This weekend on Grand Cayman Island, Chef Eric Ripert hosted the fourth annual Cayman Cookout event.
As seen over on Snooth, the weekend featured appearances by an array of celebrity chefs, including the likes of both TV’s Anthony Bourdain and Richard Blais and NYC restaurant chefs April Bloomfield, of Ace Hotel’s Oyster Bar and The Spotted Pig, and Eric Ripert, of Le Bernadin, to name just a few of the many.
The weekend comprised of various food and wine based demonstrations and tastings and included incredible lunch and dinner dining events. While the delights were many with this group of talent, some meals shined above the others.
Of the various meal-based activities, I had the pleasure of lunching at both The Brasserie, a restaurant which features its own on-site farming and fishing, and Periwinkle, one of the multiple restaurants on the Ritz-Carlton’s grounds.
The Brasserie lunch, cooked up by Chef Dean Max and co-hosted with Chef Pascal Tinguad of Moët and Dom Perignon, was impeccable. It featured Cayman Spiny Lobster Cannelloni paired with the Moët Grand Vintage Brut 2003 and a beautiful Cayman Sea Salt Crusted Snapper paired with the Rosé Impérial. An overall brilliant lunch and pairing menu.
Despite this incredible culinary excellence, the standout of the weekend was the meal at Periwinkle, cooked up by guest chef Laurent Gras.
Periwinkle is a beauty of a restaurant in itself. Set between the Ritz-Carlton pool and an inlet of deep blue water coming off the sea, the restaurant has a relaxed and oceanic ambiance. The tables are set with robin’s egg blue napkins and the bar replete with turquoise and periwinkle decorative toppers.
This special meal prepared by Chef Gras was simply out of a separate world of cooking. Starting with a first course of chopped conch topped with a literal mound of deep blue caviar, fresh coconut, parsley and lime, Chef Gras set the bar high for himself through the rest of the meal.
What followed was a lovely Carribean lobster cooked in dark rum sauce with lettuce and seared wahoo with an almost sushi-grade texture, served with tomato, ginger and cilantro. All three of these dishes featured fish that are specific to the Carribean Sea.
The meal was finished off with an incredible island dessert, coconut gelées in a melon consommé over a sort of sponge cake, all topped with a scoop of lemon ginger sorbet and a single piece of twisted chocolate.
Paired with three Rieslings by German winemaker Hansjörg Rebholz, the lunch was simply unbeatable.
For more Cayman Cookout photos and a slideshow of all food tasted over the weekend, click here!