KAABOO Cayman PALATE: Meet The Culinary Connoisseurs

We’re one step closer to diving into KAABOO Cayman with the announcement of our very first PALATE chef lineup! These masterminds are ready to fill your belly with great eats and good times all weekend. You may be familiar with some of these names, but just in case you aren’t, here’s some more information about who exactly will be sharing their cooking knowledge with you this February:


Michael Mina

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Mina was raised in Ellensburg, Washington. He had his first restaurant job at 16, and has been in the industry ever since. During his career he established Mina Group, which currently operates over 40 restaurants around the world. He’s cooked for three US Presidents and published a cookbook in 2006. His style is centered around the balance of four elements: spice, sweetness, acidity and richness. Long story short, we can’t wait to try what Mina brings to the table (literally).


Richard Blais

Blais was born in Uniondale, NY and had his first cooking job at a McDonald’s on Long Island where he was trained in the basics of operating a kitchen. He received an AOS in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America and is the founder of “Trail Blais” (you’re ‘punny’, Richard), a culinary company that has designed and operates some of Atlanta’s most popular eateries. Did we mention he was also a contestant (and later winner) of Top Chef? Don’t miss this top-rated chef at KAABOO!


Michelle Bernstein

Between her catering company and cafe businesses, dedicating time to Common Threads (an after-school program for underprivileged kids), partnering with Delta Airlines on First and Business Class menus, AND working with Miami International Airport and American Express on the Centurion Lounge menu, Michelle Bernstein has a full plate. Having hands in multiple buckets hasn’t hindered her ambitions though; Bernstein is also a Lexus Culinary Master, a member of the Macy’s Culinary Council, and makes frequent TV appearances on local Florida shows. Catch her if you can in Grand Cayman this February.


Nina Compton

Born in St. Lucia, Compton grew up surrounded by the sights, sounds and flavors of the Caribbean. She fell in love with cooking and the culinary arts during an internship in Jamaica, and continued to pursue her dream of becoming a chef at The Culinary Institute of America in New York. Compton now operates two critically-acclaimed New Orleans restaurants, and is also the culinary ambassador of St. Lucia. See this culinary mogul’s style and skill in just a few months!


Cody Bush & Anthony Lawson

Smokin’ Bros, Bush and Lawson’s mobile food company, was founded after years of cooking for family, friends, the community and local charities and events. Further, the duo have competed and won several on-island events including Best Jerk Chicken Contest (won twice) and Best Amateur Chef at Cayman Cookout. Their philanthropic work and food company have helped Bush and Lawson perfect their culinary skills and benefit others on the island. See their positive impact on Cayman for yourself at PALATE.


Dylan Benoit

When he’s not traveling the globe sampling food and drink for multiple international publications, Benoit is a private chef and can be found in the Cayman Islands curating bespoke culinary experiences for guests from around the world. He will also be the host of the upcoming show, “Fire Masters”, which is set to air on Food Network Canada in spring 2019. Learn more about Benoit’s world culinary view this February at KAABOO.


Josef Felts

“When a guest leaves the table, it is my goal that we have created a memory.” Texas native Josef Felts first started cooking as a way to feed his family while his mother commuted to and from her job. From there, Felts was hooked and pursued his dream, and was mentored by big name LA chefs Rafael Lunetta and Josiah Citrin. His love of food and understanding of its power to bring people together makes him a unique and outstanding chef.


Maureen Cubbon

Although born in Canada, Maureen “Mo” Cubbon has made The Cayman Islands her home for the past 18 years. She earned some major recognition when she took first place in Food & Wine Magazine’s 2013 Cayman Cookout Cook-Off competition. The also introduced the “Cayman Style Food Revolution” - a way of empowering people (especially children) to become food conscious and to get into their kitchen and cook. See what else she brings to the table in February.


Thomas Tennant

Ever since first exploring cooking as a child using recipes from his family’s library, Thomas Tennant has seen great success in the culinary industry. He discovered his love of local ingredients during his time at Michael Schwartz’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami. An expert in combining global techniques with localized ingredients, Tennant has made more than a name for himself in the Cayman Islands as well as worldwide.

The first ever KAABOO PALATE experience is quickly approaching, bringing with it delicious food and outstanding chefs. Are you ready to dive into delicious? Grab your KAABOO Cayman passes now and come hungry!