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ERIC RIPERT  

@ericripert @lebernardinny

Eric Ripert, widely known for his acclaimed New York restaurant Le Bernardin, began his culinary journey at the age of 15 when he left home to attend culinary school. Two years later, he moved to Paris, where he worked, at the legendary La Tour D’Argent and the Michelin three-starred Jamin, where he would return after completing his military service. In 1989, Ripert moved to the States where he would hold positions at Jean Louis at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. and, eventually, Le Bernardin, where he is both the chef and co-owner.

Le Bernardin was named the No. 1 restaurant in the US and the No. 2 restaurant in the world by La Liste in 2017. Ripert is the vice chairman of the board of City Harvest, which works 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.

José Andrés

@chefjoseandres

Named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2012 and 2018, and “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” 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 known for his avant-garde cuisine and his award-winning group of 30 restaurants throughout the country and beyond. His innovative minibar by José Andrés earned two Michelin stars in 2016 and 2017 and with that, José is the only chef globally that has both a two-star Michelin restaurant and four Bib Gourmands. Andrés’ work has earned numerous awards including the 2015 National Humanities Medal, one of 12 distinguished recipients of the award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

EMERIL LAGASSE

@emeril

Chef Emeril Lagasse recently opened his 13th restaurant in the US, Meril in New Orleans, and premiered Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse on Amazon. He has hosted more than 2,000 shows on the Food Network, is the food correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America and has written 19 cookbooks.
He has been a guest judge Bravo’s Top Chef for three seasons and continues to host Emeril’s Florida on the Cooking Channel. His Emeril Lagasse Foundation supports children's educational programs through the culinary arts, nutrition, healthy eating and important life skills.

Dominique Crenn

@dominiquecrenn

Dominique Crenn’s parents had a strong influence on her love for the culinary arts- she began her formal training upon moving to San Francisco in 1988 to work at Stars. In 2011, Crenn opened Atelier Crenn where her “poetic culinaria” earned one Michelin Star in 2011, and it’s second the following year.

Crenn was awarded World’s Best Female Chef in 2016 by San Pellegrino’s 50 Best and in 2018 earned James Beard Foundation’s title of Best Chef: West. As an active member of the culinary community, Crenn promotes sustainability and equality through her collaboration with various organizations.

Amanda Cohen

@dirtcandynyc

Amanda Cohen is the chef and owner of Dirt Candy, her award-winning vegetable restaurant on the Lower East Side. The first vegetarian restaurant in seventeen years to receive two stars from the New York Times, it has been recognized by the Michelin Guide seven years in a row, and won awards from Gourmet Magazine, the Village Voice, and many others. She was the first vegetarian chef to compete on Iron Chef America and her award-winning comic book cookbook Dirt Candy: A Cookbook, now in its sixth printing, is the first graphic novel cookbook to be published in North America.

Emma Bengtsson

@emma._bengtsson

Chef Emma Bengtsson was named Executive Chef of Aquavit in 2014, after four years as Executive Pastry Chef at the restaurant. As Aquavit’s Executive Chef she has garnered (and retained) three stars from The New York Times and two stars from Michelin, the second female chef in the U.S. accorded that honor.

Prior to moving to New York, Emma worked at some of Sweden’s most renowned restaurants, including the two-Michelin starred Edsbacka Krog, Restaurant Prinsen, and Operakällaren. Emma attended Stockholm’s Hotel and Restaurant School after years of cooking at home with her mother and grandmother in Falkenberg, on the west coast of Sweden. 

Nancy Silverton

@nancysilverton

Nancy Silverton is the co-owner of Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza in LA, Newport Beach and Singapore, as well as Mozza2Go and Chi Spacca in LA. She also founded the world-renowned La Brea Bakery and Campanile Restaurant, an institution that Angelenos cherished for decades. Nancy has worked with some of the nation’s most notable chefs including in the kitchens of Jonathan Waxman at Michael’s Restaurant and Wolfgang Puck at Spago. Additionally, she has served as a mentor to numerous others who have gone on to become award-winning chefs and restaurant owners themselves.

