Ten chefs combined their culinary skills in support of a good cause at the Ritz-Carlton and came up with extraordinary creations that tantalized the taste buds and wowed guests with unique designs on Friday evening.
Dinner of the Decade was a gastronomical fundraiser for Stay-Focused, the Sunrise Adult Training Centre and Cayman’s Culinary Society.
Following the champagne reception, featuring hors d’oeuvres, an array of canapés, and a photo display of Stay-Focused divers, guests were treated to an eight-course menu with different wines for each course.
During the delightful evening, guests got the opportunity to show their support for the three organizations by bidding on a number of items during the silent and live action.
They also heard from guest speakers including Stay-Focused disabled diver 17-year-old Ryan Chalmers, his dad Gregg and President of the Veterans for America, Bobby Muller.
‘If you were allowed to float in a world that was endless, see a world that you’ve never imagined or believe in the impossible would you? I now do because of Stay-Focused,’ said Ryan.
The opportunity, he said, also gave him the confidence to believe that even though he has a disability he can do anything he puts his mind to.
‘It has been a dream come true. Grand Cayman has opened my eyes and made me realize that there are many things out there that to me used to seem impossible, but now I have realized that nothing is impossible. Stay Focused has not only taught me how to be confident but also to be independent.’
‘Stay-Focus provided me the gift of a lifetime – an opportunity that very few get to experience. I only hope that someday I will be able to do the same for other kids. I want to be able to make a difference in other peoples’ lives like Stay-Focused has done for mine,’ he said.
Ryan said when he was first approached with the idea to scuba dive it sounded cool despite his limitations.
‘My first dive was above all expectations. The barracuda staring at us, nurse sharks swimming through rock crevices, the beautiful scenery was like nothing I have every seen before,’ he said.
‘I went to Stingray City, visited sunken ships and buzzed around on underwater jets.’
The 10 participating chefs were Randall Burns, Chad Blunston, Frederico Destro, Franklin D’Souza, Keith Griffin, John Griggs, Stuart Mena, Simon Richardson, Eric Scuiller, and Vidyadhara Shetty.
Stay-Focused offers mobility-challenged persons the opportunity to become certified scuba divers, and learn lasting lessons about life and achievement.
The organization conducts all its programmes in Grand Cayman thanks to the generous support of sponsors through Roger Muller, founder/president Stay-Focused, Inc.