Meet The Chefs
Simeon B. Hall Jr.
A Renaissance Chef, Author and Entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in the culinary industry. Chef Simeon presently serves as the Owner of Simeon Hall Restaurant Management Group and the Restaurant Chef of La Hiki, Four Seasons Ko’Olina in Oahu, Hawaii.
As a fierce proponent of the ‘farm to table’ and ‘sea to spoon’ movements long before their mainstream popularity, Chef Simeon has gained an enviable reputation as an artisan who creates unforgettable and authentic culinary events, attracting those in search of their next culinary adventure.
Chef Eric Adjepong is the co-founder of Pinch & Plate, a full-service dinner party and event company based in Washington, D.C., alongside wife and decorator Janell Adjepong. He was also a contestant on Season 16 of Bravo’s Top Chef.
As a first-generation Ghanaian-American born and raised in New York City, Eric sources the flavors and influences in his cooking from many of the West African dishes he grew up eating. He is passionate about introducing diners to West African cuisine and the impact its diaspora has had on South American, Latin American and American food, all in his elegant, artfully plated style.
Israeli born Chef Gal Kotzer, is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute In New York City. After spending some time working at some of New York's restaurants, Chef Gal moved to Jamaica and spent the next few years living and working on the island as an Executive Chef for some of Jamaica’s finest hotels. In 2009, Chef Gal moved to The Bahamas as an Executive Chef at the Atlantis Resort for the next 6 years. He later served as Resort Executive Chef for the world famous One & Only Ocean Club.
Fast forward to 2017, Chef Gal, together with his Partner Wally Montesino, opened the Pink Octopus Restaurant in Nassau, New Providence. At Pink Octopus he cooks what can be described as “Nontraditional Bahamian and Caribbean Cuisine” which is ingredient and seasonal driven cooking, based on local products and flavors.
Over the past 25+ years, celebrated Pastry Chef Erika Cline has crafted some of the most scrumptious desserts and chocolates in the United States of America (USA). Erika’s grand career started in Detroit, Michigan as a Pastry Cook under the USA’s first Master Chef Milos. From there, Chef Cline's passion for the culinary arts spanned the countryside including renowned places like The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee and Ponte Vedra Country Club in Jacksonville, Florida. With philanthropy as a highlighted pillar in Cline’s career, over the years she has supported many charity events throughout the United States of America and Caribbean as well as began her very own non-profit organization, Culinary Wonders USA. With this effort she hopes to introduce, share and cultivate the culinary arts to minorities.
In July 2012, Erika opened and developed the chocolate program for Graycliff Chocolatier in Nassau, The Bahamas. Also in the fall of 2012, Erika became one of a select few celebrity Chefs to serve as Spokesperson for "Sunday Dinner Chefs" for Publix Supermarkets showcasing holiday entrees and desserts for the holiday season. In 2015, she married Chef Neil Cline where she worked along side him and also opened a chocolate boutique named Bleu Chocolat.
Known a unconventionalist and one of the pioneers in the local culinary community. Chef Wayne Moncur has almost 30 years of diverse culinary experience. His primary focus is to inspire, uplift, highlight and increase the awareness of organic Bahamian cuisine locally and globally.
Chef Moncur culinary journey began as an Apprentice Chef at the Bahamas Hotel Training College. Chef Moncur attained a Bachelor's of Science degree in Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University, Rhode Island. He received Culinary training at the Ritz Carlton, West Palm Beach, Florida. As well as advance culinary training at the Culinary Institute Of America, Napa Valley. Chef Moncur worked as a private Chef in Lyford Cay, Ocean Club Estates and held Culinary Executive positions at the Atlantis Resort & Casino. Chef Moncur was also the Executive Chef at the One & Only Ocean Club, Bahamas. Wayne Moncur is currently the Founder & CEO of SUN & ICE, a food stylist, food photographer, culinary consultant and soon to be cookbook author.
