Whetting appetites for mouthwatering Culinary Month

Cayman’s gastronauts are gathering recipes and polishing up kitchen implements to a sharp shine ready for January’s Cayman Culinary Month, including 2010’s Taste Of Cayman Food & Wine Festival.

taste of cayman

A Westin chef cooks up a feast at last years Taste of Cayman. Photo: File

The festival takes place at Camana Bay on 16 January, 2010 and as ever will showcase the breadth and brilliance of the culinary expertise of the islands.

Trina Christian, executive director of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, said that the annual festival is a delicious part of an extended celebration in the first month of next year.

‘CITA has taken integral steps to grow and change the annual Taste of Cayman event into a culinary festival that now focuses on food and wine and plans to compete with culinary festivals around the world, in the hope of claiming the title of the biggest and best in the Caribbean,’ she said.

‘Due to the success of CITA’s Taste of Cayman and other events such as Cayman Cookout hosted by The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Culinary Month has been born. Along with other epicurean events on island, the goal is to create a month packed with activities to attract more tourists to the Cayman Islands, while raising additional funds for CITA’s programmes that support the improvement and sustainability of our tourism industry.’

Culinary tourism is a constantly-growing industry and with Cayman firmly already on the map as a dive and marriage destination, the quality of the local produce is occasionally overlooked. Mrs. Christian explained that the festival will showcase another side of what the islands have to offer.

‘Research shows that the sensory experience created by the local cuisine is a primary motive for tourists to visit a destination,’ she said. ‘Cayman happens to provide exceptional culinary experiences in addition to our pristine underwater assets and our Caymanian warm welcome and hospitable nature.

‘Culinary uniqueness, as well as the natural charm and character of a destination, combined with specialised tourist information, is extremely important if we are to attract foodies, many of whom already fit the target demographic.’

Mrs. Christian added: ‘The festival will draw people from around the globe to experience world-class food and wine in the stunning setting of the Cayman Islands.’

Taste of Cayman is now in its 22nd year and promises a variety of cuisines from up to 60 of Cayman’s top culinary establishments, including food-tasting booths for the wide range of local and international cuisines represented on island. The town centre of Camana Bay will be inundated with visitors – some 4,000 are anticipated to attend.

Two dozen vineyards are scheduled to participate with tasting booths along The Crescent, and the courtyard will host numerous family-friendly activities including skate demonstrations, tennis and arts and crafts.

The Mojito Lounge, meanwhile, will be a more chilled-out area and there’s even a VIP courtyard where champagne and an upscale lounge are promised. Live music will also add to the ambience.

Events so far scheduled include a Barefoot Brunch on 10 January, a Charity Wine Dinner on 13 January and the popular Cayman Cook-Out from 14 to 17 January. With cooking classes and demonstrations throughout January, it might be an idea to get that diet started now.

Proceeds from all events go to supporting the non-profit CITA and their partner charities including the Lighthouse School for disabled children.