December 3, 2021

Party with Eric Ripert and Anthony Bordain at the Cayman Cookout

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By Jeanne O’Brien Coffey From Forbes

Diving for invasive lionfish with José Andrés? Check. A caviar luncheon paired with Dom Perignon? But of course. Cooking demo and rum cocktails with Dominique Crenn? Yep. Barefoot beach bbq cooked up by chefs Eric Ripert, Anthony Bourdain, and Andrés? Natch.

The 10th annual Cayman Cookout, Ripert’s intimate food festival at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, may just sink Grand Cayman under the sheer weight of Michelin stars. To mark 10 years, the celebrity chef talent is completely over the top, the likes of Sean Brock and Emeril Lagasse in the same place as Daniel Boulud and Michael Mina. Events are all kept small, to offer maximum interaction with culinary superstars, and the setting on Seven Mile Beach is hard to match.

Tickets went on sale in October for the event, held Jan. 10-14, 2018, but if the Cookout is on your bucket list, plenty of events are still available. Like a sunset sail with free-flowing Moet Rosé or a mixology class with Charles Joly of Alinea. And note, if you have a Ritz-Carlton rewards credit card, or buy a package through a participating hotel, it may loosen up some tickets to sold out events, like the $1,000 per ticket “10 Stars” Grand Finale, where Ripert pulls together some buddies to serve up a 10-course dinner, complete with wine pairings from the world’s best sommeliers.

Packages at the Ritz start at $1,169 USD per night, wth a four-night minimum, and include tickets to the Wine Fair & Auction, Barefoot BBQ and Rum & Robusto. For the ultimate in luxury, book the property’s brand new exclusive penthouse suite, Seven South. The largest and most elaborate luxury hotel suite ever to open in the Caribbean, it offers 20,000 square-feet of living space – enough room for a whole lot of Michelin stars, as well as a private beachfront cabana, private outdoor shower and wraparound terrace overlooking Seven Mile Beach.

Already taken? Check out Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, just down the beach. The brand’s first Caribbean property offers six beachfront bungalows as well as its own penthouse — the Premium Presidential Oceanfront Suite, with sky-high ceilings to take in the view.

Other top accommodations include offerings from Luxury Cayman Villas, including Point of View Villa, newly renovated to reflect the untouched natural beauty while featuring a personal attendant, private cabana, infinity pool and six large bedrooms. Or secluded 3-bedroom villas at The Caribbean Club, each with 2,700 square feet of wraparound balconies furnished with secluded lounge chairs, and a private jacuzzi, not to mention bathrooms lined in exquisite marble and plush queen-sized beds.

Enticing as the accommodations are, foodies want to rub elbows with chefs and learn new techniques from the best. Here is a run down of some of the events that are still available.

Sous-Vide Lunch presented by Crea and Cuisine Solutions with Gerard Bertholon: Discover the new methods and intimate secrets of this trendy kitchen gadget with Master French Scientist who trained  Michelin Chefs.

Up Close with Chef Dominique Crenn: Her restaurant in San Francisco, Atelier Crenn, is a tough reservation, with only eight tables. But at this event, watch the Michelin-starred chef prepare her whimsical cuisine and perhaps hear stories about her time working for Jeremiah Tower.

Around The World With Anthony Bourdain: The globetrotting TV personality, chef, and author has no shortage of fascinating stories — and a daring palate. He’ll be exploring international and local flavors with Cayman’s most acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs.

Barefoot BBQ at Royal Palms: Smoking grilled food, hand-crafted cocktails and live music, this casual event encourages interaction with a who’s who of international culinary stars.

At home in the world, with deep New England roots, follow my adventures on Twitter or Instagram @savvysipper or visit my Contently portfolio.


At the Ritz-Carlton, ocean views forever, and a massive private terrace for recovering from food coma.

Picture yourself at an intimate beach barbecue with a bevy of Michelin-starred chefs.

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