GRUPO GITANO founder & principal owner


James is the visionary entrepreneur behind GRUPO GITANO which includes GITANO TULUM, THE JUNGLE ROOM, GITANO NYC, GITANO FARMS and CALÓ.  He designed, developed, manages and is the main investor in GITANO NYC.

"He may be a beginner restaurateur in New York, but Gardner has plenty of varied experiences that are converging in the here and now. He moved from his native Britain in the mid-90s to take a job in technology and strategy for Goldman Sachs. A Wall Streeter by day, during off hours he formed close friendships in the fashion world. In 2004 he became a digital fashion pioneer, launching Marc Jacobs’ first website, swiftly followed by other launches and relaunches of digital platforms and e-commerce sites (for Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Stella McCartney, and many more)." Eve MacSweeney, VOGUE

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Melissa is an entrepreneur and pioneer in Tulum and in Health and Wellness.  She founded and has built the Amansala Hotel with 100 rooms on Tulum Beach.  She also founded Bikini Bootcamp.  In 2017 she invested in GITANO TULUM and has since invested in and GRUPO GITANO and GITANO NYC, partnering with James Gardner.


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Nathy originally from Marseille, has worked at leading hospitality properties in London and Europe for the last 15 years.  She has led the GITANO TULUM team since 2017 and in 2018 was promoted to lead all operations for GRUPO GITANO.  Prior to GITANO Nathy was part of Andre Balazs team opening the Chiltern Firehouse in London and running the exclusive Ladershed for three years.


Yvan Lemoine



Yvan is a rising culinary star and has joined GITANO NYC as an investor and Executive Chef.  He previously spent 8 years with the Tao Group where he became Chef de Cuisine at Bodega Negra and was involved in the opening of Lavo, Surf Lodge and other places. 

Yvan was born in Venezuela and moved to Brooklyn at the age of 13. He began his career at 15 years old in the famed French Manhattan restaurant La Caravelle with chef Cyril Renaud. Yvan then went on to work with Jacques Torres at Le Cirque 2000, then with Rocco Dispirito and Sam Mason. He then went on to cook for dignitaries and royalty at the French consulate in NYC. In 2015, Yvan won the Daniel Boulud/ Paul Bocuse full scholarship and attended the prestigious Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France. He then had the opportunity to work at Le Neuvieme Art, a 2-star Michelin restaurant in Lyon with Chef Christophe Roure MOF.