Suzy Soto adds book to menu

After more than 45 years in the restaurant and tourism business, well known entrepreneur Suzy Soto has added to her business repertoire a unique cookbook called Cookin’ & Laughin’ in the Cayman Islands.

According to a press release issued as a public service to Mrs. Soto, Cookin’ & Laughin’ in the Cayman Islands, to a large degree, is a little corner of the story of the Cayman Islands.

‘When Suzy moved here in 1963 with her husband and three young daughters, the couple started a very successful hotel in East End, The Tortuga Club. Suzy assisted in running the resort and worked closely with her friend, East End’s Ms Cleo, in the kitchen for the preparation of three meals a day for guests.’

The release continues, ‘Living and working so intimately on an island she inevitably developed a passion for island-style cooking. After a time, there were so many requests from the guests for recipes that she stopped giving them out and started this cookbook. However, two sons later and raising five children while working in the tourism sector with many more urgent projects, the cookbook was put on hold.

‘As the years rolled by, she and Bob Soto were married and the family grew to where there were 19 grandchildren. During those years many fun photos were taken and amusing and heartfelt tidbits collected.’

Balancing act

In 1981 in the midst of this dauntingly busy life, Suzy, balancing family and a continuing busy role in the tourism industry, opened locally renowned and world famous Cracked Conch by the Sea restaurant.

The menu featured tantalizing varieties of continental cuisine with fresh seafood dishes, turtle, conch, charbroiled steaks, chicken, jerk dishes, pastas, salads, and many other favourites, all with a distinctive Caymanian flair. The restaurant has been featured on CNN, The Discovery Channel, Burt Wolf, The Food Channel, and a range of magazines.

Cracked Conch changed hands earlier this year, and now Suzy is busy enjoying her family and grandchildren but still conjuring up new ways to tantalize taste buds.

‘Bringing all of these ‘reincarnations’ together, Suzy’s talented daughter-in-law, Leslie Bergstrom, assembled a lifetime’s worth of intriguing island recipes and anecdotes in this cookbook for everyone to chuckle and enjoy. Cookin’ & Laugin’ features how to make old favourites faster and easier while also introducing some new and tasty delights,’ says the press release.

‘This is a lot more than a cookbook,’ says Suzy. ‘It is a celebration of family.’ Promoting old-fashioned Caymanian togetherness, encouraging families to stir pots together in the kitchen and enjoying great food and plenty of laughs at the dining table.

‘For persons wanting to get copies signed by Cayman’s culinary legend, book signings will be held, while supplies last, at the Book Nook on Saturday 26 November, 11 am to 1 pm, and at a date to be announced at Hobbies and Books,’ reads the release.

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