Welcome to the Cayman Islands and the start of a new year. Cayman has earned the reputation — and rightfully so — as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean,” which we celebrate every January with the 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 this year will be other internationally famous chefs, including Emeril Lagasse and José Andrés.
If you’re here January 16–20, join us for an incomparable roster of world-famous chefs, wine experts and spirits blenders. You won’t want to miss the tantalising tastings, vivid demonstrations, tours and awesome dinners. I encourage you to be a part of what is truly the Caribbean’s prime epicurean event filled with food, fun and fellowship.
Following closely on the heels of Cayman Cookout will be the Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s Taste of Cayman Food & Drink Festival. The venue is Camana Bay, and the date is January 26. If you love food and wine, it’s a dream come true. Tickets for this event include tastings from some of Cayman’s top restaurants and chefs, 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 cuisine. If you can’t make it to our foodie events, don’t worry; Cayman has plenty of top-notch restaurants to choose from.
Once you have had your fill, join us for our Heroes Day ceremony in downtown George Town on January 28. Each year, a specific theme is chosen and we honour the men and women who have been and still are integral to that theme and have helped shape our country’s identity.
This year, we will recognise the Vestrymen and Justices of the Peace — the forerunners to our Legislative Assembly — who brought this significant milestone in the history of our beloved Cayman Islands.
We will also be commemorating the 60th anniversary of our Coat of Arms during a special celebration. We began our celebrations in May last year, 60 years from the assignment of our Coat of Arms by Her Majesty’s command.
The Coat of Arms is the Cayman Islands’ first internationally recognised symbol of identity. Its rich imagery tells the story of who we are, our history, our culture, our earliest industries, our constitutional relationship and our faith.
Whether you are here as a first-time visitor, a returning guest or visiting us for business, I give you a very warm Caymanian welcome. I am glad that you chose to start off your New Year with us.
Please enjoy your trip and start making plans to come back again.
The Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP, MLA
Premier of the Cayman Islands