Table Talk Awards take center stage

The Brasserie, Blue Cilantro and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman came away as the big winners of the inaugural Cayman Islands edition of the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards, each garnering three awards. The Brasserie won Best Place for Lunch; Best Farm to Table Restaurant; and the coveted Restaurant of the Year plaque. 

Chef Vidyadhara Shetty won Chef of the Year, and his restaurant, Blue Cilantro, won Best Place for Dinner and Best Decor. 

The Ritz-Carlton won Best Sunday Brunch for Seven Restaurant, and Best Place for Dessert and Outstanding Service for Blue by Eric Ripert. 

The event, held Nov. 5 at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, treated an audience of approximately 300 people to a night of food, drink and socializing as numerous awards were handed out. 

Novia McDonald-Whyte, senior associate editor lifestyle at the Jamaica Observer, and the person who came up with the concept of the Table Talk Food Awards, led the opening remarks and was the main host of the evening. After brief speeches from Danville Walker, managing director of the Jamaica Observer; Christopher Levy, president and CEO of Jamaica Broilers Group; and Jo-Anne Stephens, chief judge of the Table Talk Food Awards, Cayman Islands; the awards were announced. 

Some special awards were presented near the end of the ceremony.  

The Best Dressed Chicken Humanitarian Award went to Feed Our Future, and chairwoman Stacey VanDevelde accepted on behalf of the charity. 

The Best Dressed Chicken Front Burner Award was presented to the Marriott by Mr. Levy; the Best Dressed Chicken Lifetime Achievement award went to Foster’s Food Fair IGA, and the Chairman’s Award, presented by Mr. Walker, was given to Robert and Carlene Hamaty of the Tortuga Rum Company. 

Ms. McDonald-Whyte could not contain her enthusiasm about the success of the night. “We did it! We did it! We are so happy, honored and humbled to be part of history. History was made tonight at the Marriott with the first Cayman Islands edition of the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards. 

“The energy in the room was palpable, with nominees on the edge of their seats,” she said. “This event was about the industry – they were on show. It was great to see competitors applauding each other. 

“We eagerly anticipate the awards event next year.” 

One victim of the awards’ location change, due to weather, could have been all the food that had been prepared for the event at Pedro St. James, but Mr. Levy announced that the decision was made to donate it to local charities, including Feed Our Future, the National Council of Voluntary Organisations and Meals On Wheels. 

The remaining award winners are: Best Place to Raise a Toast/Celebrate – Agua; Best Wine Experience – Grand Old House; Best Place for Breakfast – Icoa Fine Foods; Best Caribbean Cuisine – Cayman Cabana; Best Cheap Eats – Kirk Market; Best Kept Secret – Al Fresco; Best Local Product – Cayman Pepper Patch Pepper Jelly; People’s Choice Award – The Thai Restaurant; and Sister Islands’ Restaurant of the Year – Pirate’s Point LC. 

Chef Vidyadhara Shetty has good reason to smile, as he won three awards: Chef of the Year, Best Decor and Best Place for Dinner.

Chef Vidyadhara Shetty has good reason to smile, as he won three awards: Chef of the Year, Best Decor and Best Place for Dinner.

Christopher Levy, president and CEO of the Jamaica Broilers Group, and Novia McDonald-Whyte, senior associate editor lifestyle at the Jamaica Observer - Photos: Maggie Jackson

Christopher Levy, president and CEO of the Jamaica Broilers Group, and Novia McDonald-Whyte, senior associate editor lifestyle at the Jamaica Observer – Photos: Maggie Jackson

Catherine and Sebastien Guilbard, Table Talk Awards judges

Catherine and Sebastien Guilbard, Table Talk Awards judges

Table Talk Awards official judge, Pamela Small, clearly enjoyed the evening. - Photo: Maggie Jackson

Table Talk Awards official judge, Pamela Small, clearly enjoyed the evening. – Photo: Maggie Jackson

Woody and Tanya Foster received The Best Dressed Chicken Award for Lifetime Achievement on behalf of their family’s company, Foster’s Food Fair IGA.

Woody and Tanya Foster received The Best Dressed Chicken Award for Lifetime Achievement on behalf of their family’s company, Foster’s Food Fair IGA.

Shona McGill and Corey Blohm display the three awards won by The Brasserie: Best Place for Lunch, Restaurant of the Year and Best Farm to Table Restaurant.

Shona McGill and Corey Blohm display the three awards won by The Brasserie: Best Place for Lunch, Restaurant of the Year and Best Farm to Table Restaurant.

Stacey VanDevelde, chairwoman of Feed Our Future, is presented with The Best Dressed Chicken Humanitarian Award by Christopher Levy.

Stacey VanDevelde, chairwoman of Feed Our Future, is presented with The Best Dressed Chicken Humanitarian Award by Christopher Levy.

Bev Sinclair and Rhonda Kelly of Kelly Holding were in attendance. - Photo: Maggie Jackson

Bev Sinclair and Rhonda Kelly of Kelly Holding were in attendance. – Photo: Maggie Jackson
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