The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman hosted the iconic Cayman Cookout from January 11 through January 16, 2023, hosted by Chef Eric Ripert and featured an impressive line-up of celebrity chefs, sommeliers and mixologists with a wide variety of intimate, memorable experiences and events.
Highlights of the weekend included the return of long-time participating chefs such as José Andrés, Daniel Boulud, Dominique Crenn, Andrew Zimmern and Emeril Lagasse alongside newcomers like Adrienne Cheatham and Kristen Kish who celebrated alongside guests at signature events like Beach Bash, Barefoot BBQ, and Rum and Robusto.
The weekend also included a partnership with Louis-Nicolas Darbon, a London-based artist, Ritz-Carlton artist partner and content creator. Louis created a special travel poster for Cayman Cookout, as well as a very special triptych that he painted live throughout the weekend. Two of the limited-edition posters, were made available during a silent auction which resulted in raising money for the Cayman Food Bank.
On Saturday afternoon, with many guests of the festival gathered in the Beach Pavilion to hear Chef Eric Ripert in conversation with Chef José Andrés, the audience and Andrés were surprised with a visit form Tony Capuano, CEO of Marriott International and Jackie Doak, Director Kenneth B. Dart Foundation who each presented their own $50,000 check in support of Andrés’ World Central Kitchen. The $100,000 donation will help support the organization’s mission of providing fresh meals in response to crises, such as the war in Ukraine, while working to build resilient food systems with locally led solutions.
Another hallmark event was the Bon Vivant Chef Competition Brunch with this year’s event featuring talent from the Cayman Islands’ Young Waiter, Young Chef competition. The competitors had the chance to showcase their talents to Chefs Eric Ripert, Andrew Zimmern, Emeril Lagasse and world class mixologist Charles Joly. Participants included Brittney Ebanks, 2022 winner of the Cayman Island’s Young Chef competition and Laurent Bodden, 2022 winner for the Cayman Island’s Young Waiter competition alongside runners-up Kristofer Mason and Jerome Tutor in their respective categories. Each of the young hospitality professionals were given a chance to receive a two-day training in the Blue by Eric Ripert kitchen, $250 gift card to Kirk Market and a wine certification class from WineSchool3.
This year also saw the addition of an exclusive welcome reception featuring the full lineup of headline chefs, hosted by Marriott Bonvoy® Credit Cards from Chase. This event is just one in a full calendar of hosted activities especially for cardmembers, including a private catamaran ride to Beach Bash, a wine dinner with Chefs Ripert, Crenn and Colicchio, as well as several other private receptions in a variety of venues. As a title sponsor of Cayman Cookout, Marriott Bonvoy® Credit Cards from Chase is an integral partner in the success of this most recent event. These exclusive experiences join an extensive list of cardmember benefits and offers during Cayman Cookout and beyond, allowing cardmembers to enjoy a wide range of travel opportunities, experiences, and events not available anywhere else.
“Cayman Cookout is woven into the DNA of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and has cemented our position as the top culinary destination in the Caribbean,” said Marc Langevin, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Langevin added, “As the festival has evolved over the past 15 years, we have made it our priority to not only provide unique culinary programming but also giving back to the community that has allowed us grow and prosper here on island.”
As the premier luxury culinary festival, Cayman Cookout is among the world’s most treasured celebrations of food and wine and offers guests an exclusive gastronomic weekend with a diverse collection of immersive cooking demonstrations, delectable epicurean experiences, poolside parties and beachside relaxation that can only be found in Grand Cayman. Planning for the next annual celebration is already underway and is slated for January 9th – January 15th, 2024. Individual ticket sales for Cayman Cookout 2024 will be available in autumn and will be available for purchase on the festival’s website.