Eric Ripert’s famous New York restaurant, Le Bernardin, was the centre of a special Cayman Cookout preview lunch on Wednesday, 16 November.
The lunch took place in the private dining room and attracted journalists from a number of publications including FOOD & WINE, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, Esquire, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and Cottages & Gardens.
Many will be coming to Cayman for the first time to write about the event, which takes place between 12-15 January at Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman – with events also scheduled at Camana Bay.
Discussed at the event were the cookout schedule, but also Cayman as a great culinary destination. The non-stop flight by Cayman Airways to JFK was also appreciated by journalists, said Melissa Ladley, of the Ritz-Carlton.
“This group of well-travelled journalists was impressed by the proposition of two complimentary checked bags and a nice food service with complimentary rum punch – those simple airline services are a huge point of differentiation on the North American air market these days,” she said.
“Dana Cowin is the editor in chief of FOOD & WINE, who is coming to Cook-out for the first time in January,” Ms Ladley said. “She shared with the group that the FOOD & WINE team says Cayman Cookout is unique among all of the epicurean festivals in which they are involved because it’s the only one where guests really get to interact with the chefs and their families in a relaxed social setting. She also said she was eager to visit Stingray City for the first time.”
There were iPads loaded with photos of the 2011 Cookout so guests could get a feel for the casual nature of the event, said Ms. Ladley. They also were able to see demonstrations are conducted on the beach, only a few yards from the sea.
New York is one of Cayman’s key tourism markets in high season and The New York Times featured pieces on the Cotton Tree boutique hotel and Luigi Moxam’s One Tree Four Five clothing line in its Caribbean Travel Section over the weekend of 12 November
Eric Ripert, the Cayman Cookout host, will be in Cayman beginning Monday, 5 December, to prepare for high season and the cookout. There are two scheduled events; Blue Christmas special holiday celebration dinner on Friday, 9 December, and Blue Uncovered Kitchen Lunch on Saturday, 10 December.