Grace Bay Resorts Reveals Celebrity Chefs


Grace Bay Resorts Reveals Celebrity Chefs & Winemakers Headlining Renowned Cuisine and Culture Event Held Nov. 3 – 6

Grace Bay Resorts Reveals Celebrity ChefsProvidenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (June 6, 2016) – Grace Bay Resorts, in partnership with the Turks and Caicos Tourism Board and The Wine Cellar, today released the star-studded roster of world-renowned chefs, winemakers, restaurateurs and more, for the Sixth Annual Caribbean Food & Wine Festival. Taking place on the island of Providenciales November 3-6, 2016, the four days long festival has quickly become the premier culinary event in the Caribbean pairing highly-regarded tastemakers with Turks & Caicos’ diverse local talent for an authentic and innovative celebration of Caribbean cuisine.

This year’s headliners include:

  • Shawn McClain – Culinary expert, James Beard Award-winning chef and executive chef/partner of Sage in Las Vegas and Green Zebra in Chicago.
  • Elizabeth Blau – Renowned restaurateur, James Beard Award nominee, founder and CEO of Blau + Associates and judge on CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup”.
  • Kim Canteenwalla – Co-owner and culinary visionary behind the award-winning Honey Salt in Las Vegas.
  • Robin Daniel Lail – Founder and winemaker at Lail Vineyards, legendary vintner and co-founder of Dominus Winery, Maryville vineyards and Auction Napa Valley.
  • Ken Fredrickson – Master sommelier, founder of TENZING wine and spirits, importer and partner at Brewer Clifton Winery.
  • Eric Wente – Fourth generation winegrower and chairman of the board at Wente Vineyards.
  • Joy Spence – Master Blender at Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum and known for being the world’s first female master blender.

“The diverse, far-reaching innovations and accomplishments of this year’s all-star participants—from playing a key consulting role in some of the world’s most successful venues to James Beard Award recognition—should bring a fascinating element to this year’s events,” said Nikheel Advani, Caribbean Food & Wine Festival Co-Chair. “Now entering its sixth year, the Caribbean Food & Wine Festival’s stellar reputation has created an international stage for chefs and winemakers from around the world to come together for an entirely unique gastronomic experience that supports our local community.”

The non-for-profit festival will raise funds for The Department of Youth Affairs, Lit’l Chefs mentor program. The program supports and encourages young local chefs to develop skills that will assist them in pursuing careers in hospitality, a vital industry of Turks and Caicos.

“The Caribbean Food & Wine Festival has become both a key calendar event and a noteworthy island tradition, offering a rare opportunity not only to highlight the phenomenal talent we have here in Turks and Caicos, but to elevate the guest experience by partnering with some of the world’s best chefs and winemakers,” said Hon. Porsha Stubbs-Smith, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Heritage & Culture. “The festival provides an authentic taste of local culture and inspiration from the latest global culinary trends.”

Guest Chefs

The sixth annual event welcomes Shawn McClain an award-winning chef and restaurateur.  His newest restaurant Sage, at Aria resort in Las Vegas, is a seasonal ingredient-focused New American dining spot that curates an ever-changing menu of contemporary American cuisine with global influences.  He opened his first restaurant, Spring, in Chicago in 2001 to extraordinary critical acclaim. That same year, Spring was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant award, and McClain was named Esquire magazine’s Chef of the Year. By 2004, McClain opened his second restaurant in Chicago, Green Zebra. An immediate success, this vanguard concept brought vegetables to the center of the plate and was lauded by The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine and several other prestigious publications. In 2005, he swung the pendulum in the opposite direction and opened Custom House. Located in an historic, boutique hotel setting in Chicago’s Printer’s Row, this modern interpretation of the classic steakhouse focuses on artisan meats and classic sides reinterpreted with McClain’s unique flair.

