Cayman Culinary Month

Enjoy the mouth-watering excitement of Culinary Month in the Cayman Islands
from January 12–February 14th!

Make it your New Year’s Resolution to attend a few of these fabulous (and tasty) experiences–Taste of Cayman should only be one of the events
on your social calendar.

12th-15th January 2012
Top Chef Eric Ripert hosts a weekend at The Ritz-Carlton celebrating food and wine where a roster of famous chefs will give food demonstrations, tastings, tours, special dinners and more.

28th January 2012 5pm-12am
One of the largest epicurean festivals in the Caribbean.
The event is held along the Harbour at Camana Bay where over 35 participating restaurants offer tastings and pairings with featured dishes.

A barefoot beach BBQ dinner with top chefs, special Champagne and caviar tastings, a fish tea cook off, lionfish hunt and tasting, a special Cayman lobster and conch dinner, a Caribbean beach party with a pig roast, a Slow Food day, rum tour and pirate sail.

Cayman Culinary Month
A Dionysian Festival Celebrating Food & Wine
Feature Article - Good Taste 2012
Photos of Cayman Cookout - David Wolfe

The RSVP reads: “Dionysus (also known as the Greek God of wine and merrymaking), will be delighted once again to attend the 2012 month-long festivities celebrating the art of food and wine in the Cayman Islands. However, Mr. Dionysus would like to know if he can wear his toga and sandals?” In this land of barefoot elegance, one can almost arrive at any of Cayman’s culinary events dressed in a white linen toga, although the sandals will definitely raise fewer eyebrows.

Four years ago Cayman Culinary Month was born; the dream-child of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) designed to strengthen Cayman’s position as the culinary capital of the Caribbean. Every year from mid-January through to mid-February, the Cayman Islands celebrates the much-anticipated festival honouring entirely food and wine! As a mark of how serious the DOT is about Culinary Month, they have introduced an internationally televised campaign aimed at marketing Cayman’s culinary vacation packages.

Of course, foodies worldwide aspire to travel to ‘epicurean events’ such as the New York City Wine & Food Festival or the Aspen Food & Wine Festival - but who could resist tasting the finest wines and gourmet recipes while mingling with the world’s top chefs against the beautiful backdrop and warm tropical temperatures of the Cayman Islands in January?

Each year Cayman restaurants meticulously dress their tables, ready their forks and prepare specialty dishes and menus in preparation. 2012’s celebration runs from January 12th through February 14th, during which calendar pages are once again filled with elaborate tastings, cooking demonstrations, culinary tours, dinners and brunches, all aimed to delight foodies, gourmands and oenophiles-alike.

Some of the highlights of the 2012 Cayman Culinary Month are: The Cayman Cookout; The Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival at Camana Bay; The Bon Vivant Amateur Chef Cookoff; The Westin Dining Under the Stars event; The Lobster Pot exclusive helicopter wine and dinner event; the Slow Food farm-to-table dinners; The Brasserie Wine Dinner with a live and silent auction; lionfish cooking demonstrations and specialty prix-fixe dinners one day a week at participating restaurants.

For the last four years the first event on the calendar has been the Cayman Cookout. Introduced and hosted by Chef Eric Ripert and held annually at The Ritz-Carlton, the Cookout is a weekend of events celebrating food, wine and the natural beauty of Cayman. Some of the world’s top chefs, wine experts and spirit blenders offer wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, tours, dinners, beach fêtes and culinary competitions. Since its inception, it has commanded recognition in the culinary industry, placing Cayman on the map and attracting chefs from other leading culinary destinations like Miami, New York City and London. Much talked about highlights include top chefs Eric Ripert, Anthony Bourdain and José Andres’ barefoot BBQ dinner on the beach and in 2010 there was a BBQ hosted on the Sandbar itself!

Another very notable event of Culinary Month is the Taste of Cayman which in 2012 will be celebrating its 24th year (although, unofficially, it started 26 years ago). It is an event which just keeps getting bigger and better. The festival’s humble beginnings in 1985 were kick-started by Mike Flowers, Suzy Soto and the Cayman Restaurant Association. The CRA amalgamated with Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) about 10 years ago and they continue to stage the Taste of Cayman each year. Indeed the event has been renamed to the “The Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival” to reflect the fact that the festival has expanded beyond just food—and now includes wine, sommeliers, tastings and pairings with featured dishes from chefs. It has also grown so big, (last year it welcomed approximately 3,700 attendees) that it has moved to Camana Bay. In 2011 the event showcased 35 participating restaurants and over 50 booths, and this year is expected to be even bigger, with booths set up all along the waterfront at Camana Bay. This year’s event will include an impressive list of participating restaurants and vendors as well as an 'all things Cayman' area, a mojito lounge, new sports bar lounge and live entertainment.

This upcoming year will once again prove Cayman is the destination for food lovers, and will only continue to attract culinary tourism year after year. So mark your calendars for January and February 2013 – we will again be celebrating Cayman Culinary Month!