule, he finds time for the community and participates in various culinary presentations. He is president of the Cayman Culinary Society. Chef Shetty now welcomes guests on an exciting and exotic culinary journeys at Blue Cilantro –one of Cayman’s premier restaurants.
Stephen Toevs’ lifelong passion for cooking began shucking clams on a family fish boat off the waters of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. As his talents matured and combined with his Portuguese roots, he created an eclectic cooking style.
As Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix (since May 2011) Stephen wants his food to contribute to the guests’ experience. So with each culinary creation, he strives to combine individual flavours and aromas that harmonize together to bring a moment that will never be forgotten.
Chef Toevs has been with the Marriott family for over eight years, graduating from the Culinary Institute of America; Hyde Park, New York in 2003. He began his culinary career as Sous Chef at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott in Texas cooking his way through the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. He had the prestigious honour of being a regional finalist in the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a young chef competition, cooked at the James Beard House in 2010 and is also the founder and chief cook of Desert Ridge Pit Masters; winning numerous awards in Arizona’s BBQ circuit.
Joseph Watters’ interest in producing delectable cuisine started from an early age. He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa, Canada and is now a partner and Head Chef at Osetra Bay in the Cayman Islands. Joseph’s cuisine is eclectic and exciting and he is dedicated to providing a unique experience as opposed to just an enjoyable meal. He describes his food as “Sport Dining” and the dining room his “Arena”.
German national, Rainer Zinngrebe is the Vice President Culinary, Corporate Chef Luxury Brands and as such heading the culinary program at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel company globally. With over 32 years of culinary experience, Rainer has travelled widely, absorbing the culture and food ethics of the countries inwhich he has lived and worked spanning from Canada, Mexico, the Far East and the United States to Great Britain and mainland Europe. Renowned three Michelin starred Chef Pierre Koffmann referred to Chef Zinngrebe as “one of the mostbrilliant young chefs to graduate from my restaurant, La Tante Claire in London”.
During his time as the EAM Food & Beverage and Culinary at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore, he published his first cookbook, Beyond Fusion, a new look at ethnic influences on contemporary cooking. His latest book titled Small Bites Big Taste was published in 2009. Rainer also co-authored several other cookbooks, most notably the book Provenance in 2010.
Rainer is a member of the German Chefs Association, WACS World Association of Cooks Societies, Singapore Chefs Association and the International Food and Beverage Forum.
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