Booker & Zinc Meet the Chefs of Booker & Zinc | Booker & Zinc

Chef Nadia Raphael


Many chefs grow up with food comprising an essential part of their heritage. Memories of eating and cooking with family translate from a cherished childhood tradition to a lifelong career. For Bridgewater Marriott Specialty Restaurant Chef Nadia Raphael, her place in the kitchen was realized at an early age.

Growing up on St. Lucia taught Nadia many essential beliefs as they relate to her career. This island destination places much emphasis on the tourism industry as well as on the importance of local ingredients. Nadia watched her Mom prepare each meal from what she could find fresh that day — produce at the market, fish caught on a day boat and sold at the seashore, milk and eggs from the farmer, and herbs and spices grown in her family’s backyard. These were an inspiration to Nadia’s mother and still resonate in her own culinary philosophy today. She strives to take nature’s best and freshest ingredients, mix them with a lot of love, and paint a perfect picture using the plate as the canvas.

Chef Nadia’s culinary career began at one of the Caribbean’s leading resorts: Le Sport. When the Hyatt Regency opened on St. Lucia, she took advantage of the opportunity to expand her experience with the American company where she traveled to the Dallas Hyatt Regency for a culinary internship, followed by a promotion to Garde Manager Chef at the Hyatt Regency Cayman Islands and later the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. She also held culinary positions at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego as the three-meal Restaurant Chef, and then in Scottsdale, Arizona as the Banquet Chef before joining the Bridgewater Marriott.

For Chef Nadia, eating is living. Her favorite quote is by noted food author, Ruth Reichl: “Pull up a chair. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”