Waiting For José

Has it been an entire year already? It seems like yesterday we were in awe as chefs Emeril Lagasse and José Andrés made their unforgettable 2017 entrance -popping and shooting champagne at each other like Tommy Guns from a 1930’s gangster flick. Through the years, Andrés’ surprising and stealth entrances have received legendary status. The anticipation of “What will José do this year” is always the buzz talk for the gathering morning crowd. Like the secret ingredient in a chef’s signature dish, Jose’s annual entrance is closely guarded until the finals seconds leading up to his appearance which marks the unofficial start of the Cayman Cookout. Will he come by horse? Jetpack? From underwater? Will he have company?

Spectacles such as Andrés’ triumphant entrance are what makes the Cayman Cookout so special. Yes, the annual gathering brings the world’s greatest culinary talent together and provides a personal chef -to-guest experience like no other food festival. Here, the audience are not just guests, they’re part of the show and have a window into these close brethren of chefs. But arguably what really makes the 4-day event stand out are these expected yet unexpected surprises.

This morning guests, staff and talent gather and patiently await on the shoreline of Seven Mile Beach for José. Smiles are on every face as friends catch up, chefs trade stories and photographers jockey for optimal position. All try to guess how this entrance will try to top the prior 9. At the Cayman Cookout the celebration of food & drink and the highest forms of the culinary arts are center stage but fun, love and friendship are really what runs the event.