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March 3, 2008updated Feb 11, 2013

Acclaimed New York Chef Gray Kunz Adds Culinary Luster to Molasses Reef, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Turks & Caicos Islands

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos – Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is partnering with lauded chef Gray Kunz to envision and create the resort’s three dining options, including its signature oceanfront restaurant.

Uninhabited for over 100 years, the island of West Caicos is opening its shores to a new development – West Caicos Reserve. The centerpiece will be the intimate 125-room resort, Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. The island will also feature Ritz-Carlton-branded Island Villas, secluded single-family homes, custom homes, cottages and marina townhomes, two national parks, cultural heritage sites, a Spa and three restaurants.

Inspired from the moment he set foot on the island, Chef Kunz says of the project, “There is no true way to describe West Caicos other than to see it for yourself. I am excited to be involved in creating three distinctive, memorable dining options at this singular place.” Celebrated for his heralded work at Lespinasse in New York City in the 1990s, Chef Kunz opened the one Michelin-starred Café Gray in The Time Warner Center in New York in October, 2004, and is planning his second establishment, Grayz, a destination bar and lounge with private event rooms in midtown, opening in September. The restaurant at Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, will be Chef Kunz’s first Caribbean project.

Authentic Design, Inspired Cuisine With the brilliant azure waters of the Caribbean as its backdrop and primary design element, the 114-seat restaurant will reflect the island’s barefoot luxury look and feel with Plantation-style design and several intimate indoor and outdoor terraced dining pavilions. Guests will enter through a wine room highlighted by a large plantation table where they will be able to taste and select wines, mingle and sample hors d’oeuvres. In the main dining room, a large display kitchen is the focal point, complete with a chef’s table set under a large pot-rack chandelier suspended from the vaulted ceiling. Inside, pitched plantation style ceilings, wide

plank dark wood floors, polished nickel edge detailing, and antique fixtures complement the expansive ocean view. Outside, wraparound terraces with sofas and ottomans create intimate seating areas, perfect for enjoying West Caicos sunsets.

With influences from his years spent in Singapore, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and paying homage to the island’s history, Chef Kunz’s menu will travel the globe, blending Asian and Western ingredients with fresh, local foods to create his signature Kunzian cuisine. Menu items will include dishes such as Salt Stone Simmered Lobster Tail with Harissa Sauce; Tobacco Smoked Blue Fin Tuna with Togarashi and a Citrus Glaze; Grilled Snapper with a Plantain Crumble, Crabmeat, Papaya and a Kaffir Emulsion; and Red Curry Lamb Stew with a Pink Lentil Crusted Chop and Eggplant Tart. Kunz’s food will be complemented by a world class wine cellar.

About Chef Kunz Born in Singapore and raised in Switzerland, Chef Kunz was trained in the techniques of Classical French cuisine and quickly made his mark in the culinary world at great restaurants including Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne and Restaurant Girardet in Lausanne. In 1990, the now-famed Lespinasse opened in New York City with Kunz at the helm. He quickly earned four-stars in The New York Times and dozens of top accolades besides, from The James Beard Foundation to Gourmet magazine. In October 2004, Chef Kunz returned to New York’s culinary scene with Café Gray, his version of an Eastern European Brassiere. The restaurant received a coveted Michelin Star in October 2005. Gray Kunz will open Grayz on West 54th Street in midtown Manhattan in September 2007, featuring both a glamorous bar and cocktail lounge, and luxurious private dining facilities. The restaurant at Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will open in late 2008 along with the resort.

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About Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve and West Caicos Reserve Blending traditional Caribbean architecture with English, French, Dutch and Spanish influences, Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will include 125 generously sized rooms in low-density buildings, two restaurants and a spa, spread along miles of uninterrupted beachfront. Completion of the resort, the first phase of the villas (approximately 30) and the marina is slated for late 2008.

The 11-mile-long, 6,000-acre island of West Caicos features some of the most sublime beaches and brilliant azure water in the Caribbean. It is home to the 500-acre Lake Catherine, a natural wildlife sanctuary and breeding ground for pink roseate flamingoes as well as Molasses Reef, rumored to be the final resting place of Columbus’ Pinta and ranking among the world’s top dive sites. Reachable only by boat, small plane or helicopter, transportation on island will be primarily by electric vehicle and bicycle. To ensure that the island remains unspoiled, approximately 90 percent of the acreage will stay permanently undeveloped and the projects slated for development will all be low density. For more information, call (649) 941-7480 or visit www.westcaicosreserve.com or www.molassesreef.com.

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