Gastronauts, to your stations

Cayman’s extraordinarily-skilled chefs are coming together for a contest that drives them to the greatest of heights. 

Hosted by The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, the 24th Cayman Culinary Society Annual Culinary Awards of Excellence Competition and Trade Show begins on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 9 a.m.; for three days the cooks of the country will be showcasing their skills.  

“This event is extremely important for the chefs and allows them to gain recognition for all their work behind the scenes,” event organizer Keith Griffin said. “The competition is well attended every year and the chefs get the chance to show off their skills outside a high-intensity restaurant environment.” 

He added: “We have three qualified culinary judges to oversee the event and make sure that international rules and standards are adhered to, so it is very competitive.” 

Chefs are judged on a multitude of skills and creativity-based metrics, Griffin said. Working in front of one’s peers increases the pressure and winning, therefore, is a big achievement. 

“Their efforts are rewarded with a trophy and title of international recognition, so it is very much a resume builder and will help to open doors in their future careers.” 

Each year, the event has grown, both in size and the culinary skills demonstrated by the chefs. 

“The judges, who oversee competitions across the globe, are always impressed by the high standards and creativity shown by our chefs,” Griffin said. “I think it demonstrates quite clearly that Cayman is a culinary force in the Caribbean and internationally.” 

This is eloquently shown by the finale of the three-day event, the famous “Out of the Kitchen” award ceremony and gala event, held on Thursday, Oct. 23. 

“Our top local restaurants each host a table of 18 which features their executive chefs creating and preparing their own menu tableside. 

“It is a fantastic, fun event and is the one time of the year when chefs get to entertain and interact with their diners. It is also an event that all of us, as chefs, look forward to, since it brings all the island’s top chefs together to perform and enjoy each other’s talents,” Griffin said. 

For the full schedule and more information, visit


Chef Keith Griffin of the Cayman Culinary Society

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