Treat Yourself: Luxury Cayman Villas Offers A Private World-Class Chef For Every Culinary Desire

LEE_8544_original 1Photo Credit: Executive Chef Vincent Logan / Photo Courtesy of Luxury Cayman Villas

“I look to great chefs like Thomas KellerCharlie Trotter and the late Anthony Bourdain for inspiration, and enjoy fusing cuisines from around the globe to create palate-pleasing dining adventures,” explained Executive Chef Vincent Logan, one of the top chefs in the Caribbean and culinary chief of Luxury Cayman Villas.

One of the best well-kept secrets of the Cayman Islands, until now, is the ability to rent ultra-luxury villas that spare no expense, leave no stone unturned, and that cater to your every whim and desire. Concierge? Check. Housekeeping? Check. Private charter to sail the clear blue? Check. World-class private chef? Check. Enter Luxury Cayman Villas. They’ve thought of everything long before you have to, and their attention to detail, anticipatory wit, and commitment to excellence is best exemplified by Chef Logan, who honed his culinary chops around the world, including the distinct honor of serving two former U.S. presidents.

In an interview, Chef Logan describes his passion for food and cooking from a young age, the skills he had to acquire to grow professionally, his philosophy of using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, the inspiration for some of his signature dishes and more.

Although trained as a classical French chef, Chef Vincent and his cuisine are influenced by the robust culinary scenes in the destinations in which he has honed his craft over the years. From the vineyards of California’s wine country, to the bright lights of Las Vegas, to the rich culture and verdant cliff sides of Hawaii, to the grand esplanades of the United States’ capital in Washington, DC, he tries to incorporate something from the varied locations in which he has had the fortune to learn and serve during his accomplished career into every meal for his guests.

While at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, the Four Seasons Great Exuma, the Aladdin Casino in Las Vegas and the storied Mayflower Hotel in the District of Columbia, Chef Vincent had the privilege of preparing meals for former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush, as well as notable public figures like Celine DionDanny DeVito, Eddie Van Halen, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.

35 Deck 7Photo Credit: Point of View Villa / Photo Courtesy of Luxury Cayman Villas

Was there a moment of inspiration, or an experience, when you were younger that made you think, “Ah, I should be a chef!”?

Without a doubt, my love and passion for preparing food came from my mother. Watching, learning and helping her cook meals for the family instilled in me at an early age both the passion and the drive necessary to become a chef.

Although I took a detour from my passion for a time to earn my degree in drafting, design and architecture, I found myself cooking even while in school. And while I try to carry the creativity and refined sensibility that my education fostered into my cuisine, as I always say, “if you cook food like mama makes, you can never go wrong.”

As your career developed, and you began to master your craft, what were some of the hardest things you had to learn along the way to grow professionally?

While cooking came naturally for me, growing professionally meant learning how to work as part of, and then leading, a team of culinary professionals.

Leading a team comes with great responsibilities—the responsibility of communicating your vision to your team, the responsibility of encouraging that team to adopt your vision, and the responsibility of giving your team the space to show their own creativity to allow them to influence and shape that vision.

08 Master Entry tightPhoto Credit: Point of View Villa / Photo Courtesy of Luxury Cayman Villas

How would you describe your approach and philosophy given your role as head chef for Luxury Cayman Villas?

I endeavor to ensure that every Luxury Cayman Villas guest walks away having enjoyed a wonderful dining experience and having formed a lasting memory of their adventures in the Cayman Islands.

To do that, I insist on using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, as well as sustainable and organic proteins and produce, whenever possible, to give each visitor a real taste of the Caribbean. I also look to great chefs like Thomas KellerCharlie Trotter and the late Anthony Bourdain for inspiration, and enjoy fusing cuisines from around the globe to create palate-pleasing dining adventures.

As one of the top chefs in the Cayman Islands, how do you maintain the inspiration and creativity necessary to adapt to wildly different personal needs of guests coming from all walks of life?

It is precisely the challenge of surpassing the expectations of our guests that inspires me and sparks my creativity.

Cayman is a true melting pot of cultures, with over 120 different nationalities living together here in harmony. Not surprisingly, then, our guests at Luxury Cayman Villas come from all over the world and from a multitude of different backgrounds and experiences. Each day in Cayman inspires and challenges me to fuse these various cultures and ingredients together to surpass our guests’ every expectation.

Whether I’m preparing a Caribbean twist on a comfort food from one of our guests’ home countries, or an elevated grilled cheese sandwich (with the crusts cut off) for one of our youngest and most demanding clients, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with our guests to create menus and dining experiences that they’ve never enjoyed before.

04 Living RoomPhoto Credit: Point of View Villa / Photo Courtesy of Luxury Cayman Villas

What are some of your signature dishes that never fail to delight, and what have been some of the more unique personal requests you’ve had to entertain on the island?

My canápe of local conch fritter with firecracker sauce, made with locally grown scotch-bonnet peppers, has a gentle kick and blends together so many traditional Caymanian flavors.

I also love to serve grilled Caribbean lobster tail with callaloo mashed potatoes. “Callaloo” refers to both a local leafy green that’s not unlike kale, as well as a popular dish with origins in West Africa that’s made from these greens. The callaloo mashed potatoes pair perfectly with the delicate lobster for a unique, yet accessible, island flavor.

For something light and fresh, I also love to grill and serve whatever the fishermen in George Town—the capital of Cayman—have caught that day. Caymanians are historically a seafaring people, and the daily fish market there still provides fresh wahoo, mahi mahi, grouper, lionfish and more. You just can’t beat a meal pulled straight from the ocean earlier that day.

While I’ve had my share of interesting requests over the years, we at Luxury Cayman Villas very much value discretion. After all, one of the great joys of renting one of our villas instead of staying in a resort is that you can truly be yourself and enjoy the security, tranquility and unparalleled privacy that comes with staying in our one of our estates.

But, whatever the request might be—from a challenging dietary restriction, to a special celebration, to an unexpected cultural fusion—we do our utmost to give our guests the experience and service they deserve.

LEE_8548_original 1Photo Credit: Executive Chef Vincent Logan Creation / Photo Courtesy of Luxury Cayman Villas

Finally, is there such thing as the perfect dish?

In a word—no. A dish can always be better, more interesting, more sublime. That’s why cooking is so exciting. It’s always evolving, and what was near perfection yesterday must be topped today.

I strive each day to do better than the one before, and I love incorporating new cultures, local flavors and unique ingredients into my cooking to do just that.

LEE_8593_original 1Photo Credit: Executive Chef Vincent Logan Creation / Photo Courtesy of Luxury Cayman Villas