Classy Cayman cookout commences

Cayman Cookout 2010 is upon us and builds on the debut to provide a series of compelling events in the company of the world’s greatest chefs and the most sophisticated wine palates on the planet. Journal journalist Joe Shooman reports.

Registration begins on Thursday, 14 January, at 10am-6pm at Taikun Sushi Lounge in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, then at 7pm the tantalising Seven Mile Beach-based Cayman Cultural Showcase takes off.

Friday, 15 January is chockablock with choices for the epicurean traveller. At 9am Grant Achatz delves into the marriage of culinary artistry and food science, while on The Great Lawn Laurent Drouhin presents classics of the Burgundian empire in the open air wine pavilion.
At 10am, Robert Sleigh of Sotheby’s and Ray Isle lead a tasting of Bordeaux Reserve at Blue and internationally renowned chef and executive chef at Blue Eric Ripert demonstrates his way with seafood at the Tasting Pavilion on Seven Mile Beach.
Try lunch at 12pm with Jose Andres at Periwinkle when Spain’s culinary innovator and ambassador brings traditional and avant-garde Spanish fare including tapas and a giant paella.
At the same time, Luca hosts lunch with Anthony Giglio, teaching the art of creating special foods from simple and fresh ingredients. Or you could opt for the Masterpieces Created by the Blue Chefs in the kitchen there; learn why they earned the region’s only AAA Five Diamond award.
On the Great Lawn at 2.30pm Aldo Sohm speaks of up-and-coming Austrian wines in the Tasting Pavilion and Chef Dean Fearing demonstrates his skills at Grand Cayman Meeting Room.
At 4pm it’s either An Oceanfront Afternoon at Seven Mile Beach Pavilion with Anthony Bourdain or Madeira Reserve Tasting in Blue with Cayman resident Andrew Jones and Robert Sleigh sharing the finest Madeiras from Jones’ personal cellar.
There’s sunset rum tasting on the Pirate Ship (5-7pm) to further whet the appetite.
Choices for dinner include The Brasserie with Ray Isle, dinner with Schloss Gohelsburg and Polz Winemaker at Blue, innovative rule-breaking at Bon Vivant with David Chang or a wine auction and classic steakhouse menu at the National Trust Dinner & Wine Auction at 7 Prime Cuts & Sunsets.

Saturday At 9am, Chef Eric Ripert will be taking a catamaran out to Stingray City and preparing tuna tartare along the way, while Appleton Master Blender Joy Spence leads guests toward their own signature blend in Grand Cayman Ballroom. Gail Simmons, meanwhile, gives a talk and Q&A about behind-the-scenes tidbits at Top Chef.
Other Saturday events to look out for including a cooking demo from Jose Andres (10am, Tasting Pavilion), Reserve Riesling (Blue, 10am) Micro Brew Lunch with Dean Fearing & Anthony Giglio (Periwinkle Restaurant, 12pm), Lunch with Grant Achatz & mycologist John Lermayer (Ballroom Terrace, 12pm), Blue masterpieces (Blue, 12pm).
Later there’s wine tasting with winemaker Violet Grgich (Tasting Pavilion, 2.30pm) and at Grand Cayman Meeting Room, David Chang’s passion, rebellion and radicalism rules (2.30pm).
From 5-7pm it’s an afternoon sampling distinctly Caymanian bush teas and local savoury and sweet treats. Traditional Caymanian kitchen band Swanky provides soothing sounds at The Mission house for the Tea Party featuring Bush Tea.
Anthony Bourdain and good friend Eric Ripert will be manning the BBQ at Calico Jack’s at 7pm to prove that food does indeed taste better when your feet are in the sand. No tablecloths, martinis or truffle oil: just good honest food and a great atmosphere.

Sunday, 17 January begins with Island Style Organic at Barjack, a host of chefs providing natural artistry. At the same time, genius pastry chef Alex Grunert is in Grand Cayman Meeting Room providing wonderful treats. At 10am in Periwinkle Jean-Michel Cousteau hosts Pizza Making for Kids concurrent to a book sale and signing in Rembro Meeting Room.
From 11-3 the Bon Vivant Sunday Moet & Chandon Champagne Brunch Cook-off comes to its conclusion to find Cayman’s best chef: Ripert, Dean Fearing, Anthony Bourdain and Gail Simmons judge the contest, the prize of which is tickets to the Best Chefs Event in New York.
At 3 – 6pm there’s just time for a mixologist lounge event at North Side Pool before the Cayman Cookout Gala Dinner between 7 and 9pm at Blue in the company of Eric Ripert, Achatz, Andrez, Chang, Bourdain and Fearing. The seven-course dinner is sold out but a number of packages for the weekend’s stay in The Ritz-Carlton do include Gala Dinner access.

A full schedule of events is available at