Happy Birthday to Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Grand Cayman which turned one on Thursday, June 16. To mark this milestone, a quick update on some things we’re working on which I experienced first-hand when Michael and I were on-island this past week. Our continued effort to work with local farmers and their product has manifested in a TV pilot called Genuine Cayman which we shot with producer Emma Gladstone for local station Cayman 27. Hosted by Michael, each episode will take viewers out into the field to source a particular ingredient and meet the people behind it, culminating in the kitchen with a recipe using that ingredient. Bee Heaven Farm’s Margie Pikarsky came down again, continuing her Farmer Exchange and consultation on Camana Bay’s chefs’ garden project. She also foraged just-about-ripe-for-drying dates from the decorative palms in front our restaurant in the The Crescent, and chef Thomas is figuring out how to work with them. It is going to be a big harvest if Michael can get the nets he wants!
I got up close and personal with the composting program initiated from Margie’s first visit, where Patrick and Thomas turn around 100 pounds a week of pre-meal organic material such as potato and onion peelings, dead mussels and clams, and fish bones. Patrick drops off his produce order twice-weekly and picks up the scraps, which are returned to the farm for processing, creating a rich soil he can use. We also got word that Camana Bay will be getting composting bins now for all the restaurants on property to use, hopefully allowing more farmers to participate. With so much progress in such a short period of time, we get excited about the fall when we hope to complete the farmer exchange circle at the start of the growing season and get some Caymanian farmers to South Florida. We have begun to connect Alan Markoff of Slow Food Grand Cayman, with whom we partner for our Farm to Table Dinner Series, with the Miami convivium to see how we can make it happen. See the week in pictures on our Flickr here, and good luck to the team on-island with the third dinner tonight — our first sell-out!