Taste of Cayman returns with a bang

Taste of Cayman returns with a bang

Taste of Cayman Food and Drink Festival is returning, for the first time since 2019, to the Festival Green at Camana Bay on 13 May.

The Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) hosts this festival, which puts local restaurateurs’ and chefs’ creations in the limelight while offering guests live entertainment in the form of cooking demos, live music and a kids zone.

Jay Ehrhart, director of CITA, said “The best news is that we are back and bigger than ever before!

“[We are most excited to]…simply [bring] the community together to celebrate Cayman as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, welcoming long-time Taste of Cayman favourites as well as the newest players on the culinary scene.”

Indeed, in the four years since the last Taste of Cayman took place, a number of new eateries and restaurants have joined Cayman’s culinary scene. The festival will feature offerings from its long-time mainstays while also celebrating the introduction of these new restaurants. Visitors can again vote for the “Best Restaurant” award, casting their vote via a new voting feature being created in partnership with the Good Taste app.

Other award winners will be named, voted for by a panel of judges, including “Best Food,” “Best Local Dish” and “Best Dessert.”

An exciting announcement for this year's event is the involvement of two celebrity chefs - Tre Sanderson and Jeff Mauro - who will be in attendance. Sanderson was the winner of Top Chef Canada and in 2023 received the Restaurants Canada Culinary Award of Excellence, while Mauro won the seventh season of the Food Network Star competition and secured his own series, Sandwich King, for which he received an Emmy nomination. He also co-hosts The Food Network's The Kitchen.

side by side headshots of guest chefs Tre Sanderson and Jeff Mauro
From left: Chef Tre Sanderson and Chef Jeff Mauro

In addition to more than 30 vendor booths, guests can look forward to a Seven Fathoms mixology competition, a Bon Vivant chef cooking demo and live music (including beloved local acts and a soon-to-be-announced headline tribute act) as well as an experience room offering the opportunity to get closer to the culinary and cocktail action through immersive experiences, demonstrations and sampling.

A kids zone offers arts, crafts and games to keep little ones entertained, and the whole family can capture memories in a CG Britcay photobooth. Cayman culture will be front and centre with an All Things Cayman section sponsored by the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, showcasing talented local choirs, bands and crafts. This year, local acts performing include CayPop, Red Bay Primary School, Cayman Youth Choir, Cayman Islands Folk Singers and Dreamchasers Cayman. As part of the All Things Cayman section, prizes for “Best Heavy Cake” and “Best Cayman Beef” will also be granted to individuals who enter their homemade recipes.

chefs serving food to customers at food festival

And, of course, it wouldn’t be Taste of Cayman without a spectacular fireworks show to end the night.

Taste of Cayman 2023 will also see the introduction of wristbands that incorporate digital chips, allowing attendees to save time waiting in long queues. The wristbands, which will correlate with the level of ticket purchased (adult, child or VIP), will come loaded with the appropriate value of food and beverage tokens. Patrons can then use the wristband to purchase food and beverage from vendors throughout the event.

For more on these wristbands, ticket purchases and opportunities for participation, visit the website for Taste of Cayman Food and Drink Festival 2023, presented by Visit Cayman Islands, at tasteofcayman.org.

This article will also appear in the May 2023 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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