Turtle stew in culinary battle

Cayman turtle stew was put to the test last week when eight overseas cooks tried to cook the Caymanian dish.

Turtle stew

Holland hobby cooks, twins Isabelle and Virgini, adds browning to their pot of turtle stew. Photo: Jewel Levy

The amateur cooks from Holland were facing-off to see who would be the best hobby cook on renowned Dutch chef Herman de Blijker’s TV series, Herrie on the Horizon, to be aired on RTL TV network in Holland.

The culinary battle, which took place on the outside patio of Grand Old House, determined which couple would pack their suitcases and abandon ship.

Television host Chef de Blijker, along with the film crew from Endemol Nederland BV Productions, are cruising the Caribbean on board MS Westerdam where the culinary battle began with the eight teams trying their hand at cooking a hamburger.

Each week, after each dish is sampled, the team that cooks up the worst dish is kicked off the ship.

Those that survive elimination go on to the next port until there is a winner that gets to remain on the ship for a luxury cruise.

At various ports around the Caribbean, the eight teams continued the battle to find out who was the best to cook without a recipe.

In Cayman, the four teams remaining tried to bring out the same distinctive Caymanian flavour of turtle stew that some say can only be created by locals.

The group was given its first taste of turtle stew at Boatswain’s Beach. They then returned to the Grand Old House to create the dish with hardly any knowledge of how it was prepared.

In Grand Turk, the teams tried their hands at preparing conch. After the teams left Cayman they headed for the Yucat√°n Peninsula where they will be asked to try their hand at preparing Mexican dishes.

In addition to running his restaurants in Holland, Herman de Blijker has presented several television programmes. He has also published his first cookbook called Herri in the kitchen.