Television personality and author Andrew Zimmern, the star of the long-running Travel Channel television series, “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” has tasted bizarre foods served all over the world.
When Zimmern hosts his first Cayman Cookout event on Friday, Jan. 18, on the Great Lawn of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, he’ll probably find the cuisine he tastes more unusual and imaginative than bizarre. However, for some of the guests, many of whom will be travelling to the Cayman Islands from abroad, some of the items on the menu will seem strange indeed.
Twelve different local restaurants or private chefs will prepare dishes, most of which are common on Grand Cayman, and serve them at stations for the event.
“The idea is to showcase Andrew Zimmern’s show,” says The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Executive Chef Frederic Morineau, explaining that the television personality will go from station to station with a microphone, taste the dish and then talk about it. Event guests will be able to try everything as well.
Some of the dishes on the menu will include oxtail stew, lion fish, curried goat, conch, Cayman rabbit and turtle stew.
Chef Thomas Tennant, well known for his stints leading the kitchens at Micheal’s Genuine Food & Drink and the Brasserie, will serve iguana rillettes with bammy.
Chef Morineau says the event offers a change of pace from most of the food that will be served at Cayman Cookout events.
“The participating local restaurants will be cooking some unusual, but good, foods,” he says. “I think guests will be surprised at just how good these unusual ingredients can taste when prepared by some of Grand Cayman’s best chefs.”
Other dishes will celebrate the multicultural diversity in Grand Cayman’s kitchens. Sandy Tuason, executive chef at The Beach House Restaurant at the Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort, said his team, which includes several chefs from the Philippines, will prepare sizzling Filipino pork sisig.
“It’s a popular street food in the Philippines that’s often eaten late after a night out,” he says. “It uses many parts of the pig, which are all chopped up and made into a hash, and it’s usually served with an egg on it.”
Other local restaurants and chefs scheduled to participate include Blue Cilantro, Cracked Conch, Luca, Kaibo Upstairs, Grand Old House, The Wharf, Cayman Cabana, Saucha, Nyamaste, Smokies and Kirk Market.
The lunchtime event, which starts at 11:30 p.m. and runs through 1:30 p.m., will also include a selection of beverages, including a signature cocktail featuring Russian Standard Vodka, a selection of Bold Rock Hard Cider, a rosé wine and Grand Cayman’s own Caybrew beer.
The Cayman Cookout runs from Jan. 17 through Jan. 20. Tickets are available online at the Cayman Cookout website.