In 2014, she received the highest honor given by the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Chef” as well as listed as one of the Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink by Fortune and Food and Wine Magazine. In early 2015, Nancy launched Nancy's Fancy, a line of premium gelato and sorbetto which will be sold in supermarkets nationwide. Additionally, she is the author of nine cookbooks including “The Mozza Cookbook”, and the newly released “Mozza at Home.”

Nancy Silverton has an amazing capacity for embracing the beauty of wonderful food, and will undoubtedly continue to do so for the rest of her ingredient inspired life.

Andrew Zimmern

@chefaz

Andrew Zimmern is a four-time James Beard award-winning TV personality, chef, writer, teacher and gracious dinner guest. As the creator, executive producer and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise on Travel Channel, Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by Food and The Zimmern List, he has explored cultures in more than 170 countries, promoting impactful ways to think about, create and live with food.

He has written three books, appears monthly in Delta Sky Magazine, and an entrepreneur-in-residence at Babson College. Andrew is the founder and CEO of both Intuitive Content, a full-service production company that develops and produces dynamic original content, and Passport Hospitality, a restaurant and food retail development company. He is devoted to his charitable endeavors and sits on the board of directors for Services for the UnderServed, Second Harvest Heartland and Taste of the NFL. His life’s work is about demonstrating and promoting cultural acceptance, tolerance and understanding through food. More at www.andrewzimmern.com.


Bob Nolet

Bob Nolet runs the Nolet Distillery, Schiedam, Holland, alongside his father Carolus Snr and older brother Carl Jr. Both Bob and Carl Jr.’s role is to continue to share the story of Ketel One Vodka across the world. Together, they are following in their father’s footsteps, travelling bar to bar, and city to city across the world, meeting one bartender at a time.

Bob truly has inherited the Nolet family’s talent and passion for crafting quality spirits which can be traced back ten generations to his great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Joannes Nolet who first opened the Nolet Distillery in 1691.

Andy Myers

Andy Myers has been in restaurants for all but 14 of his years; apparently, he is 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 Beverage Director for Jose Andres' 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's passionate about German Riesling, but he will drink great Burgundy if you let him. He also became a Master Sommelier in May of 2014 and if asked he would tell you that the experience was awesome.

Bob Peters

Bob Peters is 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 as well as for his ability to entertain. Peters has won numerous awards including the 2015 Global Bartender of the Year for The Ritz-Carlton.  

He has been featured in international culinary magazines as well as countless local and regional publications. In the spring of 2016, he accompanied some of the most elite chefs from Charlotte, North Carolina to the coveted James Beard House in New York City to present a “Taste of Charlotte” dinner to the Big Apple’s food fanatics. In January 2017 and most recently in January 2018 Bob was a featured mixologist at the highly acclaimed Cayman Cookout food festival hosted by Eric Ripert, as well as the featured talent at the Charleston Wine & Food, and the Atlanta Food & Wine Festivals.

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.

Charles Joly

Charles Joly is a Chicago-native and lifelong food and beverage professional. His career has been quickly rising in the national and international mixology scene with a long list of competition wins and industry awards. In 2014, Charles was named Global Bartending Champion in Diageo's World Class Competition – one of the industry's most prestigious awards. His other accolades include a 2013 James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program at The Aviary, James Beard Award nominations in 2015 - 2018 for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional, and he was named American Bartender of the Year in 2013 at the annual Tales of the Cocktail.

Additionally, Charles has received much industry praise, being named one of Bon Appétit ‘s 10 Most Influential Bartenders, one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top Spirit and Wine Professionals and Crain’s 40 Under 40. He has also contributed his talents to a number of high-profile events including Oprah’s 25th Anniversary Party, the 2015 Grammy’s, 2016 & 17 Emmys, the 2016, 17 & 18 Academy Awards, celebrity weddings and The Kentucky Derby.

