The Ritz-Carlton Magazine & The Cayman Cookout

Way back in January I was at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman for the annual Cayman Cookout hosted by Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain. I posted about the cookout here on the blog (Pierre got to come too :), and did a story for Gotham Magazine

…easily one of the best culinary events I’ve been lucky enough to attend.

Fast forward to Fall 2012, and I have an article in The Ritz-Carlton Magazine!

If you visit any Ritz-Carlton properties* this season, flip to page 72 for the story: 

  • Cayman Cookout: Imagine talking tuna with the world’s top chefs against the backdrop of a blue Caribbean sky and sea. Kathy YL Chan drops in on a four day feast.

It’s exciting to see a piece in print and relive the whole experience. I remember getting seated next to Dana Cowin at …needless to I was super nervous and thrilled at the same time. So many great memories, most revolving around endless meals and a visit to the magnificent La Prairie spa. Hope to be back for the 2013 Cayman Cookout.

*Interesting tidbit: The Paris and London locations of the hotels are called The Ritz and not The Ritz-Carlton.

Grand Cayman: Laurent Gras at Periwinkle

Have you stepped outside today? The rain! I love this kind of weather – grey skies, non-stop pouring. With no obligations, I am content to stay inside, cuddle with hot chocolate (like this one Kat made), a book, and even laptop to get work done. Hope you are having an equally good end to the work week. Wanted to share photos from a guest lunch cooked by Laurent Gras at the The Ritz-Carlton’s Periwinkle restaurant.

Never had a chance to eat at L2O in Chicago before Laurent Gras left…but if this meal was any indication of what’s to come, I’m excited to see what he does next. First course: Conch with fresh coconut, caviar, parsley, and lime.

Then Caribbean Lobster, butter poached with a savory dark rum sauce and lettuce.

More local fish – Wahoo, seared outside, raw inside with tomato, ginger, and cilantro.

Ending on a tropical, fresh note – Melon Consomme and coconut gelée cubes, lemon ginger sorbet and butter cake. It’s a wonder I didn’t gain dozen pounds from this trip ;)

Grand Cayman: The Brasserie

Our second day in the The Brasserie for one of the Cayman Cookout events: The Impérial Lunch: Moët at The Brasserie. It was a lunch collaboration between The Brasserie’s own Chef Dean James Max and Pascal Tingaud, the Chef de Cuisine of Moët & Chandon.

They employ two full-time fishermen at The Brasserie, ensuring fresh fish for each meal of the day. I arrived early to wander around the garden…they grow vegetables, herbs, and lots of fruit in-house. We drank champagne cocktails (ICE Impérial with sugarcane and mint) in the garden while nibbling on hors d’oeuvres…I wish I took more photos! Cayman Conch Tempura, Fish Tea with Callaloo, Wahoo Sashimi, and Snapper Ceviche were among my favorite bites.

Time to sit down for lunch! First course – Cayman Spiny Lobster Cannelloni. Served with oxheart tomatoes, garden chard and eggplant, and a sorrel scented sauce. This was paired with Grand Vintage Brut 2003.

For the main course, Cayman Sea Salt Crusted “Brasserie Catch” Snapper. Caught just hours before. The one he’s holding is a 15-pound snapper, but they had a 40-pound one in the kitchen…it was just too heavy to carry into the dining room heheh. The woman to my right is Dana Cowin…I was nervous to be sitting next to her (and dropping food all over myself!), but she turned out to be incredibly nice.

Plated with local gungo peas and zucchini, garden ackee, and caribbean boniato. And paired with Moët’s Rosé Impérial. We had snapper (as well as conch and lobster) at least once a day during the whole trip – nothing beats fresh, local seafood.

Apple Banana Mousse for dessert. Sugar-dusted orbs are pineapple beignets with hazelnut and naseberry sauce. South Sound coconut sorbet to complete and a glass of Nectar Impérial. Then back to the hotel for afternoon on the beach and kayaking!

Six to Start: Grand Cayman

Sweet memories from our (much too short ;) holiday in the Cayman Islands.

1. Good morning! Just another day in paradise…

2. Breakfast on the beach. Fresh fruit and an unforgettable crispy red potato hash.

3. Spotting iguanas poolside. He’s camouflaged, but still ever present. If you have a chance, drive to the Blue Iguana Recovery Program and visit the native blue iguanas. They’re an endangered species and enormous (five feet long!)

4. Warm welcome at The Ritz Carlton. Tropical juices and cookies upon check-in, followed by this dear fruit bowl in our room. They had us stuffed from the get-go!

5. Our room…and staring out straight into this view from the balcony.

6. Incredible sunsets – this photo always makes me smile. Captures the whole trip!

Gotham Magazine: The Best of the 2012 Cayman Cookout

Chilly in NYC today – hope you’re staying bundled up and warm. My latest article for Gotham Magazine just went live – The Best of the 2012 Cayman Cookout. Drinking and eating for three days straight: a tiki bbq with Anthony Boudain’s killer porchetta, learning how to make Eric Ripert’s tuna-foie gras dish, José Andrés whipping up paella on the beach, and a dinner collaboration between April Bloomfield and Michael Schwartz. It’s too hard to pick just one highlight. Click here to read and enjoy.