Cayman Cookout 2020 chefs revealed

Chef Normand Laprise is the owner of Toqué! and Brasserie T! in Montreal, Quebec.

Foodies eagerly awaiting the next Cayman Cookout, to be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, on Jan. 16-19 next year, got an early tidbit on Wednesday when the chef lineup was revealed, live from Le Bernadin restaurant in New York.

Marc Langevin, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, along with Leandro Rattazzi, director of sales and marketing, and Maria Pineda, marketing communications manager, travelled to the Big Apple to join host Chef Eric Ripert for the announcement, which went out on the festival’s Instagram account at 12:15 p.m. Eastern Time. Members of the media also attended the event.

There will be 13 headlining chefs at Cookout 2020 – the highest number yet – representing the US, Canada, the UK and the Cayman Islands. They are a mix of perennial favourites such as Eric Ripert, José Andrés and Emeril Lagasse, coupled with previous participants Dominique Crenn, Daniel Boulud and Andrew Zimmern, and new additions with names well recognised in the industry.

Chef Clare Smyth of Core by Clare Smyth will participate in Cayman Cookout for the first time.

Chef Clare Smyth, hailing from London, has visited the island previously, but this is her first time participating in Cayman Cookout. She was the first female British chef to ever run a restaurant with three Michelin stars, while at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and her restaurant Core by Claire Smyth was awarded two Michelin stars this year.

Chef Niki Nakayama is the owner of n/naka restaurant in Los Angeles, specialising in Kaiseki cuisine, and Chef Pano Karatassos is executive chef of Kyma restaurant in Atlanta, with a menu focussed on flavours of the Mediterranean. He also has his own line of products including feta cheese, organic honey and olive oil.

Laetitia Rouabah from New York; Dean Max from the Cayman Islands; Normand Laprise from Montreal; and Stephanie Izard from Chicago round out the group of 13 chefs leading the charge at Cayman Cookout 2020.

Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Frederic Morineau said he was very happy about the diverse number of chefs confirmed for next year’s festival.

Chef Pano Karatassos is the Executive Chef of Kyma restaurant in Atlanta.

“Having been in charge of Cayman Cookout for the last 11 years, I am very proud of the celebrity chef lineup that we were able to assemble for our 2020 edition,” Morineau said. “What is amazing, is that [it] is a very easy sell to convince such chefs as Daniel Boulud or José Andrés to come back year after year, or to get new upcoming talent like Niki Nakayama from Los Angeles to commit to a week here with her busy agenda.

“It is all because of Caymankind; the Cayman Islands are famous for their warm hospitality, and even more so now with Cayman Cookout on the annual calendar every January.”

For more information about Cayman Cookout and the chefs, visit

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