Culinary competition kicks off

The dates are now set for the Cayman Culinary Society’s
annual culinary competition, the 20th year of this exceptional showcase of
Cayman’s culinary skills when the islands’ top industry professionals will be
on hand to test their ability in this gastronomic showdown.

The competition will be a two day event hosted by The
Ritz-Carlton on 2 and 3 November, followed by a gala dinner and awards ceremony
on 4 November. The first day of competition will consist of a cold salon which
will be closed for judging from 10am onwards, whereby chefs will compete in six
categories and the winners of each category plus the two highest scoring
runners up will progress to a live cook-off competition held on day two. The
cold salon is closed to the public while judging is taking place but will be
open for viewing from 5pm.

Keith Griffin, owner of Bacchus restaurant and
co-president of the Cayman Culinary Society says the event is a real test of
skill and knowledge: “Chefs are really put to the test as they are judged not
only on the taste of the dish but also the look and presentation as well as how
well they have incorporated local ingredients into their dishes. All
participants give the competition 100 per cent of their effort and judging is
always a challenge because of this,” he says.

The second day will encompass the trade show, bartending
competition, ice carving, ‘Chef of the Year’ cook off and the medal
presentation (gold, silver, bronze); the grand awards will be presented at the
gala dinner. Judges from the American Culinary Federation will be overseeing
the event along with several local experts and prizes will be awarded in six
different food categories.

The trade show and live competition events will be held
on Wednesday, 3 November, from 9am onwards in the main ballroom. The public is
invited to attend all the events and there will plenty to see, with a live
mystery basket challenge for Chef of the Year commencing at 9am and running
until 2pm, live bartending at 2pm, including samples for the audience, ice
carving and wine and food sampling at the trade show throughout the day.

The gala dinner and awards ceremony will include a live
cooking demonstration dinner featuring chefs from Cayman’s top restaurants
cooking tableside, with each chef hosting a private table for 10 to 12 guests.
Key note speaker for the awards will be internationally-renowned chef Eric
Ripert, who overseas The Ritz-Carlton’s Blue by Eric Ripert restaurant. Awards
will be presented for Best Showpiece, Most Innovative Caribbean Dish, Best of
the Show, The Philip Pratt Memorial Trophy, Chef of the Year and Bartender of
the Year.

Chef Shetty, executive chef at the Beach Suites and
co-president of the Cayman Culinary Society encourages everyone to attend and
support Cayman’s chefs. “This is an event that has grown in popularity from
year to year and is always well supported by the local community. With so much
on show it is a great way for the public to see all those who usually work
behind the scenes and are such a big part of Cayman’s culinary scene,” he says.