Bourdain helped make Cayman region’s ‘culinary capital’


Various Caribbean news outlets have expressed admiration and gratitude towards famed chef Anthony Bourdain and great sadness about his recent death. James Whittaker (Cayman Compass) writes that Cayman Islands chefs and hospitality figures have paid tribute to Bourdain for helping to transform the islands into the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

Mr. Bourdain, celebrity chef, best-selling author and television host, was found dead on Friday in his hotel room in Kaysersberg village on the Alsatian wine route of France, where he was shooting an episode of his CNN series, “Parts Unknown.” He was 61. The Associated Press reported that a prosecutor in eastern France said Mr. Bourdain apparently hanged himself. [. . .]

Along with fellow chefs Eric Ripert and Jose Andres, Mr. Bourdain was known as one of the “three amigos” of the Cayman Cookout, the renowned culinary event hosted by The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Mr. Bourdain visited Cayman for every edition of the festival, most recently for its 10th anniversary in January.

He gave numerous interviews highlighting his passion for food and travel, served as a judge in the cookout competitions and hosted his own signature event, “Around the World with Anthony Bourdain.”

Marc Langevin, the manager of The Ritz-Carlton resort, speaking on a personal level, said the news of Mr. Bourdain’s death had been a shock.

He added, “It certainly came as a shock and sadness. Anthony has been a supporter of our Cookout since the beginning and became our good friend over the years. We will miss him dearly.”

Several Cayman Islands chefs spoke of Mr. Bourdain’s influence on the culinary scene in Cayman. [. . .]

Thomas Tennant, former head chef at Michael’s Genuine and a key personality at the Cayman Cookout, said Mr. Bourdain was a true influencer whose reputation extended beyond the culinary world.

He said he brought a “raw insightfulness without a filter” to the world and along with Eric Ripert and Jose Andres formed a “powerhouse of personalities” that had helped make Cayman’s culinary festival such a success.

“Tony brought the journalism aspect with his bad boy persona, which is a welcome wind of change in terms of visiting chefs to Cayman. The island could not have developed its culinary magnetism to draw people to visit in great numbers without Cookout and Tony.”

He said Mr. Bourdain’s influence would live on in Cayman through everyone that cooked with him, interviewed him and was inspired by him. [. . .]

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