Haute cuisine on the shores of paradise
Cayman Cookout’s 9th edition held in early January was, as always, an excellent opportunity to enjoy the most delicious dishes from some of the most renowned chefs in the world. As well as a great occasion to discover the wines and beers featured in the pairings. This year the host, Eric Ripert, was accompanied by distinguished personalities such as Anthony Bourdain, José Andrés ,and Emeril Legasse; who added a distinctive touch to the festivities that developed throughout the islands.
This annual meeting cleverly combines tourism and gastronomy, which have transformed the Cayman Islands into the epicenter of fine eating in the Caribbean. Each year the organizers design a gourmet route, through which the traveller discovers not only a feast of flavors. They also experience a good number of restaurants and venues where aromas and fusions wrap them in a unique experience.
Making alliances with prestigious brands is essential and strategic, since these contribute their prestige to the event which is undoubtedly wrapped in a chic aura. So it is not surprising that Thermador was present. The brand accompanied the presentations of chefs Bourdain and Ripert with its elegant appliances, which were also the most important allies of the cooking enthusiasts participating in this culinary event.
This year the Cayman Cookout Chefs were able to enjoy the benefits of both the induction and gas cooktop tops from Thermador. These cooktops, designed with kitchen professionals in mind, have an innovative star shaped burner, patented by the brand. This burner not only provides more heat coverage for pots and pans, but also facilitate the optimal cooking of food. Additionally, they feature temperature cycles which allow the slow cooking of those sauces that complement the most succulent haute cuisine dishes. In a nutshell, during this event Thermador became the assistant that any chef dreams of having in their kitchen.
Cayman Cookout is without a doubt a great opportunity to taste new and different dishes, which in this event feature the best local ingredients together with global seasonings. Also, each chef puts his touch and personality into recipes featuring fish and shellfish from the surrounding seawaters. Chef Vidyadhara Shetty from Mumbai, India, who was president of the Cayman Islands Culinary Society, is an example of that. In his venue, Blue Cilantro, you can taste different fusion cuisine dishes, amongst the more outstanding are the lobster and boursin cheese ravioli cooked with truffle oil and pumpkin sauce.
For fans of the exotic, the route invites them to taste some Asian Aromatic Sea Food delicacies with its selection of shellfish in coconut broth. This gastronomic tour also includes visits to emblematic places such as Morgan’s Seafood Restaurant, Lobster Pot, Mizu, and the distinctive Cayman Cabana. Located in George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands, this oceanfront restaurant is known for introducing the visitors to the best of the local cuisine, its exquisite beers, and tropical cocktails.
Nevertheless, the most exclusive part of the Cayman Cookout itinerary is joining Eric Ripert, in a private jet getaway, to Le Soleil d’Or Resort in Cayman Brac. This escapade includes a wine tasting from world-famous Craggy Range Winery guided by its owner Terry Peabody. Arriving at Cayman Brac, guests will enjoy lunch at Le Soleil d’Or wine bar before returning to Grand Cayman.
Something that guests shouldn’t skip trying on this culinary route or in any other visit to this island is the traditional Cayman Sea Salt. This artisanal, 100% natural, sea salt is used to season the best recipes of the islands. Experts in the gastronomic arts suggest tasting it, especially in sweet and fruity creations to truly enjoy its exceptional taste; they also suggest buying it to take some back home.
Ultimately the Cayman Cookout is an experience that not only captivates the sense of taste, but it introduces the dinner guests to the succulent universe of haute cuisine flavors with the colors of the Caribbean as a backdrop.