Latin America has been Liz’s first love since she set foot on Costa Rican soil at age 18 to visit local friends. The language, the people, the culture, and the sensations got totally into her blood. During college, after numerous trips all over the continent and a year abroad in Chile, moving back to South America became an obsession. After graduating from college, Liz moved to New York to work in investment banking at UBS Warburg. In 2001, she relocated to Santiago for a finance position with a small advisory firm.
Today, Liz Caskey, is a chef, sommelier, food/wine writer, cookbook author, and foremost an entrepreneur, the owner of Liz Caskey Culinary & Wine Experiences, a luxury travel design firm based in Santiago, Chile offering culinary and wine-focused itineraries throughout Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. She is also the author of the recently launched cookbook, Knack South American Cooking (Globe Pequot Press, 2010) available in the US market.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, this former Wall Street investment banker has been an influential part of the food culture in Santiago, Chile for the past decade since she jumped ship from the world of finance to follow her passion for food and wine. She started her first company in catering while attending the Escuela de Sommelier in Santiago in 2004. The wine bug bit so hard, she joined forces with her husband, visual artist and professional photographer, Francisco Ramírez, to create Liz Caskey Culinary & Wine Experiences. Today, their company has grown from one product to offer more than a dozen different destinations in South America and become a recognized brand in the international luxury travel niche. Liz now leads a team of more than 8 people with direct operations in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay.
Liz and her business been featured in international press such as Wine Enthusiast (March 2010), Conde Nast Traveller (February 2010), En Route (Air Canada, November 2009), Food Arts (April 2009), Celebrated Living (American Airlines First Class In-Flight Magazine, Fall 2008), The Pennsylvania Gazette (alumni magazine of the University of Pennsylvania, November 2007), National Geographic Traveler, Sydney Herald, and Chilean publications like Revista Mujer, Placeres, La Cav, Travesías, Revista Paula, Qué Pasa, among others. Their culinary and wine journeys are highly recommended by prestigious travel guides and sites like Frommer’s Chile, Frommer’s Buenos Aires, Fodor’s, and the luxury travel websites, Indagare and Luxury Link. The company also maintains agreements with luxury operators such as Lindblad Expeditions, Cox & Kings, Latour, and the Virtuoso network.
Liz is the chef and culinary ambassador in the US market for the biodynamic and organic winery, Emiliana Orgánico (part of the Concha y Toro and Banfi group). She recently completed a series of professional recipe and wine pairing videos for Emiliana’s wines for the Banfi website, led grand tastings and private catered events at the 2010 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, and in November, filmed syndicated TV and toured Central Market’s prestigious cooking school as a cooking instructor and wine educator throughout Texas. Liz’s natural, healthy and simple approach to Chile’s produce, foodstuffs, meats, classic dishes, and wines is a natural fit for this partnership.
In addition to her business, Liz has worked and studied in many kitchens and wineries to further understand the Southern Cone’s varied terroir; investigated local food heritage and traditions; and worked as a food and menu consultant for top restaurants in Santiago. As a lover of media, she is a food/wine/travel writer, along with Francisco Ramírez for photography, for esteemed international publications such as Sherman’s Travel: Smart Luxury (Chile 101, Fall 2008 Issue); a frequent contributor for IN magazine (LAN airlines); La Tercera newspaper (one of Chile’s two largest newspapers), Placeres, and her popular English-language online blog, Eat Wine, which receives thousands of visitors and explores, food, travel, wines, culture, and life in South America.
Liz is also passionate about working in television. In March 2009, she served as the production/story fixer for Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations culinary program for The Travel Channel for its Chile episode (show aired in mid-July 2009 in US). She also appeared as a local food/wine expert on Sommelier Andrea Robinson’s program for Delta Airlines, Local Flavor on-board all flights during late 2009. Prior to that, in September 2007, she served as the production/story fixer for PBS/Gourmet Magazine’s, The Diary of a Foodie for the “Chile: Mixing Land and Sea” and “Drinks: the Golden Age of Spirits episode”, including hosting three segments. The show aired in May-June 2008 across the United States on PBS and was syndicated internationally on National Geographic channel.
When Liz is not on the road for work or pleasure, she loves exercising, yoga, and pilates; shopping in the markets; entertaining at home with wines from her cellar; and hanging out with her adorable husband and two black and white kitties, Barry White and Vika.
Email: Email: lizcaskey (at) gmail (dot) com
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lizcaskey