For a while there, it looked like Las Vegas was the in-style target for the great expansionist chefs of the world. Over the last few years, though, a number of restaurants have opened in the Bahamas, St. John, Grand Cayman, and Puerto Rico that help make the case for the Caribbean as a viable alternative for chefs seeking to expand their footprint.
These restaurants range from hotel outposts by Alain Ducasse (MiX on the Beach, Vieques, in 2010) and an upcoming Ritz-Cartlon project from José Andrés (in Puerto Rico), to riskier ventures from Zak Pelaccio (Fatty Crab, St. John, in 2011). The standard approach seems to be to rehash greatest hits recipes, incorporate local ingredients (something that the Vegas desert does not provide), and find inspiration in the surroundings.
Also see Michael Schwartz, Laurent Tourondel, Eric Ripert, Bobby Flay, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Nobu Matsuhisa with their very own Caribbean outposts.
Chefs in the Caribbean
· Jean-Georges Vongerichten (Fern in Puerto Rico, two locations of Dune and a Café Martinique in Paradise Island, the Bahamas)
· Alain Ducasse (MiX on the Beach, Puerto Rico)
· José Andrés (forthcoming project in Puerto Rico)
· Nobu Matsuhisa (Nobu, Paradise Island, the Bahamas)
· Bobby Flay (Mesa Grill, Paradise Island, the Bahamas)
· Michael Schwartz (Michael's Genuine Food and Drink, Grand Cayman)
· Zak Pelaccio (Fatty Crab, St. John)
· Laurent Tourondel (BLT Steak, Puerto Rico)
· Eric Ripert (Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman)
Any glaring omissions? You know what to do.Read More