Huffington Post Miami Column: Slow Food in the Cayman Islands

Michael is now contributing to Huffington Post’s new Miami site!  He began yesterday with a story about the slow food movement taking hold in the Caribbean on the occasion of next week’s Culinary Month kickoff event, the Cayman Cookout. This annual celebration of food and drink is hosted by Eric Ripert each second week of January and attracts world-renowned chefs and authors such as Jose Andres and Anthony Bourdain, and this year adds guests including April Bloomfield and Richard Blais.  Michael reflects on this, his third year of participation, how slow food has taken root on-island, and our all-new event, Slow Food Day with chef Jonathan Waxman on 2/4.  Click @SlowFoodUSA’s tweet below to read it, and stay tuned for our Cayman correspondence from the rock next week!  When we arrive on 1/9, we will dive into shooting our first season of Genuine Cayman (the lionfish and farm eggs episodes) and then get hot and heavy with the Cookout, hosting April Bloomfield for a dinner on Saturday (1/14) night.  Here is that menu, fresh off the presses, and a link to purchase the few tickets that are left. If you’re still not sure if this is your cup of tea, please check out my coverage of last year’s event for Eater Miami (which I will be repeating this year.)

Chef Tony’s Indian Tuesdays Spice Chart

Click the picture to discover Flickr notes on chef Tony's spices.

It’s our third Indian Tuesday at Michael’s Genuine in Grand Cayman, the favorite treat of Michael’s visits to the island which is now available to customers at Tuesday dinner service from 5:30 p.m. We asked chef Tony Rozario, who hails from Tamil Nadu, Southern India, to share notes on some of the spices most integral to his weekly-changing  CI $30 prix fixe Indian dinner menu.  Tonight’s 3 courses served family-style are still in the works, but based on Tony’s track record we guarantee they will be mouth-watering delicious! For reservations please call 345-640-6433, email reservationsgcm@michaelsgenuine.com, or visit http://www.michaelsgenuine.com to book online. Also, don’t forget that next week is the start of Cayman Culinary month with the Cayman Cookout hosted by Eric Ripert.  Tickets to our dinner with April Bloomfield on Saturday 1/14 are still available, so click here for details and to purchase this and our other island-based events including Slow Food Day with chef Jonathan Waxman on 2/4.  And come out a few days early  (or stay a few days late) to catch Tony’s next Indian Tuesdays!  They alone are worth the 40 minute trip.

[UPDATE] Cayman Updates: Waxman, Bloomfield & Tumblring with Goldsmith

Easing back into the island routine. Where our (this time 2-door) Jeep Wrangler is parked -- me on Wifi inside Paperman's enjoying a cranberry-orange scone and cappuccino while Michael is at the gym in Camana Bay.

Update: Tickets are now on-sale for Slow Food Day’s Farm-to-Table Dinner with Chef Jonathan Waxman here!

After about 6 hours recovery from insert-your-best-guess-here glasses of Newgroni at Harry’s Pizzeria’s special Sunday Supper with Gabrielle Hamilton (pictures coming soon!), the Flamingo garage at Miami International beckoned. Even had a spot for me after not even a lap on the ground floor.

Pastry chef Adriana with mango sorbet, goat cheese panna cotta & cranberry-kumquat conserve, and turron ice cream.

I flew out on Cayman Airways yesterday morning, Michael an hour later on American, for the latest of what seems like more frequent visits to the island in preparation for our Cayman Culinary Month 2012 events and hammering out the 6-episode shoot schedule for the first season of our (now green-lit!) local television show, Genuine Cayman.

An annual epicurean promotion in its second year, Culinary Month runs from January 12 to February 12, 2012 and includes popular, recurring events like the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s Cayman Cookout hosted by Eric Ripert and CITA’s Taste of Cayman at Camana Bay.  Here is the latest dispatch of updates below, including links to those of our events that currently have tickets on-sale.  And don’t miss taking a stroll down Sticky Toffee Lane to Hedy’s new Tumblr for her account of time spent on-island last week with pastry chef Adriana. Sweet stuff all around.

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[VIDEO] Your Moment of Island Zen: Sunrise Edition

We first brought you a moment of island zen on January 14, 2010, our first morning on-island for Cayman Cookout, exactly six months and two days before Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Grand Cayman first opened its doors.  Big sister saw that someone played that video yesterday, so back for your viewing enjoyment is a suped-up version, shot here from our apartment at The Terraces above the restaurant (actually directly above Ortanique!) in Camana Bay.  Requisite rooster, included!  Over the next few weeks we will be announcing our events for Cayman Culinary Month 2012, our third year of participation.  We have some great guest chefs coming into the restaurant to cook for both Cayman Cookout on Saturday, January 15 and a brand new event on Saturday, February 4 that we are co-founding with Slow Food Grand Cayman and the Cayman Islands Agricultural  Society. Great first meeting yesterday… so stay tuned!

[UPDATED] Cayman Cookout, First Bites

Friday night, live from the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman beachfront.

UPDATE: For the full scoop on the weekend’s events, please read my dispatches from the Cayman Islands for editor Lesley Abravanel on Eater Miami. See the last paragraph of this post for links to these reports.

Piled tight in his rented cherry red Wrangler, chef Michael Schwartz rolled out into the windy island night carting chef de cuisine Thomas Tennant, Sommelier Eric Larkee, and I down West Bay road to the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. Things got off to a sparkly, salty start on Thursday night at the Caribbean’s hottest food festival act, the annual Cayman Cookout hosted by Eric Ripert and the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. Toasting with Lanson bubbly, sponsors and talent gathered on the terrace of Blue by Eric Ripert to commence this indulgent weekend of food and wine under the sun with Belgian endive-cradled tuna tartare canapes and other savory passed bites. Jose Andres, Charlie Trotter, Susur Lee, Rachel Allen, Jennifer Carroll, and Anthony Bourdain joined Schwartz and the other familiar local faces of Cindy Hutson and Dean Max to suit up in their Cookout-commissioned whites.

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