Cayman Cookout will be another sizzler

The annual Cayman Cookout will keep foodies entertained in the normally quiet post-Christmas period and this year promises to be another fantastic four-day event.

The world’s most talented chefs, culinary influencers and wine and spirit experts will gather again at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Hosted by acclaimed chef Eric Ripert, Cayman Cookout is an interactive celebration set along world-famous Seven Mile Beach. The gourmet festival offers an exciting agenda featuring celebrated chefs. It’s a festival that always guarantees exclusive and intimate culinary experiences.

The festival runs from Jan. 16-19 and offers gourmands more than 70 delicious events to choose from.

Chef Eric and friends José Andrés and Emeril Lagasse headline the star-studded list of chefs serving up delicious dishes. Chef Clare Smyth will participate in Cayman Cookout for the first time. The Londoner has visited the island previously and was captivated. She was the first female British chef to ever run a restaurant with three Michelin stars, while at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and her restaurant Core by Claire Smyth was awarded two Michelin stars this year.

There are 13 headlining chefs at Cookout 2020 – the highest number yet – representing the US, Canada, the UK and the Cayman Islands. Here’s a list of the some of the most attractive events on offer.

Thursday 16 January

Ketel One Kitchen Event Type: Pop–Up Bar Location: Bar Jack Garden 9:30 am-11:30 am No ticket purchase required.

Kick-off the first full day of events with a complimentary Ketel One Bloody Mary from the Ketel One Kitchen found overlooking the pristine sands of Seven Mile Beach. Build your own version of a Bloody Mary under the guidance of some of Cayman Cookout’s best bartenders and enjoy the opportunity to meet the experts including Dennis Tamse, Global Relationships Director for Ketel One Vodka.

GoldenEye Getaway with Chef Eric Ripert and Craggy Range Event Type: Reserve Tasting & Lunch Experience Location: Off-site event Transportation: Departing from main lobby at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman at 9:30 am 10:30 am–3 pm

Join Chef Eric Ripert in a private jet getaway along with world-famous New Zealand winery, Craggy Range and its owner, Terry Peabody. Hop on board the Peabody family’s private jet on a journey from Grand Cayman to the Ian Fleming Private Airport to visit The Ian Fleming Villa at Golden Eye in Jamaica for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. On board the plane, Mr Peabody will introduce wines of Craggy Range and will share all about these fabulous wines at 15,000 ft. in the air. Guests will then enjoy an extraordinary wine-paired lunch at this exclusive location.

Tortuga Distillery Tour & Rum Cake Workshop with Ian Burrell Event Type: Local Tour Location: Off-Site Event Transportation: Departing from main lobby at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman at 1:45pm 2 pm-4:30 pm

Tortuga Rum Company was founded in 1984 by Captain Robert Hamaty and his wife Carlene. Today, every rum cake with the Cayman Islands flag is proudly produced on the island alongside Tortuga’s Cayman Rum. Embark on a journey that showcases a story of local production from local sugar cane manufacturing to Tortuga’s bakery and craft distilleries, alongside one of the most prominent figures in the spirits and cocktail scene – global rum ambassador, Ian Burrell.

The Jacques Scott Wine Fair & Auction presented by AUDI/Arch Automotive and Barilla Event Type: Wine Tasting and Auction Location: The Royal Cayman Islands Ballroom 7 pm-9 pm

During this celebration of wine making, discover an unrivalled collection of wines and exquisite culinary selections from the participating international chefs of Cayman Cookout. Featuring exclusive cuisine, wine and travel experiences, proceeds from the evening’s silent auction will benefit the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Culinary Arts Scholarship.

Friday 17 January

Barefoot BBQ at Royal Palms presented by Certified Angus Beef, Moët & Chandon and Barilla Event Type: Signature Location: Royal Palms 7 pm-10 pm

A backyard BBQ adopts new meaning under the stars on Seven Mile Beach where shorts or rolled-up trousers are de rigueur. Dine under the stars as Chefs Eric Ripert, José Andrés, Andrew Zimmern and other local and internationally acclaimed chefs harmonize sizzling grills on the beach with the breaking waves in true barefoot elegance. Hand-crafted cocktails, savoury delights and live music, will enchant your way into the evening. Presented by Certified Angus Beef and Chandon California sparkling wines, featuring Beam Global Bourbons, Flor de Caña Rum, Terrazas wines and 1981 Brewing Company.

Saturday 18 January

The Beach Bash presented by Progressive Distributors Ltd. hosted by The TODAY Show’s Al Roker Event Type: Signature Location: Rum Point 11:30 am-1:30 pm Transportation: Departing from main lobby at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman at 10:15 a.m.

Set sail crossing the turquoise Caribbean Sea to Stingray City, Chef Eric Ripert’s favourite destination to swim, snorkel and revel in a distinctly Caymanian experience. Hosted by the Today’s Show Al Roker, Rum Point awaits enticing event participants with its shaded shores, colourful picnic tables, and soft-swaying hammocks. This street food extravaganza alongside Chefs Emeril Lagasse and Laetitia Rouabah, to name a few; as well as Beverage artisans Charles Joly and Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell, is presented by Progressive Distributors Ltd. and Moët Ice Impérial featuring Flor de Caña Rum and Cayman Islands Brewery.

• 10:15 am – Shuttles depart from The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman to Safe Haven Harbour for catamaran transportation. • 1:30 pm-2:45 pm – Catamarans depart Rum Point and arrive at Safe Haven Harbour for bus transportation to The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

Sunday 19 January

La Grande Dame Plays Golf amongst Pristine Ferraris Event Type: Signature Location: Golf Course 4:30pm-6pm

Few things in life are as enjoyable as sipping a chilled flute of Champagne and putting on a golf course overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Enjoy the audacious luxury of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame whilst competing against other connoisseurs in a putting challenge on The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club green with pristine Ferraris overlooking the game.

The Grand Gala presented by Fortessa and Garnier-Thiebaut Event Type: Signature Reception 6:30pm/ Dinner 7pm Location: Blue by Eric Ripert

Conclude this lively celebration of food and beverage with an elegant and delightful plated dinner at Blue by Eric Ripert. Join host Andrew Zimmern while Eric Ripert, Dominique Crenn, Daniel Boulud, Pano I. Karatassos, Normand Laprise, Niki Nakayama, Clare Smyth, Thomas Raquel and Thomas Seifried come together to prepare an enchanting dinner that will be the highlight of the Cayman Cookout experience. Course after course, culinary delights will surprise and mesmerise guests as they are paired to perfection with wine from world-class producers.

For the full list of events and prices go to

Photos by Rebecca Davidson