Culinary Capital Blog
The Art of Mixology with Bob Peters
January 25, 2017 / / Casandra M.
The Cayman Cookout festivities began with Mixologist Bob Peters’ coffee infused, Diplomatico Rum Boulevardiers. Throughout the weekend we were taken on an exciting journey discovering the art format of craft beverages; brought down to absolute simplicity.
Inspired by fresh ingredients, we were convinced this could easily be done at home.
Bob’s tip: Don’t forget to balance four essential flavours to a cocktail everyone at your next gathering can enjoy: sweet, acid, sour and savory.
Russian Standard Vodka, homemade Cayman honey syrup, honey dew melon, finished with champagne for a silky textured cocktail
We could not resist this innovative champagne cocktail exquisitely constructed with Mizu, aromatic chopped mint, lime juice and water.
Bob did not disappoint at Cayman Cookout’s final event, Rum & Robusto.
Diplomatico Rum infused with vanilla bean, freshly squeezed lime juice, 10 year old Port, & topped with Prosecco, garnished with a strawberry.
Around the World with Anthony Bourdain
January 25, 2017 / / Casandra M.
Who dares say no to going on a culinary excursion around the world with Anthony Bourdain?
Lionfish Fritters in a creamy “Caymanian Rundown” - coconut stew.
Tender, smoked octopus…and that sauce!
Shredded lamb on a fluffy pancake. Who would have thought?
Russian Standard Vodka flowing through the ice sculpture right into your glass.
Straight off the BBQ! Don’t forget the coleslaw.
It takes an astounding 10 pounds of grapes (the equivalent of 5 bottles of wine) to make this bottle of Macchu Pisco.
Malaysian inspired coconut kimchi cone with spicy mango peanut glaze
Once you’re not riding away with those delicious banana crepes!
Life by the Sea with Chef Dean Max
January 17, 2017 /// Jess.
Supporting Local, we have the infamous Chef Dean James Max of The Brasserie; giving a taste of what our islands are all about.
A quick lesson about the difference between season peppers and hot scotch bonnet peppers, to the history of the origin of the breadfruit. This demonstration with Chef Dean Max was entertaining and informative!
Every good demonstration starts off with, you guessed it.. Coconuts & Rum!
Wait..they all don't start like that? I guess Chef Dean Max just has the right idea on how to get his audience's attention.
Next up, Chef threw out a delectable Gazpacho garnished with a mild Ceviche all while balanced on the middle of a thin crispy Breadfruit Chip.
The season peppers really shone in that cool shot of Gazpacho!
The next tasting was a personal favorite ( I even asked for seconds!)
A very lightly beer battered Swordfish Skewer with an incredibly light Herb Aioli, and a little Sea Salt.
So simple, yet so delicious!
..& he kept the cocktails coming!
All in all, one of my favorite tasting throughout the Cayman Cookout weekend. Simple and yet bursting with flavor.
A Great End: Rum & Robusto
January 17, 2017 /// Jess
With the atmosphere just oozing Cuban culture, this event was one of my cultural favorites.
From the live Cuban cigar rolling to the sounds of Havana dancing around the poolside, the atmosphere was super chilled and nonchalant.
Delectable bites made their way around the pool, which seemed to excite one guest in particular (apart from me that is..)
With Rum samples from Seven Fathoms to Ron Zacapa and Flor de Cana to name a few, this event would make any Rum aficionado quite happy.
You don't want to miss this event again!
A Whole New World: Spanish Cheese, Charcuterie & Aged Spanish Wine.
January 15, 2017 /// Jess.
With a mouthful of a title, this tasting did not disappoint. Lead by the " big cheese" herself Michele Buster, this incredible experience was not one to be missed by fine wine and cheese connoisseurs anywhere.
Michele Buster leading the tasting with a little personal history of her beginnings as a cheese seller, artisan and now ambassador.
Cheese ranging from soft to firm, and the makes of goat to buffalo cheese. This spread was an educational trip for the senses.
The Steamed White Asparagus was a delicious palate cleanser between cheeses.
Just like each round before, the Charcuterie was immaculately presented and flavored!
Let's not forget the accopaniments of roasted Spanish Almonds, Figs, Olives and Cranberries
To complete this already amazing tasting were the wine pairings offered. Notably the most memorable (and highly concentrated) wine was quite special.. Mainly because the vine these grapes were harvested on, were planted about 90 years ago. (Yes, 9-0!) It can produce a product with a natural alcohol content of 18%! But, like any commodities of such historic value it is a special reserve that can only be bought with the makers themselves, Rioja Wines. (And that's only after they feel it is ready!)
Ole Jose! Paella with Jose Andres.
January 15, 2017 / / Jess
With his usual eclectic and dramatic entrances, Jose Andres definitely did not disappoint this year! Arriving by jet ski with another legend Emeril Lagasse, Jose decided James Bond style was the best fit for this year. Theme music, toting a plastic gold gun and everything!
After finishing his grand entrance, Jose proceeds to do his annual demonstration of a great Spanish Paella. Starting off with two incredibly huge iron pans, his chefs proceed to get things started with onions and an amazing smelling fish stock.
