Slow Food Day started off fast. A 6:50am wake-up call got me going, Jackie driving us off quickly into the soft morning light towards the Grounds. There we found the early bustling of the farmers’ stalls, the chefs’ stoves igniting, and the smell of cast iron heating intermingled with the fresh-from-the-earth smell of produce.
The morning heated up, the island breeze working harder to cool us as the market filled with curious shoppers big and small, with eyes wide and minds open to tasting local ingredients prepared in ways both familiar and new by our five participating chefs. We raised money for Feed Our Future, a local non-profit connecting hungry kids in Cayman’s community with nutritious meals by raffling a Cayman Airways round trip ticket to Miami. Picnic tables filled up, and the produce in the stalls cleared out.
Our team rolled back over to the Camana Bay beach where the pit was dug and Michael and Hugh had the goats on the spit. The wood was stacked for the Caboos smoker that Roel would cook the chickens on, Kyle was on salad with its delicious boiled dressing and passed hors d’oeuvres, and Thomas’s snapper station was all set to go. Details were falling into place, our Cayman restaurant team making everything look easy. The sun sat low in the horizon as the chefs ran through a quick pre-service meeting before guests started to arrive. Passed appetizers commenced, welcome cocktails were shaken not stirred, and the guitar and violin players each echoed the waves crashing with harmonic melodies.
After the sun set the main course was served. Soon after, the party was in full swing. Eric could be seen passing back and forth from the water’s edge discouraging bottles of sparkling. The chefs chatted with guests who I heard on more than one occasion confirm that this was the best event the island had ever seen. I couldn’t have agreed more, granted it was my first event on Grand Cayman, but it was special. All this and it wasn’t even 9 o’clock. So in the end, Slow Food Day ended nice and slow.
Thanks again to everyone who helped make #SFD13 such a success. See here for the day in pictures, and we hope to see you again next year!