Notable accolades for Chef Moncur continues to blossom. He appeared on the ABC, LIVE with KELLY & RYAN Show. He created a three day Pop-up SUN & ICE shop at Sax Fifth Avenue, New York. He was prominently featured in the Travel & Leisure, Essence, Caribbean Journal, Travel Pulse, Hotel Food & Beverage, Luxe Getaways and currently, the Delta Sky Magazines. And if this is not enough, Chef Moncur is also a two time Culinary Olympian and Cacique awardee for “Chef of the year” in the Bahamas.
You could say Chef Digby Stridiron was born into food. A native of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Chef Digby grew up around what many today call the “slow food” movement—fresh, locally harvested ingredients and proteins gathered from the sea just steps away. Add to that a West Indian culinary tradition influenced by the African diaspora. With a deep focus on food equality, Digby is ultimately inspired by seasonal ingredient, regional recipes but allowing history to guide him. The St. Croix native was the Chef/ Co-Owner of the award winning restaurant “balter” in St. Croix, a recipient of high marks from the New York Times, Food & Wine, The Wall St. Journal, Bon Appetit, Plate, Travel & Leisure and Coastal Living. His cuisine earned "balter" a USA Today’s 10 Best restaurants in the Caribbean as well as a top spot and honorable mention in Carib Journal’s Top 50 Best restaurant in the Caribbean in 2016 & 2017.
A Community Leader, Stridiron served as a Culinary Ambassador for the U.S. Virgin Islands, and received the Chef of the Year award from the Caribbean Tourism Association. In conjunction with the James Beard Foundation, he attended one of the organizations’ boot camps and hosted the first James Beard Chef dinner ever held in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2014, he also founded WICA (West Indian Chefs Alliance).
As of late, Chef Digby has spent time collecting notes on the foodways of the American South and researching how it was influenced by the West Indies. In the near future, you can look forward to him traveling to different islands to collect notes that will be found in his upcoming cookbook. Braata, one of his newest restaurants opened in November 2018 and has been named as one of the 50 best restaurants by Carib Journal! Carib Journal has also named Chef Digby as their “2018 Chef of the Year” at the World Travel Awards. Most recently, Digby opened Ama at Cane Bay, a sustainable seafood restaurant on the North Shore of St. Croix.
Chef Alpheus began his training at the Bahamas Training College in New Providence, The Bahamas. During his apprenticeship and education, he worked at the Resort Hotels, Paradise Island, The Bahamas. It was there he honed and fine-tuned his skills under the watchful eyes of many Bahamian and International Chefs. Graduating as a comparable Tournant Cook, he accepted a position as a Buy Out Cook for the Kerzner International Hotels; though excited and overjoyed, he wanted more. After great thought and consideration, he enrolled in Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A., where he obtained a Bachelor's of Science degree in Culinary Arts Management and Food Science.
Thereafter, Chef Alpheus worked at Sandals Resorts, several notable restaurants within Kerzner International upon his return and became a Bronze Medalist in the Frankfurt, Germany Culinary Olympics with The Bahamas' Culinary Team. His jewel, however, is the Lukka Kari restaurant in New Providence, The Bahamas; this restaurant is a fusion Bahamian restaurant with a gourmet twist. His passion that became real! He continues to be a powerhouse on the Bahamian Culinary scene.
Chef Jeremy has gained acclaim for being an early pioneer in Chicago's underground dining scene with his pop-up event series "Tuesday Night Dinner" and his efforts were recognized by Zagat Guide having been inducted into their "30 Under 30 class in 2014". In 2017, he received a Michelin Bib Gourmand for his Basque-inspired menu as Executive Chef of mfk. in Chicago's East Lakeview neighborhood.
Becoming a staple in Chicago's culinary world through having worked at notable restaurants, Chef Jeremy has ventured out on his own with "Sweet Home". Sweet Home brings his vision of progressive Great Lakes cuisine life while paying homage to the food traditions of Chicago, the Midwest, and Great Lakes Region.
As a child watching his mom and dad compete at home to see who could prepare the best family dinner is what inspired Jamall to cultivate his passion for culinary arts. Chef Jamall: begun his journey in the apprentice chef program at Bahamas Hotel Training College. The program took him to the prestigious Crystal Palace Resort on famed Cable Beach, Nassau, better known as the Bahamian Riviera. There, he honed his God-given gift of cooking and developed his unique style of fusion cooking, where he marries international dishes with Caribbean flavors and spices.
