SLOW FOOD DAY 2016: SAVOUR THE SOUTH A day-long celebration of all things local
Published on Friday, April 1st, 2016 by Tristan RalstonTags: Camana Bay, Chefs Mike Lata and Edward Lee, Grand Cayman's homegrown food scene, Slow Food South Sound
Camana Bay and Slow Food South Sound will once again be celebrating Grand Cayman’s home-grown food scene on April 16. The day-long event offers festivities for every food lover to enjoy, from a morning farmers market with complimentary chef demonstrations and tastings to an exciting new kids’ culinary challenge to the beloved grassroots gala dinner presented by the restaurants of Camana Bay and special guest chefs.
This year for the first time, the event is welcoming not one but two award-winning chefs to Cayman to participate in the fun. Chefs Mike Lata and Edward Lee – coming from Charleston, South Carolina, and Louisville, Kentucky, respectively – will infuse seasonally fresh local ingredients with bold flavors from their Southern home states, bringing to life this year’s theme: Savour the South.
Both chefs are committed to sustainable cooking and are close friends in the culinary world, having worked together before and often competed at food and wine festival competitions in the United States. Chef Mike Lata is the owner of FIG Restaurant and The Ordinary and has been nominated in 2007 and 2008 for the James Beard Foundation Award, Best Chef: Southeast; he then took home the award in 2009. He has also made recent headlines after joining the fight to help young, broke farmers alongside Curtis Stone through a special fundraising dinner.
Chef Edward Lee is the owner of 610 Magnolia, The Wine Studio and MilkWood and was just named a James Beard Foundation Award nominee for Best Chef: Southeast, his fifth nomination in the category. He is a winner of Food Network’s Iron Chef America, was a favorite on Top Chef: Texas Season 9; and has appeared on shows ranging from Cooking Channel’s Foodography to Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America to CBS’s The Talk and so much more.
Outside of Cayman’s kitchens, the chefs will be sharing their passion for healthy food choices and the power of cooking with our local community, thanks to this year’s partnership with Cayman Food Revolution and its Seed2Plate after-school program. The chefs are slated and excited to visit the students of Red Bay Primary where the first garden was planted on March 7. In addition to this, Slow Food Day will be raising awareness and funds for the new Seed2Plate program by offering guests opportunities to learn and lend their support, and through a CI$5 donation for every dinner ticket sold.
Here’s a taste of what you can expect from the day’s events at Camana Bay:
10 a.m. – Noon – Farmers Market Tasting – The Paseo, Gardenia Court and Bon Vivant
Locally minded chefs from restaurants across Cayman will partner with local growers to transform ingredients straight from their farms into deliciously fresh dishes. Guests will be able to watch the chefs at work and taste their flavorful creations, then shop for seasonal fruits and vegetables to cook with at home. This event is free and open to the public. Be sure to visit the Cayman Food Revolution booth to learn more about the Seed2Plate after-school program and collect a complimentary tasting passport to enjoy a sample from each participating restaurant.
12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. – Food Revolution Kids’ Culinary Challenge – Gardenia Court
Budding chefs ages four and up can join Cayman Food Revolution to test their culinary skills with a fun, interactive and educational challenge. Participants will be grouped into teams and presented with a basket of local mystery ingredients. Using creativity and teamwork, children will work together to prepare a unique dish with the help of a professional chef. Afterwards, to help keep kids inspired, everyone will have the chance to pot their own edible plant to start a chef garden at home. The cost is CI$20 per child and includes a light snack, the challenge and a take-home plant. Net proceeds will benefit the Cayman Food Revolution Seed2Plate after-school program. Space is limited. To register, call 345.623.2665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 p.m. – Farm-to-Table Dinner – The Crescent, Camana Bay
Award-winning guest chefs Edward Lee and Mike Lata will join the restaurants of Camana Bay to present a Southern-inspired feast showcasing seasonally fresh local ingredients. The evening begins with passed canapés, welcome cocktails and a bourbon tasting featuring a selection of Southern small-batch bourbons including Chef Lee’s very own signature blend. Guests can then sample five different entrées, including two prepared by the guest chefs, all complemented by sustainable wines from Louis Jadot. The night ends on a sweet note with a decadent dessert buffet including a gelato cart. Tickets for the Slow Food Dinner are CI$150 all-inclusive and CI$5 from every ticket sold will benefit the Cayman Food Revolution Seed2Plate after-school program. Tickets are available at Bon Vivant in Camana Bay (cash only) and online at camanabay.com.
For more details on the visiting chefs and for Slow Food Day happenings, visit camanabay.com.