Chef Thomas Tennant of Michael's Genuine - Biography

George Town, Grand Cayman

March 2014

Born in Miami to Argentine parents, Thomas Tennant began his kitchen career at 16, working at the South Beach Resort. Moving north to refine his skills, Tennant graduated from the University of Delaware in 2006 with a bachelor of science in hotel and restaurant management. While in college, he studied abroad in Switzerland, achieving a Hotelfachschule Hoch Diplom, a secondary hotel management degree. 

Next, Tennant returned home and worked at establishments, including the Riviera Country Club and the Wyndam Grand Bay Resort, where he served as pool café supervisor, server, and tournant. Craving more back-of-house experience, he signed up for additional courses at Miami’s Johnson & Wales campus in September 2006, and followed up his studies with a three month externship in Jamaica. 

After eating at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami in September 2007, Tennant walked to the kitchen, knocked on the door, and asked Chef Michael Schwartz for a job. He has been with Michael’s Genuine ever since and has blossomed as the executive chef at its sister restaurant in Grand Cayman, at the helm since it opened in summer 2010. Creating the majority of his dishes around fresh-caught fish, farm-raised meat and locally-grown produce, Tennant brings sophistication to the natural flavor of the islands. In addition to heading the Cayman kitchen, Tennant oversees other projects for Michael Schwartz as his special operations chef in Miami.