A certified mixologist, Charles focuses on a balance between the classics and his own seasonal original cocktails. With a strong emphasis on knowing the roots of the craft along with a progressive vision for the future, the menus he’s created are a glimpse at mixology in the second golden age of the cocktail.  Charles’ cocktails are distinguished by his emphasis on seasonal, fresh ingredients. When not working in Chicago, Charles travels the globe studying spirits and cocktails at their roots, educates bartenders and spreads his passion for spirits and cocktails.  

Enrique de Colsa

Upholding the heritage, highest quality standards and characteristic flavor of Mexico’s No. 1 ultra-premium tequila is no small feat, but for Enrique de Colsa, Master Distiller of Tequila Don Julio, it is his greatest accomplishment.

While working alongside Don Julio González at La Primavera Distillery, de Colsa not only built a long-standing personal friendship that goes beyond the agave fields, but also developed a passion for crafting the finest tequila, the kind that can only be inspired by learning first-hand from Don Julio himself.  While he quickly mastered the technical aspects of tequila making, it was de Colsa’s unwavering commitment to Don Julio’s distinctive handcrafted methods and his innate understanding of flavor profiles and aromas that proved he was the ideal person to preserve the legacy of perfection for the original luxury tequila.
As Master Distiller, de Colsa is responsible for tasting and evaluating the subtleties and nuances of each different tequila, managing the barrel-aging process to impart further depth of flavor, and fine-tuning every blend to assure consistency.  His favorite part of the job is maintaining the integrity of flavor through the cooking and distillation process.

Interestingly, he started his relation with Tequila Don Julio with the pivotal contribution of working in 1989 to design the iconic, hand-blown glass bottle and wooden stopper that is still used today.  It was during this time that de Colsa was invited to officially join the Don Julio family in 1999 as plant director and after Don Julio retirement in 2004 he became as master distiller. Having the responsibility, since that time, to produce and maintain the tequila Don Julio production and quality, participating in develop of Don Julio 1942 and the creator of Don Julio 70th in 2010 which changed and renew the tequila industry.

When he’s not at the distillery, de Colsa enjoys spending time with his family, friends, golfing, traveling, music, making cocktails and reading.

Kaitlyn Stewart

Kaitlyn Stewart began bartending 11 years ago when she found her passion for making great experiences and excellent drinks for her customers. Born in Toronto, she got in to bartending as a means to help pay for University but fell in love with the craft and is now based in the Royal Dinette, in Vancouver.  

A fan of shaking up a wide selection of innovative yet approachable drinks, Kaitlyn loves to incorporate local spirits and seasonal ingredients, creating delicious cocktails along the way.

In 2017 Kaitlyn entered World Class, competing and winning the Canadian round of the competition and then joining 52 bartenders for the global finals in Mexico City for the 9th instalment of the world’s biggest bartending competition. Kaitlyn progressed to the top 10, battling it out in the locally inspired ‘Lucha Libre’ challenge before making it to the final four, where she was then crowned the World Class Bartender of the Year in a glittering final awards ceremony.

Since her win in Mexico City, Kaitlyn has travelled to Europe, across Canada as part of the World Class program, on a mission to inspire and engage with other bartenders around the world and share the message of better drinking.

Michael Kennedy

Michael Kennedy is an award-winning sommelier and vintner. He began his career in the wine industry in the United States at an early age, working for a Napa-based winery and later becoming the sommelier for Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Washington DC. Michael then moved to the Cayman Islands, where he held the Head Sommelier position at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and Blue by Eric Ripert. In 2016, Michael and his wife, Rachel, yearning to get back into the winemaking side of the business, returned to Napa Valley to launch their winery, Component Wine Company. Since founding their winery, he has been named Forbes 30 Under 30 and his winery has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Food & Wine and other publications. In 2018, Kennedy expanded Component Wine Company to Bordeaux, France, where he produces single varietal, single vineyard wines with the wine-making team of Château Lynch-Bages in Pauillac.

