Bahamas Culinary & Arts Festival


Special Guests

Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind many restaurants including Red Rooster Harlem, MARCUS Montreal, Marcus B&P, Red Rooster Overtown, Streetbird at Yankee Stadium and Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House. Samuelsson was the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times and has won eight James Beard Foundation Awards. He is a longstanding judge on Food Network’s Chopped, head judge on Top Chef Family Style and Iron Chef on Netflix’s Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend. Samuelsson is the author of multiple books including his latest book The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food.

Daniel Boulud

Daniel Boulud, a native of Lyon, France, is considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities and one of the most revered chefs in New York, his home since 1982. Best known for his eponymous, exquisitely refined DANIEL on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Boulud has continually evolved his cuisine and expanded across the United States, as well as Canada, The Bahamas, Singapore and Dubai. He is the author of ten cookbooks, the recipient of multiple James Beard Foundation awards including “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurateur.”

Dario Cecchini

Dario Cecchini is an award-winning celebrity butcher from the village of Panzano in the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy. Dario comes from a long line of Cecchini butchers. After taking over the family business from his father in 1976, Cecchini found his mission – to protect the art of butchery with the belief that all cuts of meat can be utilized when cooked properly, eliminating waste and promoting sustainability. Carna, located at Baha Mar is a contemporary steakhouse concept helmed by the legendary Butcher.

Amanda Freitag

Born and raised in New Jersey, chef, television personality, and author Amanda Freitag has become a culinary maven. Following her graduation from the Culinary Institute of America, Amanda worked in a diverse mix of restaurants in New York City and around the world. Outside of the restaurant business, she is well known for being a judge on Food Network’s “Chopped” and has appeared on “Iron Chef America”, “Next Iron Chef”, “Unique Eats” and more. Her mission to make cooking more approachable inspired her cookbook “The Chef Next Door”, as well as her new digital series “Easy AF” where she shows that making delicious food can be fun and easy in your home kitchen.

Carla Hall

Carla Hall first won over audiences when she competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars” and shared her philosophy to always cook with love. She is a trained chef who has worked in several professional restaurant kitchens in and around the Washington, D.C. area and believes food connects us all, a belief she strives to convey this through her work, her cooking, and in her daily interactions with others. Her latest cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration, was published in 2018, landing on annual “Best Cookbook” lists across the country and receiving an NAACP Image Awards nomination.

Simeon Hall Jr.

Chef Simeon here! I’m eclectic- which means that conjuring out-of-the-box culinary experiences is my passion and fuel. I grew up where pristine sands complement the ever-changing hues of an ocean that kissed the sun daily. This paradise is known to some as Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, but to me it is simply home. I have evolved from an apprentice to a true Culinary Artisan, Griot, Food Ambassador, Event Curator, Movie Consultant, Author and Private Chef to countless visiting celebrities. All rooted in colorful, fragrant, and classic flavors and ingredients, many of which the world has yet to discover.

Ming Tsai

Chef Ming Tsai is a James Beard & Emmy Award-Winning chef, philanthropist, T.V. personality, and entrepreneur. He is the creator of award-winning restaurants, author of five cookbooks, and current host/executive producer of PBS-TV’s Simply Ming. In 2022, Chef Ming Tsai became Iron Chef Ming Tsai as he joined the cast of 5 world-class chefs in the Netflix series Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend.

Margarita Carrillo Arronte

Margarita Carrillo Arronte is a TV host, restaurateur, chef, author, and a global ambassador of Mexican cuisine. Born and raised in Mexico, she has dedicated the past 30 years to researching, studying, teaching, and cooking traditional Mexican food. She trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Cuclu Cultura Culinaria UNAM and is the former owner of Don Emiliano in Baja, Turtux restaurant in Mexico City and La Colina in Tokyo, Japan. She is known as one of the most well-respected chefs in Mexico and is the author of Mexico: The Cookbook (Phaidon) as well as Tamales y Atoles Mexicanos (Larousse).

Ray Isle

Ray Isle is the Executive Wine Editor for Food & Wine magazine and the Wine & Spirits Editor for Travel + Leisure. Ray writes Food & Wine’s monthly “Bottle Service” column, and contributes regular print and online features about wine, spirits, and wine-related travel. He has been nominated three times for a James Beard Award and has twice won an IACP Award for Narrative Beverage Writing. He speaks regularly on wine at live events and is a frequent guest on national media, having appeared on programs such as TODAY, CNBC’s On the Money & Squawk Box, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and American Public Media’s “Splendid Table,” among others.

John Cox

John Cox is a Bahamian artist whose mixed-media paintings and assemblages use familiar objects to reference distant places and ideas. In addition to his artwork, Cox has played a major role in Bahamian art culture as an educator, curator, and cultural activist, helping to grow and redefine art in The Bahamas. Cox is currently the Executive Director of Arts and Culture at Baha Mar, overseeing The Current – the resorts art center and gallery. In 2022, he became a PlaceMaker for the Rosewood group of hotels and was recently named Chairman of Board of Directors for The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.