UPDATED TO ADD: Due to bad weather, Taste of Cayman has been postponed till April 6, 2019. For more details on the postponement and ticket refunds, visit tasteofcayman.org.
Some 18,000 portions of food dished up by more than 40 vendors is set to be enjoyed at this month’s Taste of Cayman Food & Drink Festival.
The mouthwatering event will be held at Camana Bay’s expansive Festival Green, offering the ideal space for an anticipated 5,000 attendees to feast, sip, and savour some of Cayman’s tastiest fare.
Camana Bay has been home to Taste of Cayman since 2008, helping grow the family-friendly festival into one of Cayman’s premier events. Taste of Cayman originally started off as a chilli cook-off between chefs from a group of restaurants that made up the Cayman Islands Restaurant Association. Three decades later, Taste of Cayman is one of the biggest culinary events in Grand Cayman – and promises a night of fun, entertainment and mouthwatering food. Now celebrating its 31st year, the event is the largest annual fundraiser for the Cayman Islands Tourism Association. This year it will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26, with gates opening at 5 p.m.
“Everyone knows Taste of Cayman Food and Drink Festival is the largest and most delicious food festival in the Cayman Islands,” Theresa Leacock-Broderick, president of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, enthused. “The 2019 event promises to be bigger and better than ever before.”
Highlights are set to include the Experience Room, designed to be the ideal way for attendees to get up close and personal with some of the best in Cayman’s food and drink industry.
Experiences will include dark dining with chef Dylan Benoit, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy dishes while blindfolded, helping to intensify their sense of smell and taste; iguana and lionfish cooking demonstrations with chef Thomas Tennant; and rum tasting with Cayman’s local distillery Seven Fathoms. Attendees will also be able to meet some of Cayman’s growers and discover local dishes with a fresh twist, in addition to picking up some expert tips from a qualified mixologist on how to craft the perfect cocktail.
Guests can also look forward to an expanded All Things Cayman area, designed to give a flavour of Cayman’s rich food heritage.
“As we approach our 31st year, we’re giving our revellers an opportunity to not only try the island’s best food and drink offerings, but also a chance to get closer to the culture of the Cayman Islands,” Ms Leacock-Broderick explained.
With this in mind, the All Things Cayman area will include rope craft, steel pan demonstrations, and folk singers, in addition to the ever-popular Heavy Cake Competition, the Seven Fathoms Mixology Competition, and the Amateur Chef Cook-Off.
This year’s Taste will also include a VIP area, Kids’ Area, as well as live local entertainment – The Neverines and Beneil Miller & the Fyah Squad Band – in addition to the much-anticipated international tribute act, which this year is Simply Queen from Canada, who are fronted by Freddie Mercury impersonator Rick Rock. With the success of Bohemian Rhapsody in theatres there is a resurgence of affection for Queen.
Some of the best restaurants in Grand Cayman come out for this event. While the full list of food and drink vendors are still to be revealed, organisers have shared three new vendors to this year’s line-up: 1981 Brewery, Harbour Grille, and Grape Tree Café. Returning Cayman Islands restaurants include Camana Bay’s Agua, Catch, Caybrew, Rum Point, Sunshine Grill, Bandidos, The Brasserie, and Beach House Restaurant at the Westin.
Not only does Taste of Cayman encourage everyone to enjoy good food and drinks, the event also helps raise money for a local charity via a raffle. Proceeds from this year’s raffle tickets will go to the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). According to event organisers, last year the charity raffle raised over $10,000.
“The dedicated team of NCVO volunteers willingly give their time and resources to provide care, education and well–being to children and families in need of support in the Cayman Islands,” Tiffany Dixon-Ebanks, executive director of CITA, said. “As our local community remains at the heart of everything Taste of Cayman, the NCVO was chosen as a deserving charity for the 2019 event.”
The grand prize for this year’s raffle is two round trips to Miami with Cayman Airways, a two-night hotel stay and tickets to the South Beach Food and Wine Festival. There is also the opportunity to win restaurant vouchers, staycations, spa treatments, and much more.
For more details and to purchase tickets visit www.tasteofcayman.org.
General admission is priced at CI$40 for tickets purchased in advance. Tickets are priced at $50 when purchased at the gate. Admission for children aged five to 13 is priced at $20. VIP tickets are priced at $150.