Next, the pasta (make sure you emphasize it's from Spain, or Jose wont be too happy!)
Then, the addition of shrimp (with the heads on!)
A few more jokes and cocktails later, a heavenly aroma floats through the audience. Jose makes his final address to the audience and it's time for Paella!
Beach Bash: Keep Calm and Say “Yes Chef”!
January 14, 2017 / / Casandra M.
Hosted at Rum Point in Grand Cayman, the 2017 Cayman Cookout Beach Bash welcomed guests to a Moet designed party scene, fruity beach cocktails and of course celebrity dishes.
Caption: Moet designed DJ station
Caption: Keep Calm and Say “Yes Chef”
Caption: Keep Calm and Say “Yes Chef”
Caption: The Amazing Tony Biggs
Caption: In the Cayman Islands everything is fresh
Caption: Churros! Heaven on earth…Yum
BBQ and Steak King – Tim Love
January 14, 2017 / / Casandra M.
If you have never experienced Tim Love’s demonstrations, then it is one that has to be on your bucket list. Now, Jose Andres is usually the rowdy one at Cayman Cookout and can truly command a cooking demonstration but…
Tim Love had the crowd roaring, engaged, participating and having a ball of a time! In other words the man was simply amazing!
And if you aren’t cooking your steaks in a fire pit (and your onions) you truly aren’t doing it right!
Caption: Tim Love and Food and Wine Editor in Chief Nilou Motamed starting his demo with a shot
Caption: The fire pit
Caption: If you have never cooked your steak on a fire pit you are not doing it right!
Caption: The final result was the juiciest, flavorful and tender steak we have ever eaten.
Caption: The Roasted onions that were caramelized in the middle are to die for!
Caption: Guests enjoyed a little competition of shots
Kicking Off- Cocktails with Bob Peters
January 14, 2017 / / Jess
Starting off Cayman Cookout, is the Live Entertainment in the Silver Palm Lounge at the Ritz Carlton.
Host of this event? Awarding winning Charlotte native, none other than the Mixologist himself Bob Peters.
He mixed up one of the most creative drinks, I've ever seen; and rightfully named Fiesta Punch. Starring Avion Tequila, the mixed flavors of Beet Ginger Kombucha, Orange and Lime, which was then garnished with Cilantro and a kick of Jalapeno was perfect! I mean, who would've thought!
With the celebrity chefs making a quick visit here and there, and networking and socializing a must, the night was complete with a live DJ turning out tunes from old R&B and Pop classics, to jumping new Soca. It was definitely a great start to an exciting, food and wine filled weekend.
Lunch with Daniel Humm
January 13, 2017 / / Casandra M.
Tall. Charming. And can cook.
Chef and Co-Owner of Eleven Madison Park in New York City which is ranked No. 3 in the world on the San Pelligrino list of World’s Best Restaurants (a list every restaurant wants to be on! The highest achievement in the business), Chef Daniel is now a favorite at Cayman Cookout.
His third cookout appearance, Chef Daniel did not disappoint with a beautiful menu of eggs benedict, lobster, cod and Mont Blanc dessert. Beautifully paired with Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon’s.
First course: Eggs Benedict with caviar, leek and potato.
Second course: Lobster, butter poached with Daikon and Citrus
Third course: Cod with Sun Choke, Truffle, Coq Au Vin Jus
Dessert: Mont Blanc, Chestnut Cremeux, Rum Candied chestnut, Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream
Caption: Director of Tourism, Mrs. Rosa Harris and Chef Daniel Humm.
Drinking with the Best
January 13, 2017 / / Casandra M.
There are a few people in the world that can boast that they have sampled prestige reserve champagne, Dom Perignon. Many of those have attended Cayman Cookout at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.
Special guests explored the exclusive world of Dom Perignon and tasted some of the best champagne in the world. Rare releases and current vintages proved a delight for all. Made from the best grapes in the world, Dom Perignon’s commitment to offering the best in Champagne definitely rang true.
And a note for all of those who may be wondering how you should drink champagne… the best say not in a champagne flute but in a wine glass!
Sommelier, Brendan Steenhuisen, at Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman pouring Dom Perignon
P1-2006. Kept in the cellar for 6-8 years. Bubbles are really thin. Amazing and feels like silk on your tongue.
P2 – 1998. Takes 16 years to maturate. Tactile sensation on the pallet. The bubbles in this champagne makes it look like a very young champagne.
A great experience and one not to be missed in the future.
Chef Eric Ripert and Craggy Range at Le Soleil d'Or
January 12, 2017 / / Casandra M.
So we usually start Cayman Cookout with photos of our amazing chefs on our beautiful Seven Mile Beach or lounging at the pool.
This year, Cayman Cookout started a bit differently. For the first time, Cayman Cookout arrived in the Sister Islands and in style.
