The F Word serves up sizzling menu for diners

The F Word dining event, held at
Luca restaurant on 24 June, more than measured up in the food department.

Seventy diners turned out to sample
a superb menu, devised by the restaurant’s Head Chef Federico assisted by his
team. The Venetian, who has garnered a strong reputation for his innovative
meal choices and adherence to fresh and unpretentious fare, pulled out all the
stops to make a three-course extravaganza consisting of two choices – one fish
and one meat dish – for the appetisers and entrees.

The chef said that he enjoyed
cooking for the event and added: “Unusual events like this force a chef to step
out of your comfort zone… it’s a good thing and helps nurture the artist in
you.”

With a film camera rolling
throughout, in high definition no less, The F Word kicked off with a champagne
reception.

The premise of the fine-dining
evening was modelled after the hugely popular cookery series of the same name,
where guests pay only for the dishes they enjoyed.

Cayman’s version of the
take-it-or-leave-it format was the brainchild of event organiser Andrew Brooks.
He said that he was already far ahead in talks with the rambunctious Ramsay to
make a guest appearance that might coincide with next January’s Cayman Cook
Out.

Before leaving the UK, the event
organiser’s major event was for Fashion TV.

“The cable show is huge and
regularly attracts 250 million viewers a month,” he said. “The show I put
together was its first big event outside of London and included a fashion show
attended by lots of British TV and sports stars… including Micah Richards,
Stephen Ireland and Michael Carrick of Manchester City and Manchester United.”

The F Word organiser plans to hold
two or three F Word events each year and wants “to push the concept a little
further each time.” He said that the event, in September or October, would
feature a couple of chefs-for-the-day, who would have to face not only the heat
of the kitchen, but the ire of the supervising chef and patrons if their dishes
fell flatter than flambés.

“The whole point of this event was
to have some fun and achieve something that got people talking,” Mr. Brooks
said.

“Events in Cayman are fairly samey
and we want to do something different.”

Diners were offered a choice of
appetisers, either lobster and shrimp salad with mango, baby greens, crispy
fennel and sesame lime dressing or beef carpaccio with arugula pesto, parmesan
truffle espuma, candied pumpkin and grilled shitake mushroom. The entrees were
lamb shank Wellington with herb jus, grilled asparagus, scalloped potatoes and
lemon garlic gremolade or parmesan crusted codfish with spinach linguine, clam
and roasted tomato broth and powdered capers.

Dessert was either marinated fresh
berries with white chocolate mousse with crumbled ginger biscotti or
traditional apple strudel with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Co-owners of the Upstairs
restaurant and the Kaibo Bar and Grill in North Side, Dan Petts and Clare
Pettinati, attended the event. On a bit of a busman’s holiday, they confessed
they were impressed by the quality of the meal: “The standard of food at this
event is unbelievable and chimes with what we’ve been seeing since Hurricane
Ivan, which is a marked improvement in the standard of cuisine in Grand Cayman’s
restaurants,” he said.

According to Luca’s restaurant
manager, Cheryl Pokoradi, only two guests opted not to pay for some part of
their meals.

Husband and wife videography team
Sarah Edgar-Kelly and Orlando Kelly, who are shooting the Zombie film in North
Side, filmed the event, which will air on Cayman 27 at a future date.

Keen to get feedback, event
organiser Mr. Brooks spent much of his time talking to attendees.

“I’d say 99.9 per cent of the
feedback was very positive and constructive,” he said, adding that the next F
Word event will be “bigger and better.”

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