Chef Features 2013
Cayman attracts chefs of international repute to its shores year after year. Here are profiles of some of the best resident chefs on the island. Make sure you pay them a visit to sample their specialties!
Gilbert Cavallaro has been immersed in the Cayman Island’s restaurant scene since 1999. His experience on the Island began at Lantana’s on Seven Mile Beach, followed by the Hyatt, Rum Point and Hemingways Restaurant. Gilbert then moved to the Ritz-Carlton’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 Cavallaro’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 visit the Cracked Conch.
Cindy Hutson is a self–taught chef who developed a passion for cooking at the age of nine. Inspired and amused by the television culinary genius of the 'Galloping Gourmet' and 'Chef Tell'. After high school Hutson left New Jersey to move to the sunny skies of Miami. In late 1994 Hutson met a new life partner, Delius Shirley. In November 1994 they opened their first restaurant together, 'Norma’s on the Beach'. Along with a number of other successful ventures, the couple opened Ortanique on the Crescent at Camana Bay in November 2010. The restaurant’s menu reflects the same global inspirations as the menu of Ortanique on the Mile in Florida. The Grand Cayman location gives Hutson the ability to have a diversified Caribbean 'tapas' menu along with her full moon 'Caja China' pig roasts. Cindy was also named 'Chef of the Year' by Chef Magazine in 2011.
A quest for creativity was the impetus and continues to be the driving force behind Chef Niven’s career. Patel’s first glimpse into the restaurant world was during culinary school, and he was hooked. At the age of 17 he started working and still does with renowned Chef Dean James Max, who he credits as his most influential mentor. Starting his career at 3030 Ocean Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale Florida, Chef Niven worked there for six years then travelled to Italy to cook for six months, returning to the US to be a part of the opening team of Watertable Restaurant at the Renaissance Baltimore. Patel went on to become the Executive Chef at the four-diamond resort Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada, Florida for two years. Chef Niven Patel is now excited to join Chef Dean Max again as the Head Chef at The Brasserie Restaurant and Market.
Born in Mumbai, Executive Chef Vidyadhara Shetty's passion for cooking began as a child in the kitchen of the famous Udupi restaurants. His appreciation for the delicate art of blending spices, that is the hallmark of good Indian food, developed from observing and helping his mother. In 1985 he joined the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition in Mumbai, India. He cruised the Caribbean as Chef with the cruise ships of the Caribbean for five years. Chef Shetty joined the Hyatt Regency in Cayman in 1994 and now has his own restaurant, Blue Cilantro, as well as being President of The Culinary Society. Chef Shetty’s recipes fuse European cuisine with a good measure of Indian and Caribbean flavours. His food reflects his goal to encourage Cayman chefs to create “authentic contemporary Caribbean” dishes.
Click here to see "Cayman's Best Chefs" from 2012