Founder and CEO of restaurant development company Blau + Associates and James Beard Award nominee, Elizabeth Blau is widely credited with transforming Las Vegas into the world-class culinary destination it is today. Blau began her career working with famed restaurateur Sirio Maccioni, catching the attention of well-known casino developer Steve Wynn. As the mogul’s vice president of restaurant development, she revolutionized Las Vegas dining by attracting award-winning chefs to the groundbreaking Bellagio. In 2002, she founded Blau + Associates, quickly turning the firm into one of the foremost restaurant development companies in the field. A dynamic television personality, she’s a judge on CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup” and has been featured on the Travel Channel and the “Martha Stewart Show.” Currently, Blau and her group operate three restaurants in Las Vegas, including local favorites Honey Salt, Andiron Steak and Sea, and Buddy V’s Ristorante.

Kim Canteenwalla, co-owner and culinary visionary behind the award-winning Honey Salt in Las Vegas as well as principal and co-founder of Blau + Associates tops off the line up. Former executive chef of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi, Canteenwalla has managed restaurants and resorts around the world, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Dubai, and Thailand. A participant in dozens of high-profile culinary events, Canteenwalla is a four-time participant in Best Hotel Chefs in America series at the James house and proudly serves on the Culinary Council of Three Square, a Las Vegas based food bank. He also works as a culinary advisor for the Life Is Beautiful Festival, an annual celebration of art, music and food in Las Vegas. Currently, he serves as chef partner of Buddy V’s Ristorante, a collaboration with his wife Elizabeth Blau and TV’s “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro. Recently, the restaurant power couple announced two new restaurants in Las Vegas: Made L.V., a modern American tavern, and an unnamed concept scheduled to open in Downtown Summerlin.

Guest Winemakers

Robin Daniel Lail, founder of Lail Vineyards and longtime Napa Valley vintner, is part of one of the greatest family legacies in Napa Valley. Lail’s accomplishments include co-founding Dominus Winery with Christian Moueix in 1982 and co-founding Maryville vineyards with Bill Harlan in 1983, where she served as president for twelve years. Selling both ventures in the 1990s, she began creating her own extraordinary wines when she, along with her two daughters, Erin and Shannon, started Lail Vineyards in 1995. Her lengthy legacy in Napa includes co-founding the valley’s primary fundraising event, Auction Napa Valley. Today, the venture carries forth the stories of more than 135 years of winemaking in the Napa Valley. Lail continues her family’s exciting legacy and her passionate quest to produce world-class wines.

As one of 144 Master Sommeliers in the United States and 6 in Chicago, Ken Fredrickson is an acclaimed judge of many wine competitions. He is a member of the elite international Court of Master Sommeliers and reached the ranks of Master Sommelier in 2000 following critical acclaim for his wine programs alongside world-renowned chefs Charlie Trotter at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and Wolfgang Puck in Las Vegas, at Spago and Chinois. Fredrickson currently operates Tenzing, an artisanal wine and spirits importer and wholesaler in Chicago, and holds stake in Brewer- Clifton Winery located in Santa Barbara County California. The winery is 100% Estate with 65 acres under vine concentrating on just Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

As a fourth generation winegrower and chairman of the board at Wente Vineyards, Eric Wente oversees his family’s operations, which include nearly 3,000 acres of vineyards, an award-winning restaurant, a Greg Norman-designed championship golf course and a vineyard development company. Wente is also responsible for Wente Vineyards’ dynamic expansion into worldwide export markets. The vineyard now exports to more than 70 countries worldwide and is considered a leader in the export of ultra-premium wines. From 2005 to 2006, Eric served as chairman of the board of directors for the Wine Institute, the public policy advocacy association of California wineries. Additionally, he served as chairman of the Wine Institute’s International Policy Committee, a position which he held for many years.

Recognized as the world’s first female master blender, Joy Spence is responsible for blending Appleton Estate Jamaica Rums. Based in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, home of Appleton’s headquarters, Spence oversees the quality of all existing and new blends. Jamaica-born, Spence’s journey toward becoming the world’s first Master Blender began when she was only thirteen years old, when her chemistry teacher sparked her interest in chemistry and science. Working at the company since 1994, Spence allows her skill, passion for her craft and spirited personality shine through each individual bottle. With a unique blending and aging process, her Appleton Estate blends have a rich flavor profile that enhances cocktails and elevates the rum category to a new level of elegance.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, November 3 – Amanyara
Welcome Dinner

The kick-off dinner for the weekend-long events, features exceptional creations by Chef Shawn McClain.