Amba Lamb

Amba Lamb is an award-winning mixologist at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Originally from New Zealand, she moved to the Cayman Islands in 2014 as a bartender for what is currently Andiamo, the Italian restaurant of the resort, She later moved on to Seven and now is the Beverage Manager for the resort. In 2017, Amba participated in the World Class Cocktail competition in the Cayman Islands, winning first place for her innovative and flavorful creations. Having earnt the title as the best bartender in the Cayman Islands, she went on to compete at the World Class Global Final 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 bartenders.  


Frederic Morineau

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.

Jennifer Dodd

Chef Dodd serves as the Sous Chef at 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 and Hotel Institute of Canada.

Melissa Logan

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.

Marcello Piacentini

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.

Thomas Seifried

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.

Xavier Salomon

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. 

Carlos Sierra

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.

Rainer Zinngrebe

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.

Gabriel Haaz del Campo

Chef Gabriel Haaz del Campo’s culinary journey began in his home country of Mexico, where he attended the Culinary Institute of Mexico, where he earned his culinary degree specializing in Fine Dining and International Cuisine. In 2012, he moved to the United States to join the team at Salt, the AAA Five Diamond restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Eager to evolve and implement his experience and specialties, Gabriel came across an opportunity in the Cayman Islands where he quickly moved up the ranks and now oversees all special functions and club catering as the Banquet Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

Akhmad Apandy

With over 16 years of experience in the culinary industry, Chef Akhmad Apandy brings a wealth of knowledge and skills in both fine dining and events to Cayman Cookout. Akhmad leads the Garde Manger team at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman in supplying quality product in hotel restaurant and function needs. With work experience from the Middle East, South East Asia and China, he successfully brings the best sushi experience to the property’s Japanese restaurant, Taikun.

Paula DaSilva

Brazilian native Paula DaSilva joined the team at Burlock Coast at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale in Fall 2017 as Chef de Cuisine, bringing her imaginative farm fresh dishes, rich with the flavors of South Florida’s abundant flora and fauna to the kitchen. She was recently promoted to Executive Chef for the property, overseeing all culinary operations.

DaSilva began her professional culinary career at 3030 Ocean at the Harbor Beach Marriott. She also competed in the fifth season of Fox Network’s Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey and finished as the season’s runner-up and fan favorite. In 2010, DaSilva took her talents to South Beach as the executive chef of 1500 Degrees at the illustrious Eden Roc Hotel. Her culinary skills at 1500 Degrees earned massive praise and wide-ranging appeal, including a nod from Esquire magazine as one of the “Best New Restaurants in America.”

Prior to joining The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale team, DaSilva served as Executive Chef and simultaneously oversaw all food and beverage operations for Artisan Beach House at The Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour in Miami. 

Fabien Gnemmi

Fabien Gnemmi joined The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale in January 2015 as Executive Chef, where he was responsible of overseeing all food and beverage outlets. Now he has escalated the ranks to Food and Beverage Director where he plays a pivotal role in the overall culinary operations for the property.

Gnemmi’s career began with an internship at Chateau De La Pioline where he worked directly under Executive Chef Jean-Marie Merly. His hard work was quickly recognized and Gnemmi became the Culinary Supervisor for Hotel du Golf. In 2000, Gnemmi landed his first luxury brand position as a line cook at the Four Seasons.

In 2002, Gnemmi joined The Ritz-Carlton family as a supervisor at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. He has held several culinary positions at various Ritz-Carlton properties including Assistant Garde Manager and Banquet Chef in Hotel Arts Barcelona; Executive Sous Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota; Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas; Executive Chef and now Food and Beverage Director for The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale.

Yann Bernard Lejard

Yann Bernard Lejard has been the Executive Sous Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain since 2014.  He has worked in one, two and three Michelin Star-restaurants as well as international leading hotels across 18 countries. He has been expressing his art through travel in places like Jakarta, Bali, New York, Cleveland, Sanya, New Delhi, Mexico and more.

Plates by Yann Bernard Lejard are unique and distinctive. His eye for colour and his way of drawing sauce on a plate show his signature style and have set about a new wave of plating for chefs all over the world.