Since graduating the program Chef Jamall has been honing his skills in the kitchen at a number of the top resorts in the Bahamas namely the world-famous Atlantis Resort, Paradise Harbor Club, RIU Resort, Paradise Island, Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort, Baha Mar and Courtyard by Marriott. He is currently the Residential Chef at the U.S Embassy, Founder of Taste Entertainment and Host of Taste Buzz radio show on Guardian Radio 96.9 FM.
Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Personal Chef and Caterer Benjamin "BJ" Dennis infuses the flavors and culture of the Lowcountry into his Gullah Geechee cuisine, bringing a new taste to the ever-expanding culinary palate of the south. Chef Benjamin's differentiating factor is in "southern" cooking that pays homage to the Gullah Geechee culture, brought to the Americas by West Africans, and disseminated along the West Indies and the American South. Dennis infuses the techniques of his ancestors, learned from four (4) years of study on the Isle of St. Thomas, as well as the lessons taught by his grandparents about eating from the land, to create fresh interpretations of local dishes focusing on in-season, locally sourced vegetables and seafood.
Recent appearances on P.B.S. "Moveable Feast" and Bravo's "Top Chef" have taken him and Gullah Cuisine to a national and international television audience. When you taste BJ's cooking, you can't help but re-think your idea of soul food.
Multiple Culinary Olympic medalist, noted ice carving artist, and Nassau, Bahamas native, Chef Basil Dean Jr. has over 30 years culinary experience in his locale and internationally. Beginning his culinary journey at the Bahamas Hotel Training College, he obtained his Culinary Arts certification.
Throughout his career, he has secured many positions, namely Sous Chef, Executive Sous Chef and Executive Chef at popular hotels and restaurants all over the world. Chef Basil has been employed with Coconut Cove Hotel in Exuma, Bahamas; Arcade in Baden Switzerland; Radisson Cable Beach Golf Resort in Nassau, Bahamas; Royal Plantation Spa & Golf Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma, Bahamas; Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, Bahamas; Warwick Paradise Island Resort in Nassau Bahamas; the Treatment Center West Palm Beach Florida in the United States of America and currently at The Warwick Hotel, New York, United States of America.
Known as the "Chef of The British Virgin Islands", Chef Neil Cline believes in culinary education and giving future Culinarians the foundation to be successful in the (Caribbean) culinary industry. Chef Neil has his Masters in Hospitality Management from The Baltimore International College, and for the last 25 years has been an Educator in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI). He began teaching in the high schools and later became the Director of one of the Caribbean's best culinary schools- The H. Lavitity Stoutt Community College Culinary Center. Now in his last years before retiring, Chef Neil has returned to the community as one of the Culinary Instructors at the Virgin Island School of Technical Studies. Giving back to the young community is one of Chef Neil’s greatest joys.
On Beef Island is where you could also find Chef in his element and loving the art of food and hospitality. As the Chef and Owner of De Loose Mongoose Restaurant and Beef Island Guesthouse. Every season, Chef Neil roles out with a new exciting menu along with great live entertainment that brings in guests from all over the world. In September 2017, the BVI were hit with two category 5 hurricanes, which caused major damage to De Loose Mongoose. Chef has begun construction on the new and improved De Loose Mongoose, which will reopen winter season of 2019.
Be it through participating in many charity events or traveling all over the Caribbean and world to celebrate culinary arts, Chef Neil has his plate full as an Educator, Restauranteur and Consultant. In May 2017, Chef Neil hosted the first "Minority Chef Summit" in the BVI, which invited over 20 of the top minority Chefs around the world. He is also the first BVI "Belonger" and Chef to cook at the infamous James Beard House in New York City in June 2017 for the West Indies Dinner. Neil was a busy chef this past spring of 2018 and 2019; he was invited to be the Guest Chef of Holland American Cruise line for the last two years. This culinary adventure on sea has taken him across the Atlantic Ocean from Tortola BVI to Gambia, Africa and throughout the southern Caribbean to showcase Virgin Islands cuisine.