Consultant / Owner / Director of Operations
Delius Shirley has been in the restaurant business since he was a child, getting his start as a dishwasher for his mother, Norma Shirley, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1978. After graduating from Colgate University in 1991, he moved to Washington, D.C. as a financial analyst but never strayed far from the restaurant world. In 1992 he moved to Montego Bay, Jamaica to open his mother’s third gourmet restaurant on the island. The restaurant received recognition around the world and Norma Shirley was touted as “The Julia Child of the Caribbean” by Vogue and other prestigious publications.
In 1994, Shirley moved to Miami, Florida where he and his business and life partner, Chef Cindy Hutson, opened their first restaurant, Norma’s on the Beach. It was immediately written up as Miami’s new hot spot with Norma’s touted as “the best Caribbean restaurant in South Florida” by publications such as USA Today, The New York Times, The Times (London) and Chicago Tribune. In 1996 they were awarded the coveted “5 Star Diamond Award, and have continued to hold that same prestigious award at their current location, the 18 year-old Ortanique on the Mile in Coral Gables. He has consulted and opened numerous conceptual restaurants, Tres Jazz in Las Vegas, BET Soundstage, Pleasure island Walt Disney World, Orland, BET on Jazz in Washington DC. His own restaurants, Ortanique Las Vegas and Washington DC, Bogwalk in Destin, FL, and Copra Restaurant, Baltimore, MD. In 2010 the couple embraced their love of the Caribbean when they opened Ortanique Camana Bay in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. In 2012, consulting and running the F&B at The Dunmore Beach Club in Harbour Island, Bahamas and most recently the dynamic power duo opened a Cindy Hutson restaurant concept at the boutique hotel The Cliff in Negril, Jamaica on Dec. 1st 2015. On February 29th, 2016, they opened their newest concepts, Zest and Zest MRKT, in downtown Miami.
In his ‘free-time’, Delius works with many charitable events, nationally and internationally. He has served on the advisory board of The Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute. And for 10 years, and presently, is a wine judge for the All American Fine Wine Competition.