The Ladies and Gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman are driven by passion, shaped by human connections and rooted in finely honed expertise.
Recreation Manager - Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment
I find inspiration in numerous sources, not least my fellow Ladies and Gentlemen and the collaborative environment that is needed to create lasting memories for our guests. Above all, I am constantly inspired by the possibility of showing people new things, teaching them skills that they could never have dreamed they were capable of, and challenging myself to showcase the natural world in its finest form through my own photography and videography. My favorite quote comes from Michael Jordan, who simply said, “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them,” and I believe a part of my inspiration begins with having high expectations.
My team has the opportunity to tell a truly unique story to each and every guest because we create luxury experiences in the natural world; the wonderful thing about nature is that it’s constantly moving, adapting and evolving, so our experiences will never be exactly the same twice. My craft lies in bringing this story alive and educating people about how they are connected to the world around them, so that they can make the most well-informed environmental choices in their everyday lives.
Becoming stronger through times of adversity and developing community engagement. I am proud to lead our Ambassadors of the Environment program in creating a loyal community of inspired local guests, not only surviving through challenging times, but thriving. This is achieved through strategic thinking and positioning of our unique offerings and has laid the foundation for our team’s success.
Chef de Cuisine, Blue by Eric Ripert
The beauty of the Cayman Islands, especially the beauty under the water. I’ve recently started scuba diving and it’s incredible! It also gives you a sense of responsibility on how to treat our natural resources and I think that it’s very important to use sustainable fish and not overfish our oceans. I’m very mindful of this every day, especially when driving to work and looking at the beautiful ocean on my way to our beautiful restaurant. The Cayman Islands is a special place to work and it inspires me every day. My team at the kitchen and my front of the house team inspire me daily as well. It’s amazing when you put three or four ingredients on the table and see what everyone thinks about it and that’s the input I use when creating a dish, the best ideas from everyone to create a memorable dish.
Some would describe it as an art and I see how my craft has evolved from the beginning to where it is now, it’s not easy although it looks easy sometimes on TV shows and such but it is a very demanding job. It can be the best job in the world, taking you all over the world - for me, I’ve been all over Europe, China and now the Cayman Islands. It’s one of the jobs that you can basically choose where to work but you need to understand the essence of the job, know the basics, you can’t just go to school for three years, hop in the kitchen and think you can hack it. I think the reputation of chefs and cooks has changed a lot over the years, in a very good way, so (Many) people get more inspired by what we do. We have so many employees in the hospitality industry and the reputation just keeps getting better. I would highly recommend it but you have to commit 100% to be successful, you have to be willing to put in the work. For me it’s the best job in the world and I wouldn’t think about doing anything else.
I get asked this question all the time but there are so many moments that it’s hard to choose one. Starting when I was 15 years old, looking back now, how lucky I was to find a great spot to have my apprenticeship. I was the only apprentice for three years and compared to others, my level was much, much higher. Later in my career it was very helpful and I’m very grateful to my parents. Another moment is when I got my first accolade in Vienna, from Gault&Millau, I was 23 or 24 years old and by far the youngest one to receive that. Also, when I was like 30 I received the Golden Cloche in Austria, which rewards Austrian Chefs who work abroad and on the highest level. One of the highlights is to receive the opportunity to work for a chef like Eric Ripert in the Cayman Islands. My first Cayman Cookout and every Cookout ever since. To have the opportunity to connect with the chefs that attend and the feeling of being on the same level as them certainly inspires me every day.