Taste of Cayman winners and sponsors honored

The Ritz-Carlton’s Sean Blanchette and Maria Mercedes Royo, center, with the Department of Tourism’s Jessica Pawlik, left, and CITA’s Hollie Whitelocke with Taste of Cayman awards. - PHOTO: KELSEY JUKAM

Taste of Cayman’s Best of Competition winners and the event’s major sponsors were recognized by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association at a reception Wednesday afternoon.

The Best of Competition winners and the event’s platinum and gold sponsors were presented with commemorative Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival plates.

The Bistro’s James Sedgley and the restaurant’s chef Alan Pressly received a plate commemorating the restaurant’s win for “Best Food.” Secret judges awarded the honor to the restaurant which served braised short rib with onion soubise and port reduction at the festival.

Maria Mercedes Royo, supervisor at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s Andiamo and Sean Blanchette, sous chef at Andiamo accepted a plate at the reception for the People’s Choice award win. The Ritz-Carlton restaurants, Seven and Andiamo, served a gnocchi poutine savory dish and a sticky toffee pudding with butter pecan ice cream dessert at the festival.

Jacques Scott was another big winner at the festival, receiving the award for best booth for its Zacapa Room and the award for best drink for its Zacapa Manhattan. Jacques Scott’s Joanna Austin and Jacques Scott brand manager Simon Crompton accepted plates at the reception.

Platinum sponsor Camana Bay and Gold sponsors Hurley’s Media and Digicel were also recognized at the reception.

The Department of Tourism’s Jessica Pawlik, The Bistro’s James Sedgley, CITA’s Hollie Whitelocke and The Bistro chef Alan Pressly.
The Department of Tourism’s Jessica Pawlik, The Bistro’s James Sedgley, CITA’s Hollie Whitelocke and The Bistro chef Alan Pressly.

While Taste of Cayman is CITA’s largest annual fundraiser, the association also shared some of the proceeds with the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre this year.

Event attendees were able to donate cash or unused tickets into donation boxes. Through these donations the Crisis Centre raised $1,615.23.

“We are so thrilled to help the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre,” CITA executive director Tiffany Dixon-Ebanks said in a press release. “Many of us take for granted the safety and security we have in our family and relationships. The services that the Crisis Center provides can save lives, and we are so happy to be a part of that.”

The donations will help the crisis center to shelter, clothe and feed victims of domestic abuse.

“Taste of Cayman is a wonderful family event and we are very happy that this year CITA has chosen us to be the beneficiary of it,” said Ania Milanowska, executive director of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre. “We truly enjoyed the partnership with Taste of Cayman and the event itself.
“Domestic violence affects the whole family and only by working together we can eradicate it from our community. Thank you for this opportunity to raise much needed funds and awareness.”

The next Taste of Cayman will be held on Jan. 28, 2017. CITA has already started planning the event and hopes to make it the best and biggest yet.