The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa’s luxurious restaurant Beach House has been named Cayman’s Favourite Restaurant for the second year in a row at this year’s Taste of Cayman Food and Drink Festival.
Held earlier this month at the Festival Green, Camana Bay, the Taste brought out thousands of foodies who feasted on tasty dishes from more than 30 of Cayman’s local restaurants. The event is organised by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and has grown into one of the Cayman Islands’ largest annual events.
“Our festival attendees are foodies to the core, and it takes a lot to impress them,” Theresa Leacock-Broderick, president of CITA board of directors, said. “It is one thing to be respected by the secret panel of judges, but it is quite the accomplishment to be so highly rated by the people you serve.”
Participating in their first Taste of Cayman, in 2019 Harbour Grille took home the titles of Best Dish and Best Dessert for their Cayman-style beef ravioli and breadfruit cake with caramel sauce.
“It is always great to have a new vendor join the festival and make such a phenomenal imprint on the event,” said Julie Allan, chair of the Taste of Cayman Committee and member of the CITA executive committee.
“It shows that getting involved with Taste of Cayman presents you with a number of opportunities to make a name for yourself within the community,” Ms Allan added.
Celebrating the best dishes and desserts Cayman has to offer
The Beach House Restaurant at the Westin Resort and Spa and The Brasserie also impressed the judges within the Best Dish category while Tortuga and Pico earnt high marks in the dessert category.
The Brasserie Purveyors’ garden gin edged out Island Naturals’ chaga-mocha cold brew float for the Best Drink title. Within the Best Local Dish category, Agua’s conch bolognese took home the top award while the Beach House and the Outpost both went home with honourable mentions.
Many vendors pulled out all the stops with their booths. Ultimately, Jacques Scott’s Ciroc Disco Bar and the Beach House earnt the joint top honours of Best Booth. Cayman Distributors Group’s Stillhouse Lounge and Cayman Spirits’ Castaway themed booth also grabbed the judges’ attention.
"There were a lot of great entries in every category for the festival,” Ms. Allan said. “Our judges did not have an easy job.”
Demonstration Stage of Taste of Cayman 2019
The Demonstration Stage also saw many winners crowned.
The inaugural Cayman-Style Beef Competition saw East Ender Nordell Jackson take home the title. With the largest number of entries since inception, the Heavy Cake Competition was won by West Bayer, Ileann Rubena Powery.
The young chefs of the Home Gas Youth Culinary Cook-Off Competition, a new addition to this year’s event, impressed both the judges and audience with Ayanna Davis-Eden and Isaiah Bodden taking home the winning prize.
The faces behind Bon Vivant’s Amateur Chef Cook-Off Competition made for an entertaining event however it was Maureen Cubbon and Tha Dude Feev who edged out Keith Griffin and Miss World Cayman Kelsie Woodman-Bodden for the crown.
The very best of Caymanian Culture
The Seven Fathom’s Rum Challenge rounded-off the night’s competitions with 12 of Cayman’s best mixologists going head-to-head during four preliminary rounds to earn their spot in the final heat.
Dan Hollis, Cory Scruggs and Little Cayman’s Rafe Shaik competed in the final round with Cory taking home first place.
“At the end of the day, I believe it was our attendees who ultimately won the night,” Ms. Allan said. “They got to sample so many delicious dishes; enjoy the very best of Caymanian culture and danced the night away.”
Taste of Cayman 2019 winners
This year, Taste of Cayman’s 2019 winners included:
Cayman’s Favourite Restaurant
Beach House Restaurant
Habour Grille | Cayman-style beef ravioli
Beach House | Soy braised Cayman goat
The Brasserie | Beef brisket bulgogi, local cucumber, garden bok choy, house made green mango kimchi softshell taco
Best Local Dish
Agua | conch Bolognese
Beach House | Soy braised Cayman goat
The Outpost | Cayman-style beef sliders
The Brasserie Pureyors | Garden gin
Island Naturals | Chaga-mocha cold brew
Harbour Grille | Breadfruit cake with caramel sauce
Tortuga Rum Co. | Tortuga Rum Cake with rum soaked strawberries
Pico | Tres leches with mini doughnuts
Jacques Scott [Ciroc Disco Bar] and Beach House Restaurant Cayman Distributors Group | Stillhouse Lounge
Cayman Spirits | Castaway
Ileann Rubena Powery
Allan James Ebanks
Home Gas Youth Culinary Cook-Off Competition
Ayanna Davis-Eden and Isaiah Bodden
Bon Vivant’s Amateur Chef Cook-Off Competition
Tha Dude Feev and Maureen Cubbon
Seven Fathom’s Rum Challenge
What was your favourite part of Taste of Cayman 2019? Let us know in the comments!