Details about the 2013 Cayman Cookout event were recently announced during a collaborative dinner at Olivers restaurant in Oakville.
The Cayman Cookout is an annual culinary festival that takes place in Grand Cayman. The brains behind the fest, chef Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin), wanted to host a culinary celebration, bringing together some of the top chefs from all over the world to celebrate all aspects of food and drink. Over the last four years, Eric and his team have invited notable chefs like: Grant Achatz, Susur Lee, Jose Andres, David Chang, Dean Fearing and of course, festival regular, Anthony Bourdain.
Guests and media were invited to Olivers of Oakville to preview the 2013 Cayman Cookout festival. Calgary chef Paul Rogalski (Rouge Restaurant), who participated in this year's Cookout (2012), teamed up with chef Dale MacKay (Top Chef Season 1, formerly of Ensemble). MacKay was recently announced as one of chefs that will be headlining the 2013 Cookout. The two chefs were hosted by Olivers resident chef Surinder Kalsi and his team.
Prior to sitting down for a multi course dinner, guests were treated to a series of canapes from all three chefs. The canapes highlighted tropical flavours and fish and inculded: coconut shrimp served with spicy mango sauce, seared cubes of ahi tuna with a fruit relish, and pineapple tandoori chicken with mint and coriander.
French wines were served to compliment the array of vibrant flavours during dinner. Chef MacKay started off with a thin crepe, stuffed with a salad of dungeness crab, accompanied with some spiced pineapple. During a brief conversation with MacKay about the upcoming Cookout event, he said aside from spending time at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotel in Grand Cayman where the cookout takes place, he was most excited about playing with tropical fruits and flavours.
Chef Rogalski followed with the second course, one of his signature dishes, Cuban cigar smoked duck breast served with an olive oil puree, risotto and tomato confit. It's a dish that Rogalski used to serve at Rouge in Calgary, until he received complaints from a number of diners that were concerned about the effects of cigar smoke. Earlier this year, Rogalski served a version of the dish at the Cookout event, and wanted to present it to guests at Olivers.
Rogalski and MacKay collaborated on the main, their take on surf 'n' turf. A duo of Mahi Mahi served with a tropical fruit salsa and topped with espresso cream. Placed next to it, was the most perfectly cooked beef tenderloin with a spicy jerk sauce.
Dinner concluded with dessert from chef Mackay, tubes of citrus-cardamom pavlova served with orange three ways (chutney, grilled, sauce).
The 2013 Cayman Cookout event takes place January 17th to 20th at the Ritz-Carlton in Grand Cayman. A variety of tasting events and demos are scheduled. Along with chefs Rogalski and MacKay, heavyweights: Jose Andres, Daniel Humm, Sherry Yard, David Kinch, and Spike Mendelsohn amongst others will be attending. The full list and ticket prices can be found here.
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Written by Suresh Doss
Suresh Doss is the publisher of SpotlightToronto.com and Rickshawmag.com. Founder of the Food Truck Eats festival, Suresh has been a pioneer for the Street food movement in Toronto. In 2011, He was awarded the VQA Promoter’s Award for outstanding achievement in the Media category in the promotion of Ontario VQA Wines. Suresh is also the Global Editor for Whitecap’s StreetEats series of travel guides, which focuses on the best street food across North America.