Anthony Bourdain gets serious at Cayman Cookout


The Cayman Compass reports on Anthony Bourdain latest Caribbean culinary visit:

Anthony Bourdain spoke passionately about the power of food to unite people from diverse cultures as he hosted the annual Around the World event, part of the Cayman Cookout weekend. The American chef and TV personality went well beyond a neat appraisal of the dishes on show, touching on topics such as the #metoo movement and U.S. foreign policy.

Always a highlight of the Cayman Cookout, Around the World sees a host of Cayman restaurants set up food stalls across The Ritz-Carlton’s sun-soaked Great Lawn, letting the crowd sample a range of cuisines and flavors.

Like a capsule version of his popular travel programs, Bourdain sampled each stand’s offerings and spoke with some of the island’s top chefs. Blue Cilantro’s Vidyadhara Shetty served up the typical street food of Mumbai – roti, kebabs and chutneys – while the Cracked Conch gave a taste of Marseilles (southern France) with fresh scallops in fish broth accompanied by a rich garlicky aioli.

The Westin’s culinary team once again showcased the traditional food of the Philippines, of which Bourdain is a particular fan.

“It may look sinister,” he joked about the whole roast pig dish, “but this is the most wonderful, delicious thing I’ve eaten this holiday. I’d have that for breakfast every day.”

Add to this, Argentinian empanadas by Anchor & Den, British-style fish and chips by Kaibo, and a Honduran-themed lobster stand from Kirk Market – the result was a veritable feast.

Many exhibitors opted to celebrate locally grown ingredients. For example, Saucha’s Britta Bush topped homemade sourdough bruschetta with sea purslane, a local shrub that imparts an unusual briny flavor. Cayman Cabana’s Luigi Moxam discussed the expansion of the island’s agricultural economy as he handed out portions of “spicy, delicious” marinated conch, a delicacy that is in season from December to February.

Bourdain’s overall verdict? “So far, this is the best year ever for food.” [. . .]

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