Who’s the best fish tea maker?

You can tell a lot about a country’s culture by its culinary ingenuity and Cayman is no different. 

Wherever you go throughout the world, you’re going to find a variation on what you might call the National Stew – generally a broth made with the local protein source, perhaps adding some tubers that grow locally, definitely local spices and herbs. 

Here in the Cayman Islands we’re experts on fish tea. As in, everybody has their recipe and everyone says that theirs is the definitive version. 

That’s why each district is participating in the Flowers Bottled Water Fish Tea Cookoff, starting on Saturday, 17 November with the George Town heat at Mango Tree. The winners of each district heat win $150 plus a case of beer and will have a chance to be selected to represent the Flowers Bottled Water Fish Tea Cook off at the All Things Caymanian stall at Taste of Cayman on Saturday, 26 January. All the winners from each district will participate in the final Flowers Bottled Water Fish Tea Cook Off at the East End Surf Challenge (Colliers Public Beach) on National Heroes Day, Monday, 28 January. 

Participants have to provide their own cooking source, ingredients and utensils and there’s no registration fee but you do have to register three days or more before the preliminary round. You can only enter one preliminary round, chefs, so no running around the island wearing wigs to try and avoid detection. 

Be there 

On the day of the heat, you need to be at the location at 3pm to meet the promoter, 2Frenzied’s, representatives. The winner for each prelim will be selected by tasters and tasting commences at 5pm. 

The final event will be held at the Colliers Public Beach on Monday, (Hero’s Day) 28 January, and is expected to start no later than 11am. All participants are expected to be at the Colliers Public Beach for a mandatory meeting at 10am. Only the winners of the preliminary cook off rounds from each district will be able to participate. Again, no registration fee is required. 

There will be a first, second and third place winner selected by tasting judges. Participants must have fish tea ready and available for the tasters at 2.30pm. 

A People’s Choice winner will be selected based on the crowd. Each person that purchases a fish tea tasting cup will be given a ticket to place in a box at the booth that they choose to have the best tasting fish tea. The tickets at each booth will be counted at the end of the event to determine the winners. The booth with the most tickets wins. The tickets will be counted at 4pm and the results will be given at 5pm. 


Cash prizes 

First Place – $800; Second Place – $500; Third Place – $300; People’s Choice – $500. 


Heats and dates 

Georgetown (Mango Tree) – Saturday, 17 November; West Bay (TBA) – Saturday, 24 November; Bodden Town (Grapetree Café) – Saturday, 1 December; North Side (TBA) – Saturday, 8 December; East End (Pirates Cove Bar) – Saturday, 15 December. 


For more information please call 939-0902. 

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