Over the course of four days in January, some of the world’s best chefs, winemakers, mixologists and purveyors of gourmet foods will come together and present 60 delicious events at the 11th annual Cayman Cookout.
Although the Cayman Cookout is centred at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, event venues spread out all over Grand Cayman and include some of the island’s residents’ favourite spots: Rum Point, the Royal Palm’s beach, the Cayman Islands Brewery, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and on the waters of the North Sound. Events will also take place under Grand Cayman’s clear, blue sea, and high in the sky aboard a Falcon 7X jet with Chef Eric Ripert and the owner of the Craggy Range winery.
The 2019 Cayman Cookout will feature more lunches and a wider variety of events inside and outside The Ritz-Carlton, as well. In addition to the cooking demonstrations and wine tasting events that have happened every year, there will be a tasting that highlights beer and cheese pairings; a chance to meet the master distillers from the Don Julio tequila and Ketel One vodka distilleries; and a lunch that teaches attendees about sake, paired with sushi, of course.
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Executive Chef Frederic Morineau says the expanded event types are planned for a reason.
“We want to make sure that we are offering something different and exciting each year to our guests,” he says. “In addition, we noticed that over the years that besides watching celebrity chefs in cooking demonstrations, our guests were interested in learning more about food in general and trying different experiences. They are also more interested in what they consume, how the ingredients are produced and what differentiates them.”
Morineau says that over the past few years, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, has partnered with purveyors of fine foods like cheese, charcuterie and caviar.
“They can tell us their story and share with us their passion, while providing an exceptional culinary experience for the Cookout guests.”
The 2019 Cayman Cookout will also include more female chefs than ever before.
“I am very excited that in 2019, 50 per cent of the celebrity chef line-up will be ladies,” Morineau says. ”We will be welcoming for the second time Chef Dominique Crenn, as well as Chef Amanda Cohen and Nancy Silverton, an amazing baker, well-known for popularising sourdough and artisan breads in the United States.”
The 2019 Cayman Cookout will also feature Swedish Chef Emma Bengtsson of the two-star Michelin restaurant “Aquavit” in Manhattan. Cren is known for her two-star Michelin restaurant “Atelier Crenn” in San Francisco. Bengtsson and Cren are two of only three female chefs in the United States to run two-star Michelin restaurants.
Several of the iconic Cayman Cookout events that guests have loved over the years will happen again, including the Jacques Scott Wine Fair & Auction presented by Camana Bay’s AUDI/Arch Automotive on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 17; the always popular and entertaining ”Olé José” culinary demonstration with Chef José Andrés, which always sells out quickly, on Friday morning Jan. 18; the Barefoot BBQ at Royal Palms on Friday evening, Jan. 18; The Beach Bash at Rum Point on Saturday morning Jan. 19; the Bon Vivant Amateur Chef Competition Brunch on Sunday morning, Jan. 20; and the Great Gala dinner that features seven visiting celebrity chefs along with Blue by Eric Ripert Chef de Cuisine Thomas Seifried.
The 2019 Cayman Cookout will mark the first time the event will not feature Anthony Bourdain, who died this past June. Bourdain, along with chefs Eric Ripert and José Andrés, were considered the “Three Amigos” of the Cayman Cookout.
Ironically, another one of Bourdain’s good friends, Andrew Zimmern of the television show, “Bizarre Foods,” had already agreed prior to Bourdain’s death to host the Cayman Cookout lunch that includes several of Grand Cayman’s best restaurants. Bourdain had hosted that lunch in previous years. At the 2019 Cayman Cookout, “Bizarre Food with Andrew Zimmern,” will take place Friday, Jan. 17, and will feature several of the local Cayman Islands foods that aren’t generally found in North America.
2019 Cayman Cookout tickets, which are available only online at eventbrite.com, went on sale Oct. 1.