Friday, November 4

Women of Wine Luncheon – Fire & Ice at Blue Haven Resort

This event caters to the adage “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” by offering an extended lunch break in a relaxed environment for women who love wine with headliner Elizabeth Blau. 

Gourmet Safari – Progressive gourmet dining experience

This interactive ‘dine around’ gives festival guests an opportunity to discover the Island’s incredible restaurants. Now in its ninth year, the Gourmet Safari was the original event that served as a catalyst for the festival and continues to be a guest favorite today. 

  • Gansevoort – Innovative cocktails
  • Coyaba – First course
  • Seven Stars – Fish course
  • The Regent Palms – Meat course
  • Grace Bay Club – Dessert

Saturday, November 5

Food & Wine Pairing – The Palms
Intimate food and wine pairing seminars highlighting meat, seafood, cheese and dessert with tasting rooms showcasing guest chefs and winemakers with support from the aspiring local talent of the ‘Lit’l Chefs’ mentor program.

Island Street Food Fair – Salt at Blue Haven

A fun, family-friendly event featuring local entertainment that showcases island restaurants’ expert grilling & barbeque techniques for the enjoyment of locals and tourists alike.

Dinner with the Stars – Grace Bay Club

Headlining Chef Kim Canteenwalla pairs his signature recipes with the winemakers’ rarest vintages for a lavish dinner experience, allowing guests to dine under the beautiful Grace Bay stars alongside the festival’s featured stars.

Sunday, November 6

Sunday Brunch – The Shore Club
A casual brunch event catering to guests craving a taste for more of the weekend’s festivities.

For tickets and additional event information, please visit or contact

About the Turks and Caicos Islands

The 40 islands of the Turks and Caicos Islands, of which eight are inhabited, are renowned for their award-winning beaches, diving and array of world-class resorts. Additional activities include tennis, golf and horseback riding. The Islands feature a variety of spa and body treatment services and is home to the world’s only conch farm. In 2015, Providenciales was selected as the World’s Best Island in TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards. There are three daily 90-minute direct flights from Miami, a US Airways direct flight from Charlotte, twice weekly flights from New York and weekly flights from Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Toronto. For more information on travel, visit the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board’s website at or call (800) 241-0824.

About Grace Bay Resorts

Grace Bay Resorts is a boutique developer and operator of high-end, luxury resorts and branded residences, founded from its flagship property Grace Bay Club which opened in 1993. The brand has grown in recent years with an ownership stake in the management of West Bay Club and The Residences, a micro resort with exclusive luxury private, freestanding beachfront villas, all in Turks and Caicos. Led by Mark Durliat and Nikheel Advani, the developers and hoteliers behind this renowned brand, and Michael Brewster, Grace Bay Resorts provides development, branding and management expertise for luxury five-star boutique hotels and branded residences.  Grace Bay Resorts is expanding its award-winning brand and services across the Caribbean destinations and Latin America, with a target of 10 properties in the next few years.

About The Wine Cellar

The Wine Cellar has been a landmark in the Turks & Caicos Islands since it first opened under the banner of Discount Liquors in 1987. The Company is licensed to conduct business as liquor importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers of alcoholic and tobacco products.  The Company’s activities are conducted on Leeward Highway, the main thoroughfare that runs through Providenciales, the most densely populated island in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Its core product offerings include beers, wines, spirits, soft drinks, and a variety of cigars and cigarettes and is also known for having the island’s largest retail wine cellar with an assortment of over 400 different brands and a thriving wine tasting club and clientele. The growth in the afore-mentioned industries has provided The Wine Cellar with a unique opportunity as it has enabled us to make a decisive entry into the wine and spirits market.  In doing so, we have secured meaningful distribution and sales of their products to all the resorts on the island as well as the many restaurants that have been established to meet the needs of visitors to the island’s shores.