The annual meeting for gourmet cuisine lovers, the Cayman Cookout, celebrated its 11th edition with several distinctive features: the absence of one of its main figures, chef Anthony Bourdain, the participation of a large group of famous female chefs, and new events.
The Cayman Cookout -which this year took place from January 16th to the 20th-is one of the most prestigious food and wine celebrations in the world that gathers talented chefs, experts in wines and liquors, prestigious brands, and culinary influencers. But one of the main attractions of this event in the Caribbean used to be the duo formed by chefs Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain.
The interaction between these two friends, speaking honestly about the kitchen, and preparing succulent dishes together was part of the great show that the attendees of this exclusive festival wanted to enjoy. In this regard, Dylan Benoit, professional chef and writer of gastronomy and travel, said that the fact that Bourdain and Ripert organized such events was essential to establish Cayman as the culinary capital of the region.
“His knowledge of international cuisine was immense and will be missed at the Cayman Cookout,” said Benoit.
For his part, Thomas Tennant, former chef-manager of Michael’s Genuine and a key personality at the Cayman Cookout, said that Bourdain, Eric Ripert and Jose Andrés formed “a powerhouse of personalities” that helped the Cayman Cookout be the success it is today. “Certainly, the island could not have developed the culinary magnetism it has today without Tony and the Cookout.”
Without the intention of replacing his legacy or the space held by Bourdain at the Cayman Cookout, Andrew Zimmern, driver of “Bizarre Foods,” was chosen to replace Bourdain in the organization of the lunch Cayout Cookout which included several of the best restaurants of Great Cayman. Thus, other novelties of this edition of the Caribbean culinary event were the “Bizarre Food with Andrew Zimmern,” which took place on Friday, January 17th featuring several local foods from the Cayman Islands.
50% of the chefs are female
And while Bourdain’s knowledge and spark was a factor missed in the event organized by the Ritz-Carlton and the tourist authorities of Grand Cayman, in 2019 the impressive list of world-renowned culinary stars led by Chef Ripert had an alignment formed by 50% of female chefs.
The female representation that participated in the Cayman Cookout 2019 was led by Dominique Crenn, who was joined by Amanda Cohen, Nancy Silverton, and Emma Bengtsson.
Crenn is known for her two-star Michelin restaurant “Atelier Crenn” in San Francisco. Bengtsson and Crenn are two of the three female chefs in the United States who have two-star Michelin restaurants. On the other hand, Nancy Silverton is known for the popularization of fermented dough and artisanal breads in the United States.”
Innovations of 2019
Next to Eric Ripert was once again the chef José Andrés and they were accompanied by Andrew Zimmern, Emeril, and Yannick Alleno, who like their female peers oversaw the kitchen dynamics, exclusive tastings, gastronomic events, exciting tours, local, and unique epicurean experiences, all presented with a sense of barefoot elegance.
The 11th edition of the Annual Cayman Cookout, not only included more chefs than before, but also, they were developed over the course of four days with some of the world’s top winemakers, brands, and gourmet food suppliers in 60 delicious events.
Additionally, the 2019 edition of this gastronomic celebration included more luncheons and a wider variety of events including beer and cheese pairings; the opportunity to meet the master creators of Tequila Don Julio and the distilleries of vodka Ketel One; and a luncheon that taught the attendees about the duo formed by sake and sushi.
So, the most glamorous gastronomic event of the year met the expectations of the sybarites who were able to immerse themselves in the culinary pleasures by the shores of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.