A Curtain Call for Cayman

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After 5 years bringing fresh, simple, pure to the Cayman Islands, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink’s Grand Cayman outpost will be closing later this summer, with its final service on Sunday, August 30.

“It’s never easy to close the book on a project you feel genuinely proud of, but it’s time to move on,” says Schwartz. “I’m honored by the support we have received over the years in Cayman and from our partners at Camana Bay. It feels good knowing that the legacy of slow food will continue long past the departure of Michael’s Genuine. As for The Genuine Hospitality Group, we will focus our attention on growing the core business from Miami.”

It’s been an amazing ride, and we have learned so much from the island and made so many memories in the process, sharing the best of Cayman with our friends from the States!  Just click the Cayman Correspondence category and countless examples flood back.  Not soon after opening the restaurant in June of 2010, Michael received recognition in the New York Times as one of four world-renowned chefs bringing their outposts to the Caribbean, casting the Cayman Islands into the spotlight as a growing culinary destination in its own right. Through the restaurant’s renewed commitment to sourcing from local farmers, serving seasonal ingredients, and putting the invasive lionfish on the menu – chef Thomas Tennant’s passion project that made waves across the island and beyond, locals were drawn into the town center of Camana Bay for a new, genuine taste of the island.

The neighborhood bistro became a favorite in the community, winning the Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s Cayman’s Favourite Restaurant award 4 out of 5 years, most recently this February. Its Happy Hour exposed Grand Cayman to new craft spirits and cocktails, beer, and wine and celebrated its own distillery and brewery. Michael’s Genuine co-founded Slow Food Day with Slow Food South Sound, an annual event in its fourth year forging relationships with farmers and chefs across the island that catalyzed the addition of a weekly Farmer’s Market to Camana Bay providing further stimulus to the island’s agricultural economy.

“Michael’s Genuine has been an important part of establishing Camana Bay as the place to be for food enthusiasts in the Cayman Islands, and we appreciate all that Michael and the team have done to strengthen Grand Cayman’s culinary community,” said Jackie Doak, Chief Operating Officer of Dart Realty, the developer of Camana Bay. “This fall we look forward to introducing a new family-friendly pizza and pasta restaurant which will be operated by a group of local restauranteurs, bringing a new experience to Camana Bay’s already diverse offerings from a dozen restaurants, cafés and eateries.”

The restaurant will remain active in its last summer and offers fans myriad opportunities to savor a last taste – or several! On July 4 at 7:00 p.m., the Rum & Q brings rum tasting stations, rum cocktails, desserts, BBQ and more to the Crescent Lawn at Camana Bay for $68 CI all inclusive. The restaurant’s annual Genuine Summer promotion will run the length of August offering three-course prix fixe menus with choices for lunch and dinner at CI$23 and CI$39, respectively. Through August 30, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Grand Cayman will operate regular business hours, open Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday to Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., serving its All-Day and Dessert menus, as well as its celebrated brunch on Sundays from 11:00am to 3:00 p.m. Happy Hour features drink specials Monday to Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For reservations please call 345.640.6433. Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is located at Suite 4103, 47 Forum Lane Canella Court, Camana Bay, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

For more Cayman memories, please visit our Flickr album.

 

Who’s Your Daddy? Cayman’s Burger Beer Bash & Special for Father’s Day!

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Just a small screenshot of our Cayman Instagram feed. It’s so fun to take a trip to the Caribbean through Genuine eyes!

BurgerBeer2014-5324Our Cayman Islands home away from home is giving National Burger Month the Caribbean holiday it deserves.  First, Burger Beer Bash is back at our Michael’s Genuine ® Food & Drink Grand Cayman, Saturday May 23rd at 7:00 p.m.  Join our team on the Crescent Lawn at Camana Bay for assorted sliders, snacks, and desserts from the genuine kitchen, as well as all you care to drink craft beer and wine. $45 CI includes the full menu and gratuity.  If you aren’t already following the @MGFD_GCM Instagram, get on it!  Restaurant Manager Camille Ross is killing it with delicious photos of our daily specials and more, but you don’t want to be left ogling your feed on Saturday when you could be posting a slider party on your own including Thick Cut Potato Chips with pan fried onion dip, Classic Burger (cheddar cheese, homemade pickle, tomato chutney,) Jerk Chicken (fried plantain, tomato, arugula, scotch bonnet aioli,) Grilled Mahi (green mango slaw, arugula, old bay aioli,) BBQ Beef (Monterey jack cheese, grilled onion,) and Black Bean (raisins, parsley, chickpeas.)  Mini Brownies, French Macarons, and Mini Lemon Crème Pies in a Jar will be passed for dessert!

And in other burger news on the rock, we are celebrating our favorite daddies with a special burger on the menu for Father’s Day.  Chef Thomas Tennant has conceived an “It Gets Better with Age” special just for Sunday, June 21, featuring dry-aged beef, mature English cheddar, grilled red onion relish, tomato, fried egg, and house smoked bacon on a house sourdough bun.  If you’re a Dad and purchase the “It Gets Better with Age” burger, we offer a complimentary Michael’s Genuine Home Brew on the house!

Please call 345.640.6433 or email camille@michaelsgenuine.com to reserve your spot for the Bash and for information on Father’s Day at the restaurant.

That Token Cayman Charm Takes Home Favourite Restaurant

They’ve done it again!  Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink has been voted Cayman’s favourite restaurant for the third consecutive year at Taste of Cayman.  We chalk it up to our staff’s positive energy, teamwork, and of course genuine food, including Pan-Seared Lionfish with local ackee and seasoned pepper vinaigrette, Slow Roasted Local Goat with local calabaza and long bean salad and Warm Doughnuts with local passion fruit curd.

