Not all the great food and wine on offer over the next four days during Cayman Cookout will be consumed at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.
Two popular local restaurants – Luca and the Brasserie – will be hosting lunches on Friday from 11.30am to 1.30pm, each with celebrity guests.
The lunch at Luca – which is called “Italy + Napa + Cayman” – features two wine industry celebrities.
Food & Wine Magazine journalist, author and sommelier Anthony Giglio will return to the Cayman Cookout and will share centre stage at the lunch with noted California wine maker Tuck Beckstoffer.
The “Cayman” part of the title is simply Luca Restaurant, one of Cayman’s best.
Mr. Beckstoffer’s wines will serve as the “Napa” part of the title, with two white wines and two red wines.
Luca’s Cheryl Pokoradi explained from where the “Italy” part of the title comes.
“We have chosen a menu representing specific dishes known in various regions of Italy,” she said.
Those dishes will come from Piemonte, Veneto, Emila-Romagna and Tuscany, and a desserts from around all of Italy.
The five-course meal will feature some pairings such as the authentic Piemonte dish, Vitello Tonnato Tartufato, paired with Tuck Beckstoffer “75” Sauvignon Blanc and the iconic Tuscan dish, Bistecca alla Fiorentina – otherwise known as Beefsteak Florentine.
“The ‘Fiorentina’ will be served table side and is paired with the ‘Mockingbird Red’ of Tuck Beckstoffer wines,” Ms Pokoradi said. “Beckstoffer produces a very limited number of cases of this wine – only 75 cases of this vintage produced in total. I am very proud that we were able to acquire this wine for the lunch.”
Simultaneously, at the Brasserie, celebrated chef David Kinch from the renowned restaurant Manresa in California will lend his talents to a meal focused on Cayman ingredients and Cayman culinary traditions. Chef Kinch’s distinctive style has earned him many accolades, GQ Magazine’s 2011 “Chef of the Year” and the James Beard Foundation’s 2010 Best Chef Pacific. Cayman Cookout host chef Eric Ripert recently called Mr. Kinch a “true genius”.
“He’s one of the best chefs in America. He has a very, very personal style of cooking, so he’s unique to himself,” Ripert told The Cayman Islands Journal last month.
Mr. Kinch, who has blazed the trail for new California cuisine, is known for his farm-to-table approach, relying heavily on fresh ingredients produced at Love Apple Farms, located close to his restaurant. With the Brasserie using a similar approach, but relying on produce from their own restaurant gardens and from local farmers, the pairing of Mr. Kinch and the Brasserie was a natural one.
The lunch is called “Into the Garden with David Kinch”, partially because it will feature many garden-fresh ingredients. Brasserie Executive Chef Niven Patel said he has been in regular contact with Mr. Kinch and that three beds of the Brasserie’s garden were planted – from seed – with ingredients the California chef requested, just so he’d have the kind of fresh produce he wanted to work with.
However, the proteins that will be used at the lunch will come from Cayman, including fresh lobster, fresh fish and fresh conch.
Mr. Patel said Mr. Kinch told him he had never worked with conch before.
“It will be great for him to get exposed to Caribbean ingredients,” Mr. Patel said.
In addition conch, Mr. Kinch will get to work with Cayman produce such as seasoning peppers, breadfruit, java apple, callaloo and ackee, as well as other proteins such as turtle and wahoo. “Everything will be Cayman style,” Mr. Patel said.
The food will be paired with the wines from Landmark Vineyards in Sonoma Valley, California and its sister winery, Justin Vineyards in Paso Robles, California.
Landmark’s signature wine – Overlook Chardonnay – has appeared on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list seven times since 1997 and will be one of the wines served at the lunch.