After getting a taste of the tropical lifestyle, Chef Bender accepted a job at The Ritz Carlton St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands. While there he joined the Culinary Olympic Team and represented the USVI at the Culinary Olympics in Jamaica. In total he received one gold (hot lamb competition), one silver (ice carving), and one bronze (team competition). While at St. Thomas, he worked his way up the ranks from Chef de Partie to Restaurant Chef. This required him to manage three food and beverage outlets The Great Bay Grill, The Cafe and In-Room dining.
After two years at St. Thomas Chef Bender gained employment with Silver Seas Cruise lines where he worked out of the Mediterranean, Caribbean and disembarked his six month tour in South America. While working on the Silver Wind he was offered a culinary position by celebrity Chef John Campbell at The Vineyard at Stock Cross a two-Michelin starred restaurant.
Two years later, Chef Bender embarked on a new journey and accepted a job offer from Holland America Cruise Lines as Restaurant Chef de Cuisine, where he managed a brigade of 45. Upon completion of his contract which started in Florida and ended in Alaska via The Panama Canal, he decided to call Winnipeg home once again where he started Tournant Culinary Services in 2008.
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The food tastes great!