Speaking several years ago at one of the events during the Cayman Classic – the precursor of what is now known as the Cayman Cookout – Food & Wine Magazine Senior Wine Editor Ray Isle commented on Cayman’s unique culinary attraction. He noted that not only did Cayman offer top notch restaurants with world class food and service, but it also had a rich culture of local foods. The combination, he said, was something that would appeal to foodies everywhere.
Since Isle made those comments, Cayman’s already-good culinary scene has developed considerably more.
The Market at the Grounds opened, giving local farmers a place to sell their produce and meats. The Brasserie restaurant started the farm-to-table dining approach, utilising a chef’s garden and the products of local farmers. Many, new, great restaurants opened, some with well-known and accomplished chefs, including Blue, Michael’s Genuine and Ortanique.
The Cayman Classic died with the Hyatt Regency Hotel, but the weekend food festival concept found a new name – the Cayman Cookout – and a new major venue at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.
The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the Cayman Islands Tourism Association then got together to create Culinary Month, a month of food-related gatherings that incorporates the Cayman Cookout, CITA’s venerable Taste of Cayman, and a number other creative culinary events including a lionfish hunt and cookout, a food and art festival, and a couple of events that feature the Caribbean’s most definitive spirit, rum.
Over the course of the month, attendees will have the opportunity to experience all that Cayman’s culinary scene has to offer. With top chefs – including bona fide celebrities – using local ingredients to blend continental and Caribbean cuisine and taking advantage of our tropical venues, Culinary Month will offer a uniquely Cayman experience that will be heaven for foodies. The scope of dishes that will be prepared include everything from Maine lobster, Blue Bay mussels and Certified Angus Beef from the United States, to Cayman staples like goat, wahoo and conch. If variety is the spice of life, then Culinary Month attendees ought to prepare for a smoking good time.