Gimistory, the Cayman Islands International Storytelling Festival, featured a packed and exciting week in 2016. The festival featured both Caymanian and overseas storytellers who traveled to each district during the week of Nov. 25-Dec. 3, ending at Smith Barcadere for “Duppy Story Night.”
May the best fish fry win
This time, the festival had the added excitement of a fish fry competition, where participants in each of Grand Cayman’s districts and in Cayman Brac entered their best effort, hoping to claim the “Cayman’s Best Fish Fry” title. The Cayman National Cultural Foundation partnered with Taste of Cayman to provide the fish fry competition each night of Gimistory, and the winning district walked home with bragging rights, a $250 Foster’s Food Fair Gift Card and a booth at Taste of Cayman on Jan. 28, when they will showcase their winning fish fry.
The Taste of Cayman judges were Tonie Chisholm, producer on Cayman 27’s “Daybreak” and former Miss Cayman; Clemens Guettler, winner of the Chairman’s Award at the 2016 Table Talk Food Awards and former Wharf owner; and Hollie Whitelocke, operations manager at the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.
The judges traveled to each district throughout Gimistory, even flying to Cayman Brac as part of their judging responsibilities, and sampling the delicious offerings each night. The fish fry teams were judged on a point scale with 5 being the highest score the judges could award. The categories for judging included: overall taste, seasoning, cleanliness of the fish, texture of the fish, freshness and the authenticity relating to a traditional Caymanian fish fry.
George Town emerges victorious
Although the three judges come from diverse backgrounds and palates, the results were very much in sync: the district of George Town overwhelmingly received the highest score.
“As the representative for Taste of Cayman and the judging coordinator, it was exciting to see the level of enthusiasm and pride each district took in preparing and serving their food,” says Taylor Vaughn of Tower Marketing. “While all of the food was enjoyed by the judges, George Town took home the title of ‘Best Fish Fry,’ and they will have their own booth in the All Things Cayman area at Taste of Cayman.”
Patrice Beersingh, programs manager at CNCF, was pleased with how smoothly the competition ran and the overwhelming support of attendees. Each district sold out every night of the festival. “The fish fry competition provided a wonderful opportunity for each district to raise funds for their community and participate in a friendly district rivalry. The CNCF was happy to be able to open this event to the community as an additional feature of the popular Gimistory festival, which continues to attract hundreds of people each night, every year.”
The public is encouraged to buy tickets for the Taste of Cayman in advance, and to visit the winning fish fry booth at the festival on Jan. 28.
Tickets can be bought at tasteofcayman.org or at Bon Vivant, Funky Tang’s, Tower Marketing and all Digicel stores. Tickets are $40 for adults ($50 at the gate) and $20 for children 5-13 years old, and include 10 food and drink tickets). Children under 5 years old are free. VIP tickets are $150 and include entry to the VIP Hospitality Lounge, 25 food and drink tickets, one experience voucher, welcome drinks and canapés, express entry and a private cash bar.