Joto Sake and Sushi, with Henry Sidel

On the second day of the Cayman Cookout, we were treated to an impressive lunch at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman’s Taikun restaurant. Our host, Joto Sake founder, Henry Sidel, explained the basics of the sake brewing process as he led us through a 4-course tasting menu with sake pairings.
As Mr. Sidel explained, “sake is simple”. There are three grades of premium sake, determined by how much the rice has been milled, or polished. The more “polished” the grains, the lighter, cleaner and fruitier the sake becomes.
We started our epicurean journey with a Junmai Gingo sake named “Mystery” paired with thinly sliced yellowtail served with jalapeno, Valencia orange and ponzu. The citrus notes of the fruity, aromatic sake paired perfectly with the zesty orange and hint of spice in the dish.
The delightful menu took us through some of the most outstanding dishes on Taikun’s menu, including a juicy miso baked scallop, torch seared wagyu beef nigiri and an array of sushi rolls. Each course paired with light, fruity sakes that became more refined with each sampling.
Our dessert, a sous vide green apple dish served with smooth matcha gelato, was the perfect way to end this fantastic lunch as we sipped on a sparking sake, named “Blue Clouds”. Produced in a similar way to champagne, the delicate carbonation of Blue Clouds and its notes of peaches and cream proved a perfect ending to a delectable meal.
Article by Natalie Toole & Joel Porter