“We worked super hard this year, and definitely brought our A-Game,” says restaurant manager Camille Ross.  “The dishes we did were definitely more intricate this year than in year’s past.  It was a lot of physical work but it was a lot fun… Food came flying out of our booths and our lines were able to keep flowing all night. Most importantly our spirit was on point- we yelled, cheered and made the most noise of anyone there! People came back to see us many times and we had a lot of feedback on how energetic and happy we were. Many guests are hoping we put the lionfish dish on our menu.  We saw many of our regular guests and hundreds of faces we’ve never seen! Even vacationers kept coming back to chat and buy more. I have nothing but positive things to say!”

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Both savory and sweet booths stayed busy all night, only letting up at 10:30, and chef de cuisine Prudent Baselais also took part in a cooking demo of the lionfish dish on the Bon Vivant stage.  He also judged the amateur cook off that followed afterwards!  Several of our regular guests like Slow Food Leader Alan Markoff said everyone was buzzing about our restaurant the whole night.

Taste is one of those events that is a true expression of what’s local to the island, and is its longest running food and wine festival.  Now hosted in our backyard on Camana Bay’s Festival Green, Taste of Cayman began in the late ’80s with a small number of restaurants from the Cayman Islands Restaurant Association meeting in a field to compete in a Chili Cook Off.   The event is now in its 27th year and has now grown to showcase over 45 restaurants and distributors participating in an open air event that attracts thousands of people.  Our restaurant will be 5 years old this summer, but having the opportunity to recognize the work of our team in the restaurant  never gets old and what better reason to show up than Taste!

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There are a number of awards handed out throughout the night by secret judges for Best Booth, Best Food, Best Drink and more. The most coveted award of the night however is the Cayman’s Favourite Restaurant award which is the only people’s choice award. Upon entry festival attendees will receive a wooden nickel which they will carry with them until they determine the one restaurant they deem deserving of the title! The winning restaurant, as voted by the festival attendees will hold rights to the title Cayman’s Favourite Restaurant and receive a $1,000 cash prize.

So… Drinks on Cayman?  Boom! Next up… February’s Clam Bake!

Farm-to-Table Dinner Celebrates Fall in Grand Cayman

Farm-to-Table-poster3After a week on the rock catching up with the team, we are excited to announce that Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink in Camana Bay will welcome back The Genuine Hospitality Group Special Ops Chef Thomas Tennant from Miami for the return of a favorite event on-island! Its Farm-to-Table Dinner Series is back for the fall season on Saturday October 11 at 7 pm and celebrates local farmers and seasonal ingredients in a family-style menu of four courses for CI $65 (CI $60 for Slow Food members.) An optional wine supplement is available for an additional CI $29. The evening will begin with a welcome cocktail sponsored by Cayman Spirits Company on the Crescent Lawn, followed by a family-style dinner in the restaurant. Thomas is really into coconut and its health benefits these days so the menu definitely reflects this, from cocktails to dessert.

‘Coconut oil usual gets passed off as a ‘bad oil’ due to saturated fat but science is telling us it’s the good kind,” Thomas explains.  “Almost every dish in the menu will have some coconut product in it. I find it also yields a cleaner result in deep frying.”

A very special thanks to our farmers Hamlin Stephenson, Patrick Panton, Joel Walton and Clarence McLaughlin for their gorgeous product!  Click here for menu and for reservations, please email camille@michaelsgenuine.com or call 345.640.6433.  For a last taste of summer, visit our Flickr album of Camana Bay’s Wednesday Farmers Market.

A Clam Bake & a Homecoming in Grand Cayman


I’m getting my beach bag ready for another — yes, productive! — visit to the rock in September.  But before the trusty passport gets more island ink, we welcome back two genuine specialties to our home away from home in Camana Bay — a second Clam Bake event on the Crescent Fountain lawn and Prudent Baselais into the MGFD kitchen.

Like Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink Grand Cayman’s 2010 opening chef de cuisine Thomas Tennant (now TGHG Special Ops Chef,) Prudent’s assuming this position should come as no surprise.  Like Tennant, Mr. Baselais’ first day in Michael’s flagship Miami kitchen as a line cook was in the restaurant’s first year — March 19, 2007 in fact, 6 days after the public stepped foot inside its doors.  Talk about Throwback Thursday!  He has grown along with The Genuine Hospitality Group, from keeping things genuine in the Restaurant Michael Schwartz kitchen to his new opportunity on the rock.

“I like the island a lot.  It reminds me of home.  I grew up a part of my life in Haiti so it really brings back a lot memories when I see breadfruit everywhere, green plantain and callaloo,” Prudent explains.  “I’m also founding out people are really nice here. Even on the street people will stop to let you pass!”

Tiger ShrimpPrudent’s influence is already being felt since he arrived earlier this summer.  People are really digging seeing the menu come to life with new ingredients like Tiger Shrimp and his new chicken set-up with fresh local bok choy and farro.

“Just like the restaurant in Miami, the wood oven is my favorite station to work in and getting with the local farmers for the freshest produce… ’cause that’s what we do!” he continues.  “One thing I never touch a day in my life before is Ackee, but I found it pairs great with the local fish.  It’s big hit on the island.”

See our UPCOMING EVENTS page for Clam Bake details, and for a genuine taste of what’s new on island as Prudent settles in, follow the restaurant’s Instagram @MGFD_GCM. We are really excited about the work manager Camille Ross has been doing to share what our Caribbean family is up to on one of its first Instagram accounts which we hope will catch on in a bigger way across the island.