Taste of Cayman 2013 has a number of new innovations as well as some old favourites to delight all of the family.
All Things Cayman
In many ways, the crux of the festival entertainment area, this is where live local bands, heavy cake, the winner of the Fish Tea Cookoff and more will be on show.
The Bon Vivant Demonstration Kitchen showcases Cayman chefs making traditional and delicious Caymanian recipes using locally-grown ingredients. Best of all, there will be special recipe cards handed out by McCormick spices.
The Seven Fathoms Mixology Competition takes place here too. Watch as eight competitors create their own signature drink. They’ll be graded on creativity of the name, style and taste before the top three go on to the final. The test there is a mystery ingredient after which they have just 10 minutes to create something to wow the judges. As well as the bragging rights of being called Cayman’s Top Mixologist, 2013, there’s also a trophy. Oh, and the small matter of a 20-litre barrel of rum to take home. We suspect this one’s going to be a fierce battle.
Live music is coordinated by Bona Fide’s Isadora Ferrao-Powell, who is the only CITA-affiliated musical performer. We reckon this will change sharpish, though. Check out the skills of K-Man Son, Little Magic, BluWater, Cool School, Pandemonium. Inverse, Regeneration and Exile. Quite the array of talent!
Live Cultural Demonstrations are also a very important part of the All Things Cayman area, with Chris Christian of Cayman Traditional Arts on the case of this one. He’ll be assisted by his Year 6 students that are enrolled in the Heritage Arts Programme sponsored by the office of the premier. Expect demonstrations of thatch weaving, rope twisting, calavan-making, whompers, kites and loads more. Until 8pm there will also be some vendors from Cayman Craft Market – a great chance to help the local artisans and artists by purchasing some of their unique wares.
The Heavy Cake Competition is always one of the most popular parts of Taste of Cayman – everyone seems to have the definitive recipe, at least they claim to. The traditional heavy cake will be shared with attendees and must feature three mandatory ingredients: cassava, coconut milk and brown sugar. The winner takes home the coveted title of Best Heavy Cake plus a $300 prize. There’s also scope for invention, too, says Jane van der Bol of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.
“We have also decided that there is also a unique heavy cake section this year for non-traditional entrants so maybe people will use some interesting foods in there,” she promises.
The introduction of the photo booth, with its ability to instantly upload snaps of you and your friends to social media, was an extremely popular one. You can dress up in culinary costumes, wave giant sushi and chef hats around and pose to your heart’s content. These will even be displayed on the live feed on the television outside the booth. Fun!
Hog Sty Bay Bar
This Caybrew, Seven Fathoms and Premier Wines and Spirits-sponsored bar is an intriguing addition to the festival site.
“It is a 1920s-themed bar,” says Jane.
“It will have a real rustic feel with rum barrels, rope and more.” The locally distilled Seven Fathoms and the locally-brewed Caybrew will be on offer alongside some great world wines from Premier, paying tribute perhaps to the seafaring past of our ancestors. Cayrock will also be in attendance and a selection of musical acts will be jamming throughout the night. Expect sets from I Am; Cory and Kate Allenger; Glen Scott; Holly Morris; David Innis and Isadora Ferrao-Powell and Jarrett.
Grey Goose Luxe Lounge
This one’s sponsored by Cayman Distributors and will have some awesome mixologists on show under the watchful eye of brand master and mixologist in his own right Jason Druckenmiller, who is well known for his wide knowledge. Live DJs will be on show and Blake and Erin of X107 will be buzzing around, too.
How to win… People’s Choice
In 2012, Agua Restaurant won the People’s Choice Award at Taste of Cayman. Here’s Walter Fajette with insight into just what that meant to the popular eaterie.
“It was a fantastic feeling considering also that Agua was open only for two years and it feels good when the people recognise all your efforts,” he says.
“We had great feedback considering we were the winner. It was a great exposure for us and in the following weeks we had a lot of locals and tourists coming to the restaurant that met us at the event.” For 2013, the restaurant will be serving a shrimp and avocado ceviche – a restaurant speciality. Any advice for people attending? “I guess to come with an empty stomach!”