Get ready for Cayman Cookout

Join celebrity Chef Eric Ripert, along with an impressive roster of world famous chefs and sommeliers, this weekend, 16-19 January, for a diverse collection of culinary events at the first annual Cayman Cookout.

‘The Cayman Islands Ministry and Department of Tourism have always endeavoured to bring the finest events to our shores’ stated Minister of Tourism Charles Clifford. ‘This is the first food and wine festival of this magnitude in the Caribbean and we are especially delighted about the opportunity to showcase our Caymanian cuisine and flair at an event of this calibre.’

A press release notes that the four day long celebration of food and wine will give guests from around the globe the opportunity to indulge in unparalleled cuisine prepared by some of the most talented chefs in the world, including Dean Fearing, Ingrid Hoffmann, Michael Laiskonis, Laurent Manrique and Laurent Tourondel, and tantalize their taste buds during wine pairings by sommeliers Ray Isle, Anthony Giglio and Joshua Wesson.

Friday, January 16

Hosted by the Department of Tourism, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and Food + Wine magazine, the event kicks off on Friday 16 January with a Welcome Party on Seven Mile Beach where guests can mix and mingle with the finest talents in the culinary world. The Welcome Party will be followed by ‘After Eight’ at the Silver Palm Lounge. See what happens when the energy of world renowned chefs and nightlife gurus of Spin 94.9 FM come together.

Saturday, January 17

On Saturday January 17, guests will take to the sea with Chef Eric Ripert where he will expose the preparation secrets behind his mouth-watering ceviche on board a majestic catamaran anchored at Stingray City. Additional event highlights on Saturday include the Rum Tasting with Appleton Master Blender Joy Spence who will share the art and science of blending golden aged rums. At the other end of the island, Chef Dean Fearing will host the Rum Point Cookout, where attendees will travel across the North Sound to the Rum Point Beach Bar where a Cuban feast and fiesta will await them.

Cooking demonstrations on Saturday include a coffee and pastry tutorial where Executive Pastry Chef Rolf Runkel will share the secrets behind making perfect French pastries. Later on in the day, Executive Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin and the 2007 James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis will demystify ‘molecular gastronomy’ for the home cook; and Laurent Tourondel, visionary chef behind the BLT restaurant, will demonstrate how he has redefined bistro cooking.

For wine aficionados, Anthony Giglio will educate on the different flavours, aromas and characteristics of different Argentinean vintages and types with interactive wine tastings; and Hundred Acre Partner Chris Radomski and award winning Sommelier Martin Hoetzl of Blue by Eric Ripert at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman will guide guests through this once in a lifetime tasting experience of wines from one of the top cult wineries in the world.

Sunday, January 18

Guests can choose to start the Sunday festivities off with the Smoothies and Juices session, where expert mixologists will share the secrets of healthy island blends in a celebration of Caymanian fruits; or attend the Champagne Brunch & Celebrity Chef Cook-off, where guests can sip champagne and watch who prevails as two of Cayman’s own gastronomes – Sean Collins of Mise en Place and Ian Dawson James, Bailli of the Grand Cayman Chapter of the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs – are given a mystery basket of ingredients and go head to head. Also on Sunday is the unique Cook’s Tour of Cayman with Anthony Bourdain at Pedro St. James, where the host of the Travel Channel’s ‘No Reservations’ will guide you through a sensory journey of culinary creations, Caymanian delicacies, local music, artisan crafts and products.

The event will feature truly Caymanian elements such as traditional Kitchen Band Dancers, Market at the Grounds led by the Department of Agriculture, local cooking demonstrations courtesy of the National Trust and Cayman Traditional Arts as well as multi-media presentations on the hour.

The premier event of the weekend will be the Cayman Cookout Chefs’ Gala Dinner, where a seven course dinner will be prepared by Chef’s Ripert, Fearing, Hoffmann, Laiskonis, Manrique and Tourondel.

Other events throughout Sunday include a cooking demonstration by popular host of The Food Network’s Simply Delicioso programme, Ingrid Hoffman, who will share her passion for outdoor cooking and entertaining all with a Latin flair. Champagne tastings with Ray Isle and wine tastings with Joshua Wesson round out the weekend’s activities.

Monday, January 19

To cap off the weekend, on Monday January 19, Cayman Cookout attendees will have the opportunity to attend a farewell breakfast to engage in culinary banter and insider chat with newfound friends.

For a schedule at-a-glance, see the Entertainment section.