On 23rd and 24th March 2018, Cap Maison will welcome James Rigato of Mabel Gray, Detroit.
As an advocate for all things Michigan, Rigato has also become a leader in the renaissance of Detroit’s culinary scene, proudly supporting and uplifting his fellow chefs and so often serving as a connection point between people in the industry that you would be hard-pressed to find anyone connected by more than two degrees of separation. He is the Kevin Bacon of Detroit’s restaurant scene.
Rigato opened Mabel Gray in a small Coney-style diner on an abandoned stretch of Hazel Park’s main street in 2015. His sophisticated yet approachable menu aims to delight and nurture guests, people he considers family. His community-focused mentality is helping to renew the three-square-mile city hit hard by the recession. Since opening, the restaurant inspired others to open various other restaurants, bars, and businesses in the area. The state of Michigan even recognized the city with a community excellence award nomination thanks in part to Rigato’s efforts.
His tireless work has not gone unnoticed: Mabel Gray earned one of James Beard’s “Best New Restaurant” semi-finalists and Eater’s “21 Best New Restaurants in America,” and the Detroit Free Press “Restaurant of the Year.” Rigato himself was a James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes” semi-finalist; a Top Chef season 12 contestant; and was named “The People’s Best New Chef: Great Lakes Region” by Food & Wine.
Rigato was a guest of Cap Maison in November 2017 and we had just two questions to ask him, why he choose Cap Maison for his vacation and why he is keen to return as a guest chef.
Why choose St Lucia and Cap Maison for your personal vacation?
St Lucia has so much to offer! The rainforest, mountains, beach, history, people and food made our decision easy. Many of our friends had been and talked highly of the island. My girlfriend and I found the island to be a fantastic vacation and Cap Maison was the ideal place to relax, eat, swim and soak up the sun. We did many day trips including the boat trip to the Soufriere, which was incredible. Cap Maison is a world class resort.
Why are you keen to return as a guest chef?
Cap Maison’s culinary team produces some of the best meals on the island. I found myself looking forward to each meal, even before hunger set it. The island ingredients, Piton, rum drinks, fresh fish and warm service had me going back again and again. The sommelier and wine cellar make for an impressive beverage pairing experience as well. I’m very much looking forward to cooking there and hanging out with the team.
Join Rigato at the Cliff at Cap for dinner on 23rd March and at The Naked Fisherman on 24th March 2018.