Sister Islands Cook-Off is delicious treat

Food lovers were out in force on
beautiful Little Cayman last weekend to participate in the Sister Islands Tourism
Association Cook-Off.

Restaurants, resorts and
individuals across the island vied for a variety of titles as a bumper crowd of
100 attendees had a chance to sample some of the fare on offer.

The annual bash, hosted this year
at the Southern Cross Club, is both a celebration of the natural resources
available on the island and a challenge to the ingenuity of the chefs. Luckily,
each and every one stepped up to the plate with great skill to offer a
delicious and occasionally surprising range of dishes.

The five food categories included
appetiser and soup, dessert, entrée and local dishes, all judged by chef Vico
of Pappagallo, Guiseppe Gatta of the Lighthouse and  Keith Griffin from Bacchus.

The event is one of the main
fundraisers for the not-for-profit Sister Islands Tourism Association and the
enthusiastic crowd joined in the fun, buying many tickets for a very popular
raffle, drawn outside next to the pool by resort owner Peter Hillenbrand.

There were lucky winners of flights
courtesy of Cayman Airways, free stays at several of Little Cayman’s resorts
and tokens for money off meals at such restaurants as Papagallo’s in West Bay.

Ingenious

Of many culinary highlights, the
ingenious – and very newsworthy – lionfish taco wraps went down extraordinarily
well amongst the gastronauts of the area. It may be an invasive and rapacious
fish, but these days the tables are turned and the boundlessly-chomping
predator turned out to be a delicious and quite perfect morsel on the night and
Mikey, the chef of Pirates Point, was happy to win the local food prize as a
result.

Other brilliant dishes included a
callaloo and chicken curry, first-class brownies and a beautifully-designed
salad based around snow crab claws. There was even a Mojito cheesecake to
remind everyone of the Sister Islands’ relative proximity to Cuba.

The night carried on in a gorgeous
haze of dancing and chat, as the early-summer weather remained hot and clear
for an evening of excellence. With the prizes spread out amongst most of the
restaurants on the island, and the high quality of the dishes, the competition
produced some stunning dishes – including a very special Cayman Crispie cake
from a local youngster, five-year old Mathieu Pothier. The grand prize was won
by Team Southern Cross, who gained the most points across the board.

Resort manager of Southern Cross
Club, Jennifer Mills-Smith, said that it had been a great night for a number of
reasons.

“It was the most successful cookoff
ever that raised more money for SITA than ever before. It was a really festive
atmosphere.

“I didn’t try every dish as I was
so busy – but I thought the lionfish tacos were original and cool – that was
very interesting. The tiger prawn appetiser was also excellent as were Debbie
Truchan’s cabbage rolls and the mojito cheesecake. But everything was
delicious.

“Everyone made the effort and
different people from different resorts won and everybody got to feel the
benefits,” she said.

For a full list of winners and to
leave your own comments on the occasion check out www.caycompass.com

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