If you have never attended “Out of the Kitchen” in The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s ballroom and hosted by the resort and the Cayman Culinary Society, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Every year, chefs from restaurants around the island gather to present their dishes in an electric and eclectic atmosphere. This festival for foodies allows them to step out of their comfort zone and into the spotlight where many of them blossom (and blush) under the enormous weight of accolades from their guests. They cook at their stations in the ballroom, and often the evening descends into the cheers and laughter of a full-blown party.

There is always one ingredient that must be included in dishes; this year, it is the very Caribbean callaloo. Let’s see the inventive ways in which it is used.

The proceedings usually begin with Executive Chef Frederic Morineau of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman announcing the chefs and bartenders with flair, as they run out into the ballroom. What follows is a celebration of excellent cuisine with beverages flowing throughout the night, including plated desserts at the table.

Awards and fundraising

Although in the past a great many awards were handed out for the accompanying culinary competition, this part of the schedule has been shortened significantly, and now only a few awards are presented on stage. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to recipient Lenny Hew, along with words from a guest speaker. There will also be a short live auction on the night.

In the past, funds raised have been used toward The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s Culinary Arts Scholarship. However, with a number of Caribbean islands still reeling from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, it was decided that this year the money should be donated to assisting with their recovery.

George Fowler of Calypso Grill is a previous recipient of the Lifetime Achievment Award. This year, it will be given to Lenny Hew.

It is hoped that the event will draw a record number of attendees. Those who are interested in going to “Out of the Kitchen” should book their tickets now.

Tickets are $175 each and include some wine with dinner. Contact participating restaurants directly for their tickets, or The Ritz-Carlton for more information on the event and reservations at 815-6912.

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