Next Friday, Hedy, Thomas and I are jetting off to a far away land full of familiar faces for Slow Food Day in the Grand Cayman Islands. Slow Food Day celebrates local farmers, seasonal ingredients and farm-to-table cooking. These ideals are extremely important on the rock, where an off season vegetable has to cross an ocean to end up on a menu. This year, Slow Food asked each chef to conceive their dishes based on a female chef who has inspired them. I asked Thomas and Hedy who they would choose and they both immediately started to rattle off names, some I had heard of and some that were new to me.
Thomas narrowed it down to two, April Bloomfield and Alice Waters. Thomas first met April at an event in Grand Cayman and was immediately drawn to her affinity for high quality meats with heavy seasoning. During a trip to New York City, Thomas ate at The Breslin and had April’s famous Scotch Egg. They have remained friends ever since and her cuisine continues to inspire! Alice Waters’ ideal of using fresh, seasonal ingredients at their peak has influenced many chefs, Thomas especially. When he first took the helm of MGFD Grand Cayman, he held himself to Waters’ standards and made those ingredients the focal point of the menu. In honor of April and Alice, Thomas is preparing a Scotch Egg with Mustard Greens Sauce – using a traditional English recipe with fresh island ingredients.
Hedy chose Maida Heatter, whose cookbook she credits with changing her life. Hedy’s adventures in baking started early, perfecting her Easy-Bake Oven brownies for her mother’s discerning sweet tooth. At Hedy’s first restaurant job, she was given Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts. Diving into the book every night, perfecting, practicing and baking. Maida’s East 62nd Street Lemon Cake was one of the first recipes from the book that Hedy mastered. A few years later, Maida took Hedy to lunch in Miami and introduced her Michael. And the rest was history. As a tribute to Maida, Hedy will be creating a bounty of desserts, all featuring lemon and other citrus notes.
Slow Food Day begins Saturday morning at the farmer’s market. Thomas will be showing off his Scotch Egg while Hedy and I peck at the produce. In the evening, Hedy is closing out the show with her dessert booth which will be overflowing with citrus treats. Don’t worry, Thomas and I will taste test them all! I am so excited to visit our Grand Cayman outpost with Thomas and Hedy, I promise to report back and take lots of photos! You can purchase tickets here. And to follow along with Hedy @hedygoldsmith, Thomas @chefttennant, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Grand Cayman @mgfd_gcm, Slow Food @slowfoodusa and me @honeyitstmoney. See you in Grand Cayman!