An intimate group of guests boarded wine connoisseur Craggy Range’s Falcon 7x Private Jet and was spirited away to the exclusive Le Soleil d’Or Resort in Cayman Brac. Joined by Craggy Range owner Terry Peabody and Cayman Cookout Host, Chef Eric Ripert, guests enjoyed a beautiful selection of wines 37,000 feet in the air.
Caption: Craggy Range owner Terry Peabody and Cayman Cookout Host Eric Ripert
Le Soleil d’Or has established itself as the premier boutique resort on island offering not only luxury accommodations but also holistic opportunities for guests that just want more out of their vacation. Cayman Cookout guests enjoyed a tour of the resort’s farm which boasted 20 acres of fruits that grow year round and supplies the property restaurants. The team also uses the produce on the farm to create unique bottled homemade products that have become crowd favourites. Visitors explored a plethora of herbs and fruit trees such as mango, avocado, peppers, oranges, lime, dragon fruit, figs and olives (yes – olives and figs… in the tropics!)
Caption: A taste of Le Soliel d’Or farm harvest and products in their store
The guests were then treated to a four course menu of sinful deliciousness. First course of oysters and caviar, freshly baked breads, farm harvest jams and conscious drinks along with paired Craggy Range wines. Second course was an assortment of charcuterie that is freshly made onsite for guests. Third course was a classic French cuisine and the final course a mouthwatering selection of desserts.
This friends is not an event you should ever miss!
Cayman Cookout 2017 Begins
January 12, 2017 / / Daniel T.
The moment has finally arrived where the world's best chefs converge in the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. The 9th annual Cayman Cookout is here. Familiar names and faces welcome new friends to the epicurean event of the year. Presented by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, FOOD & WINE Magazine and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Cookout boasts an elite roster of talented chefs, wine and spirit experts and culinary influencers each year. The exclusive, interactive weekend features cooking demonstrations, tastings, tours, dinners, pairings and unique epicurean experiences.
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. L-R: Daniel Humm, Rainer Zinngrebe, Tim Love, Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert, Roland Passot, José Andrés, Terrance Brennan, Christina Tosi, Emeril Lagasse, Frederic Morineau.
With over 200 restaurants spread across our three tropical islands, Cayman has secured its spot as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. From five-star dining and casual venues with fresh-off-the boat seafood, to world-famous chefs hosting large-scale events such as Cayman Cookout, the foodie in everyone will find themselves in a plated paradise of Traditional Caymanian, Caribbean, Thai, Italian and New World dishes.
The Cayman Islands: A Culinarians Dream
January 12, 2017 / / Jessica M.
There are some people who eat because well, we need to. It's a chore, apart of our daily routine and just a means to keep going. Then, there are those who enjoy food, they appreciate exquisite pairings, new tasting adventures and the all around experience. It's a luxury, a means to indulge in the flavors of world probably never having to leave your city. Then, there they are; The Culinarians. The ones who breathe, live and love the endless pleasures of not only food but their ingredients on a whole new level.
From odd pairings like Shrimp Bisque and Cinnamon Croutons (it's actually super delicious!) to the always pleasurable simplicity of a
fresh caught and prepared Lobster Roll, down to easy at home takes on other worldly dishes like my Shredded Coconut Chicken with Mango Salsa.
It's easy to see why the Cayman Islands would be considered the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. There are international influences from every corner of the earth, walking the streets, serving in our restaurants and influencing our tourism sector everyday. I believe that this melting pot of diversity on such an economically powerful island, driven mainly by tourism is an incredible powerhouse for development and is without a doubt a force to be reckoned with in terms of our current culinary status and break through's to come.
From our Local Farmers and Fishermen, we have choices of the most fresh and natural products you could imagine.
I mean, as well as the ever expanding variety in our supermarkets our in home experiences are endless. Our dining experiences? Oh man, with the amount of restaurants and cultural influences in them. You could probably travel the world in a few courses. From an amazing 'Down Under' experience of the far side at the Aussie inspired Tukka, to the classic Italian dining at Casanova's and Eduardo's and lets not forget our own home grown Cayman Cuisine at Ms. Vivienne's (the woman could cook!) & oh yes, I wouldn't live it down if I forgot to mention our Latin influences, seen in restaurants like Casa 43 creating amazingly yummy, authentic Mexican (I have to roll myself out of there every time I feast on their street corn and shrimp tacos..not very pretty) We even have Southern Spice bringing us the flavors of India, and The Bistro creating classic French cuisine if you're up for an incredible journey through some of the oldest culinary techniques available.
There are new exciting dining opportunities presenting themselves everyday, and they don't even have to be in an actual restaurant! From brand new Vegan joints to down right BBQ heaven or Greek Inspired deliciousness in a food truck, only to bring it right back home with the many Jerk stands located around the island; my palette really can't handle all the goodness.
I also have to highlight our home grown vendors like Cayman Pepper Jelly and Cayman Sea Salt, who are constantly producing incredible products that have put Cayman in the lime light for incredible culinary feats; further proving we really are a leading force in the world of food and everything edible.
I say all of this to end with, do you really have to ask me why Cayman is the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean? I mean, just look around.. how could you not be convinced! Our Islands are incredible!