Think of it as a family dinner – for an entire country.

Thousands of “foodies,” amateur gastronomes and people who were just plain hungry showed up for dinner Saturday night on Camana Bay’s Festival Green for the annual Taste of Cayman celebration. Dozens of restaurants, bars and vendors (and perhaps hundreds of chefs and servers) were on hand to keep the crowds sated with appetizers, entrees, deserts and beverages specially crafted for the occasion.

Now in its 29th year, Taste of Cayman has grown along with the Cayman Islands and has matured into one of the best-attended, best-organized and (dare we say it?) best-tasting events in the country.

Although our population remains small, Cayman possesses an outstanding degree of diversity, with more than 100 nationalities living in harmony on our diminutive land mass. On Saturday night, Taste of Cayman had something for everyone, offering culinary pleasures to tempt every palate and delight every taste bud.

The festival had more than just food and drink: It also featured demonstrations, competitions, live music performances, family activities and fireworks. Old or young, omnivorous or vegetarian, oenophile or teetotaler – Taste of Cayman catered to every person in attendance.

In fact, if we were to identify the “main course” served up during Taste of Cayman, it would be this: the spirit of camaraderie.

In addition to the businesses and staff manning the individual booths, we’d like to congratulate the organizers and sponsors of Taste of Cayman for hosting a truly spectacular evening (the proceeds of which go to benefit the Cayman Islands Tourism Association). With more than two-dozen sponsors, we don’t have space to list them all in this editorial space. We will, however, identify “Platinum Platter” sponsors, Camana Bay and Hurley’s Media Ltd., “Golden Fork” sponsors, Digicel and Tower Marketing, and “Silver Spoon” sponsors, Cayman Airways, Island Heritage, Margaritaville, Massive, and Pinnacle Media’s own Flava magazine.

During Taste of Cayman, Flava and the Compass again hosted one of our ever-popular “photo booth contests.” The photos from Saturday night will be posted soon on the Compass Facebook page. Once the photos are uploaded, contest participants should locate their photo, “tag” themselves and share the photo. Then, confirm your entry to the contest at www.caymancompass.com/contests/taste-of-cayman-2017.

Participants who tag and share their photo, and confirm their contest entry, will be entered into a drawing for a “Feast & Getaway to Montego Bay” prize package, co-sponsored by Pinnacle Media, The Best Dressed Chicken (part of the Jamaica Broilers Group of Companies), Cayman Cabana Restaurant and the Royalton White Sands Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

With a value of $3,500, the prize package includes a farm-to-table dinner with wine for 10 people at Cayman Cabana, round-trip plane tickets for two people to Montego Bay and an all-inclusive weekend stay for two people at the Royalton White Sands Resort.

For Taste of Cayman attendees seeking a “second helping” of an enjoyable culinary experience (and who don’t want to wait until the 30th annual Taste of Cayman, to be held next January), we hope you took time to participate in the Flava photo booth. Remember to complete your contest entry before the Feb. 7 (noon) deadline.

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