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Our Team

Chef Partner

Timon Balloo

As the culinary heart of SUGARCANE raw bar grill, Executive Chef and Partner Timon Balloo draws from his broad range of influences and experiences to bring bold, global flavors to every dish on the menu. From his own Chinese, Indian-Trinidadian heritage to his classic European training, to the diverse kitchens in which he built his career, each step along the way has led Balloo to become the chef he is today.

Born to multiethnic parents, Balloo grew up with food steeped in culture – a typical dish in his home was stir-fried Caribbean vegetables with Asian spices. While other kids were watching cartoons, Balloo was watching Yan Can Cook on PBS. With a childhood so rich in epicurean curiosity, it was no surprise when he began his official journey toward a stellar career as a chef.

Through the international program of extended studies at Johnson & Wales, Balloo traveled to Belgium to work at Hotel Métropole in 1998. Under the French Master, Chef Dominique Michou, Balloo honed his classical culinary training skills by working his way up from entremetier comis (hot line) to patisserie comis. Of that time, Balloo recalls: “The vegetables and animals would often come straight from the farm. It wasn’t unusual for us to have to skin and pluck the next dish… now that was farm-to-table cooking!”

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Vice President of Operations

Dana Riccobono

An effervescent and vital member of the Samba Brands Management (SBM) family for over ten years, Dana Riccobono ensures that the highest quality services are delivered to SUGARCANE raw bar grill guests every day and night.

Dana’s journey to her role as SBM senior executive can be traced back to a local trattoria in her hometown of Orangeburg, NY in Rockland County. Her experience as a server and manager there paved the way for a career at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan. One of Manhattan’s busiest midtown hotels, she moved from cocktail lounge floor manager to a key manager of the location’s upscale steak house. A stint at the world-renowned Rainbow Room followed.

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Las Vegas Executive Chef

Ryan Nuqui

While most chef bios cite culinary inspiration from a wise grandmother or celebrity chef, Chef Ryan Primo Nuqui’s is much more ethereal. The Hawaiian-born Chef simply says, “My heart wanted to do it” – an apt reflection of Nuqui’s spiritual connectivity to cooking.

As Executive Chef, SUGARCANE raw bar grill Las Vegas, Nuqui is charged with helping to open the first location of the beloved brand beyond its home in Miami. With a blend of both operational and culinary expertise, passion for global cooking, and deep roots in Las Vegas, Nuqui is the perfect choice to support SUGARCANE raw bar grill Executive Chef & Partner Timon Balloo in opening the new location.

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