Get those taste buds tickled

Joe Shooman
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It’s January, amigos, which can only mean one thing: Culinary Month commences.

Of course, Weekender is at the front of the queue when it comes to snarfing down the good stuff and you can rely on us telling you all about the events, which go together to make this such a deliciously extraordinary experience.

Coming up are a host of magnificent events including the three-day Cayman Cookout at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman with Saturday events at Camana Bay plus other venues including Tiki Beach. That’s from 12 to 15 January and has too many brilliant offerings, world-famous chefs and sommeliers and totally amazing events to list here so check it online (or follow your friendly neighbourhood Weekender, of course). On 18 January, Agua features Fresh Cayman lobster and conch and lionfish hunts take place on 19 and 26 January and 2 February.

Casa Havana hosts a Latin Night under the Stars of Cayman on Friday, 20 January, featuring Ron Zacapa rum and great wines from Chile and Argentina then on Saturday, 21 January, you’ve got the choice of the Dine by Design Beach BBQ in the company of Al La Kebab at public beach, the Rum Tour & Pirate Sail courtesy of Seven Fathoms and the Jolly Roger or the Kyocera Ceramic Knives Demonstration at Gawk & Leer.

Heroic events

Being as Monday, 23 January, is Heroes Day, it’s inevitable that there are several events taking place to celebrate the special day. For a real local flavour the Fish Tea Cook Off at Colliers Public Beach in East End starts at 10am – this is a really brilliant traditional recipe, so see whose version you love the most. At Margaritaville, meanwhile, there’s a vast selection of margaritas paired with appetisers and hors d’oeuvres and down in Tukka over East End way you’re going to be in your element for all things Aussie as they celebrate (early) Australia Day with the Gold Boomerang Games and a Food & Wine Festival.

To round off the month there’s the magnificent Taste of Cayman event at Camana Bay where over 30 restaurants bring their special dishes to a backdrop of entertainment, drinks and happy people – you could even arrive there in style on the Ellusion – a luxury yacht charter offering a two-hour sunset cruise with tapas and unlimited Prosecco.

February continues the fun, beginning on Friday, 3 February, with a Caribbean Beach Party at Rum Point Club – a variety of Caribbean-themed culinary delights served buffet style including a Pig Roast, Grilled Meats & Seafood, soup, salads and dessert plus complimentary rum punch, live music, a cigar roller and a rum tasting tent. Or,. you could opt for the Brewery Tour and Taste Pairing Dinner at Cayman Islands Brewery – discover the local brews and how they can be paired with great eats.

Reds, Whites and chews

The next night, Saturday, 4 February, check out the Reds, Whites and Brews and local food starting at 2pm at Our House, Grand Harbour. The day will consist of local wine and beer purveyors showcasing their products (Caybrew, Jacques Scott, Premier, Tortuga). The local restaurants on island will be invited to partake in an authentic local cook off, where the visitors can vote for best oxtail, conch stew etc. To vote and receive tasters a donation of CI$15 has to be made to a local charity. Shuttle buses will be running, which is groovy.

That evening from 5pm is Slow Food Day, Market at the Grounds at Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink. Celebrate eating locally and sustainable sourcing of ingredients at this brilliant event.

From 7 to 11 February indulge in Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams at Blue by Eric Ripert. Chef Luis presents a caviar tasting menu to accent your Blue experience. Savor the world of 100 per cent sustainable caviar – its varied flavours, textures and regions.

Finally, on Friday, 10 February, the Culinary Month Charity Wine Dinner and Auction takes place from 7.30pm at the Brasserie in the company of guest winemaker Marco Fantinel and a five-course meal.

Phew! Weekender already needs a paracetamol after that little lot and we’re only writing about it. So drop that deep-fried Mars Bar and get your taste on – Cayman is truly a culinary capital these days.

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