Young Chef Young Waiter Cayman Islands Winners Announced

~ Sebastian Amaya from The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman came out on top for the chefs, and Rosie Mckitrick, from Agua Hospitality Group won for the waiters, after an exciting one-day final at Blue by Eric Ripert at The Ritz Carlton~

Friday, 15 September 2023: Last week, the live finals of Young Chef Young Waiter Cayman Islands took place at Blue by Eric Ripert at The Ritz Carlton. Six young chefs and waiters from across the Cayman Islands competed to be named the competition’s top young chef or waiter, and the winners were announced at an awards ceremony hosted by The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.

The live final took place after the competition’s three chef finalists prepared canapés for an elite board of guests at the Governor’s House for a special Young Chef Young Waiter Governors reception, on Saturday 2 September.

The two Cayman winners will go on to compete in the Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist world finals in November, at the Lycée Rainier III, formally the Lycèe Technique et Hôtelier de Monaco, showcasing their abilities to world class chefs, hospitality experts, and mixologists.

Each of six talented young hospitality superstars at the finals had submitted a video entry to YCYW Cayman Islands, and the full list of entries was then whittled down by a panel of expert judges, Head Chef Judge, Frederic Monineau, Executive Chef at The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman; Head Waiter Judge, Walter Fajette, Co-Owner and Director of Auga Hospitality Group; Christian Reiter, Executive Chef at The Wharf Restaurant, and Christian Esser, Learning and Development Manager for WINESCHOOL3.

The two Cayman Islands winners are Sebastian Amaya from The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman for the chefs, and Rosie Mckitrick, from Agua Hospitality Group for the waiters.

Since being established in 1979, Young Chef Young Waiter has become a firm fixture on the UK hospitality industry calendar, with groups of talented young chefs and waiters competing each year to be named the UK’s Young Chef or Young Waiter winner. 2023 is the second year the Cayman Islands competition has taken place, after Brittney Bodden of Tomfoodery Kitchen, and Laurent Bodden of Grand Old House, won the chef and waiter mantles in 2022. 

YCYW Cayman Islands is open to all chefs and waiters working in Cayman who are under 28 years old, from any background. The world final will be held at the Lycée Rainier III, formally the Lycèe Technique et Hôtelier de Monaco, on Thursday, 23 and Friday, 24 November 2023.

Pictured below, the runners up of Young Chef Young Waiter Cayman Islands 2023:

The judges for each category at the live final included:

Young Chef Young Waiter Cayman Islands 2023 chef judges:

Young Chef Young Waiter Cayman Islands 2023 waiter judges:

For the last two years, Young Chef Young Waiter Cayman Islands has been supported by Seven Mile Beach luxury beachfront estate, The Watermark Grand Cayman, providing valuable opportunities and coaching to young Caymanians working in hospitality, with sustainability and community at the heart of both Young Chef Young Waiter and The Watermark’s values.

Fraser Wellon, Developer, The Watermark, Grand Cayman said: Congratulations to Mr Amaya and Ms Mckitrick on their wonderful achievements at the regional Young Chef Young Waiter Cayman Islands competition. The Watermark is honoured to support our local talent and couldn’t be more thrilled to see them highlighted on the global stage. We wish them well in the world finals in November.” 

Young Chef Young Waiter Cayman Islands is proudly supported by Agua Hospitality Group, The Wharf, PDL Distributors, The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, NEFT Vodka, Mykonos, Mise En Place, Tortuga, WineSchool3 Cayman, Tillies, Grand Old House, Palm Heights, and of course, The Cayman Government. World Young Chef Young Waiter is supported by Great Campaign & Culinary Institute of America (CIA) globally.

Martyn Roper, Governor of the Cayman Islands said: I was delighted to host this wonderful event celebrating our exceptional young talent and promoting careers in Cayman’s world-famous hospitality industry. The canapés were stunning and included beautiful blends of flavours. I’m excited to follow the future careers of these exceptional chefs and waiters. Congratulations to all who took part. I wish every success to our Cayman winners, Sebastian and Rosie, at the World Final in Monaco in November.”

Frederic Morineau, Executive Chef, The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman said: “As the Executive Chef of the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, it is one of my main missions to promote the hospitality careers in the Cayman Islands.  Showing to our young Caymanians and Residents that becoming an Hotelier or a Restaurateur can bring you happiness, success and make a decent living at the same time. This is Why I am involved with Young Chef Young Waiter organization as we share the same goals.” 

Walter Fajette, Director and Co-Owner, Agua Hospitality Group: “I “Being a judge in the YCYW competition has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I had the privilege to witness the passion, creativity, and dedication of these aspiring talents. It reminds me of when I start my career. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and being part of their journey is an honour that reaffirms my love for the art of gastronomy and service. I loved to be involved as a judge for the opportunity of mentoring, providing constructive feedback, and inspiring these young minds to push the boundaries of their culinary prowess. I look forward for next year competition.”

Christian Esser of WineSchool3 said: “At the intersection of culinary art and exceptional service, the Young Chef and Young Waiter competition shines brilliantly. For us at Wineschool3, what was especially captivating was its dedication to nurturing the next generation of gastronomy professionals. Christian Esser and our entire team of Wineschool3 were inspired to participate, eager to both learn from and contribute to this vibrant community of young talent.”

Sean Collins, Managing Director, Mise En Place Ltd. Said: “Mise en Place was honored to be one of the sponsors of Young Chef Young Waiter Cayman Islands 2023, as a leading food service provider in the Cayman Islands. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the winners of this year’s competition. We are aligned with YCYW’s commitment to recognizing and motivating young chefs and waiters in our community and we are grateful for the opportunity to support such a wonderful initiative.”

~ ENDS ~

About Young Chef Young Waiter

Promoting Hospitality as a career of choice, a profession, and a vocation. World Young Chef Young Waiter is a global competition open to all young professional waiters and chefs from any background. Combining a 44-year heritage with a lively new format, 2019 saw the hugely exciting, highly successful return of YCYW. Expanding over the years 2022 saw our first global audience with 7 countries from around the world competing for the title of World Young Chef Young Waiter Champion. The competition will hit the global stage again in 2023 being bigger, better and, more sustainable than ever, supporting the global hospitality community and providing a platform for creativity, education and innovation that can be shared by all.

Find out more about the competition here:





For more information, quotes, or images, please contact Matthew Carter-Burwell (

Our Global Partners and Supporters