By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor
It’s official: Grand Cayman’s 20th annual Slow Food Day was a success. Held last week at the shopping, dining and entertainment hub Camana Bay, the celebration of local farmers, sustainable eating and farm-to-table cuisine drew more than 750 people and incorporated a farmers’ market, kids’ cooking competition, and an evening feast prepared from locally sourced ingredients by Cayman-based and visiting chefs.
To kick off the day, local farmers and restaurant chefs gathered in the town to sell fresh produce and juices, and to offer free tastings of dishes made with locally grown ingredients, including The Brasserie’s Spanish tortilla, and Bay Market’s popular turkey chili.
Guest chefs Edward Lee (of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood and Succotash in Louisville, Kentucky) and Mike Lata (of The Ordinary and Fig Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina) were judges in the kids’ culinary competition, led by Cayman Food Revolution Ambassador Maureen Cubbon.
The evening’s year’s farm-to-table dinner, themed “Savour the South,” included food and drink prepared and served by the restaurants of Camana Bay and chefs Lee and Lata. Guests were greeted with a welcome cocktail, the Jim Beam Honey Mint Julep, created by Camana Bay restaurant Karoo. They also enjoyed tastings of Chef Lee’s own bourbon, part of Jefferson’s Chef Collaboration Line. After Lee and Lata’s main courses of smoked goat and grilled tuna, a Southern-inspired dessert table created by the pastry chefs at Lola bistro provided a fittingly sweet finale.
“Slow Food Day is an event that we have been carefully cultivating over the last five years. This year, we had unprecedented turnout for all of our activities, which highlights the growth in popularity and awareness of the slow food movement,” said Kristy Rivers, Camana Bay’s Senior Manager – Experiences & Engagement. “More people than ever are recognizing the importance of supporting our farmers and chefs as they introduce more locally grown produce and ingredients to Cayman’s food scene. We are grateful to everyone for their involvement, especially visiting chefs Mike Lata and Edward Lee who combined their passion for Southern cooking with local ingredients to the delight of those who attended our dinner.”