Eric Ripert, the host of Cayman
Cookout, filmed two episodes of his successful television show, Avec Eric, when
he was on-island last month.
Working with Ripert and the Cayman
Islands Department of Tourism, developer and owner of Ritz-Carlton, Michael Ryan,
said it would further promote the Cayman Islands
as an epicurean tourism destination.
“Building on the positive momentum
of the Cayman Cookout and Cayman Culinary Month, the filming of Avec Eric in
the Cayman Islands will bring increased attention not only to The Ritz-Carlton,
Grand Cayman and the Dragon
Bay development, but to
the country as a whole.
“This program will reveal the
culinary delights of Cayman to a whole new audience, already loyal to Avec Eric
and the Eric Ripert brand,” said Ryan.
Ripert, who is gastronomic creative
director of Dragon Bay, was excited to further showcase what the Cayman Islands has to offer.
“The Cayman Islands is one of the
capitals of the Caribbean for great food. The Ritz-Carlton
has Blue – and I am biased as it is my restaurant. However, the culture of the Cayman Islands provides delicious food.
“And for that reason, we brought
our show Avec Eric, airing on PBS on big national television. It is a great
audience, as it is a sophisticated audience. We filmed the festival and we
filmed the beauty of what the Cayman Islands
can offer to people spending time here,” said the chef.
Acting Director of Tourism Shomari
Scott reiterated Ryan’s comments.
“Culinary tourism is a growing
phenomenon and one which the Cayman Islands is
superbly positioned to take advantage of.
With over 150 restaurants and a range of cuisines that reflect the
diversity of the population of the Islands,
Cayman has something unique to offer its visitors.
Avec Eric will successfully
showcase this to an audience whose demographics are perfectly aligned with the
target audience for a Cayman Islands vacation,”
said Mr. Scott.
Scheduled to air on PBS in fall 2010, the
Cayman Islands episodes of Avec Eric will reveal highlights from the Cayman
Cookout, in addition to showing Ripert out and about in the Cayman
While in the Cayman Islands, Ripert
and his production team visited various well-known Cayman Islands locations,
such as Stingray City
and incorporated interviews with some of Ripert’s best friends in the Cayman Islands – local fishermen.
Ripert has previously built strong
relationships with Cayman’s commercial fishermen to procure only the freshest
locally caught seafood at his AAA 5-Diamond restaurant Blue at The
Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.
In addition to filming a segment in
Blue, Ripert will also feature a well-known local delight – the marinated conch
made by boat captains in the North Sound while taking guests out on fishing excursions.
Ripert went along to harvest the conch, clean it and prepare it – as has been
done for years by Cayman’s fishermen.
Ripert also put his own spin on
this traditional Caymanian delicacy, preparing a tuna sashimi with BlueTip
Watersports Captain Eric Rivers.
Describing the experience, Rivers
said that he found it really interesting
to see how Chef Ripert took the fresh local ingredients and put his own spin on
them to create something ‘really fresh and delicious.
Avec Eric, is not just a cooking show.
Instead, the show attempts to convey the holistic experience of preparing,
dining and sharing food. It reflects a broader vision that views cooking as a
Each episode begins behind the
scenes of Le Bernardin, one of the most heralded kitchens in America, which sets up the theme
for the episode. The next segment takes viewers to the source of that inspiration
and explores the people, the place, and the culture where Ripert experiences it
first-hand as a culinary tour guide. Then, viewers return to the kitchen and
apply what has been learned on the journey.