Welcome to the Cayman Islands!
Welcome to the Cayman Islands and the start of a new year. While any time is good to visit our Islands, you are here at a remarkable stint of cool breezes and a calendar filled with awe-inspiring activities.
Cayman has earned the reputation — and rightfully so — as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, which we celebrate every January with Cayman Cookout. Always at the helm of this world-class event is internationally renowned chef Eric Ripert. He hosts a weekend of celebrating all things food and wine at one of the premier resorts on Grand Cayman, The Ritz-Carlton. Joining him will be other internationally famous chefs, including José Andrés, Anthony Bourdain and Emeril Lagasse. You won’t want to miss the tantalising tastings, vivid demonstrations, tours and awesome dinners. I implore you to be a part of what is truly the Caribbean’s prime epicurean event filled with food, fun and fellowship. Cookout offers an incomparable roster of world-famous chefs, wine experts and spirits blenders who will offer tastings, demonstrations, tours and dinners that celebrate the barefoot elegance that only the Cayman Islands can deliver.
Following closely on the heels of Cayman Cookout will be the Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s Taste of Cayman Food and Wine Festival at Camana Bay. The tickets you buy for this event, which include tastings from some of Cayman’s top restaurants and chefs, will help out a local charity. This is a superb event and I assure you, it’s not something to be missed. Remember, though, eating small portions at each station will be the key to enabling you to sample all of the great restaurants.
If you can’t make it to our foodie events, don’t worry. Cayman has plenty of top-notch restaurants to choose from.
We also produce some of the best Caribbean food right here on our land and in our seas. You are fortunate that lobster, conch and whelk season are still open. Each day you can venture to Market on the Cricket Field and find local provisions for cooking up some good farm-to-table Caymanian food. If you have doubts on how to prepare your purchase, just ask your vendor.
You can also find many made-in-Cayman treats at our supermarkets and mom-and-pop shoppes. And don’t forget to ask some of the locals where you can get good old-fashioned Cayman and Caribbean dishes such as fish tea, jerk chicken, stew beef, escovitch-style fried fish, conch, rum cake or salt-beef and beans.
So whether you are here as a first-time visitor, a returning guest or visiting us for business, we offer you a warm Caymanian welcome. I am glad that you chose to start off 2017 with us. I hope you brought a hearty appetite because the gastronomic journey in Cayman is absolutely amazing.
Please enjoy your trip and start making plans to come back again.
The Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP, MLA
Premier of the Cayman Islands