Described as the largest food festival in the Caribbean, Taste of Cayman made headlines as it celebrated its 30th anniversary with more than 5,000 persons gathered in the heart of Camana Bay last Saturday.
Persons travelled from near and far to indulge in delicious food and enticing cocktails inspired by the different cultural backgrounds which make up the fabric of Caymanian society.
With over 35 restaurants on display, the event started off on a high as Chef Maureen Cubbon taught a lively and educational kids’ class with several volunteers from the audience. Many were seen concentrating on expertly cutting and preparing their callaloo dish. “I am proud of these kids, they are doing so well,” said Cubbon as she encouraged the children while they moved through the various steps.
The heavy cake competition was a crowd favourite, and featured variations of the traditional Caymanian heavy cake. Jody-Ann Jackson was victorious, as the judges and the audience deemed her heavy cake the best in the island. She walked away with a hefty cash prize as well as the title of Heavy Cake Champion for 2018.
The air was filled with delectable scents which wafted in the gentle Caymanian breeze as each restaurant fired up stoves to present their culinary delights. Samples of food included: savoury crÍpes prepared by Cayman CrÍperie; street-style corn on the cob by Bandidos; keema pan (ground lamb in Indian spice) by Beach House at the Westin; and oxtail nachos from Cayman Cabana, just to name a few.
The signature drink of the night came from Rum Point Club which had all in attendance forming a line to sample their rich and sweet mudslide. “The line may be long but they move really fast,” said Kit Graham, author of The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook.
Miss World Cayman 2018 Kristin Amaya worked up a sweat as she competed in the Bon Vivant’s Amateur Chef Cook-Off competition. Never the one to let anything hold her back, not even her extravagant outfit, she managed to pull through while maintaining style and grace even with beads of perspiration on her face.
The Seven Fathom’s Rum Challenge portrayed the skills of international and local mixologists who showed what they could create using the Cayman Spirits as their key ingredient. “It’s amazing to watch what each person can create with our product,” said co-founder of Cayman Spirits Company, Walker Romanica.
Chairman of Taste of Cayman and general manager of Rackam’s Waterfront Bar and Grill, Julie Allan was ecstatic with the turnout for the event. “We get to harness the competitive nature from the different restaurants and participants in each competition as well as providing fun live entertainment. We want people to come for the food but stay for the entertainment,” said Allan.
The Cayman Islands Tourism Association is proud of Taste of Cayman Food and Drink Festival and aims to be even bigger and better in the years to come.