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
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.
Melissa is a pioneering entrepreneur both 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 Melissa invested in GITANO TULUM and THE JUNGLE ROOM. In 2018 she invested further in and GRUPO GITANO and GITANO NYC. She is now partnering closely with James Gardner to build the GITANO brand and business.
Lulu originally from the deserts of Utah developed an intrigue for design after many hours spent watching her grandfather hand make native Navajo jewelry in his home studio. She spent her youth in Los Angeles where she developed her creative eye and studied jewelry design at Otis. She has spent the last 7 years traveling and living mainly between Mexico and India. Learning from ancient cultures crafts various approaches to design and embellishment. Focusing on textile design, women’s and men’s resort wear and fine jewelry. Sustainable fashion techniques, protecting arts of indigenous communities and inspiring your inner gypsy disco king or queen is her mission.
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.
Mads Refslund is a co-founder of NOMA and was head chef of Acme when it first opened. He has consulted with GITANO TULUM on the menu and is now collaborating with Executive Chef Yvan Lemoine on the GITANO NYC Menu.