Cayman Cookout 2020- Signature 4 in 4

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman hosted the 12th annual Cayman Cookout on 16 – 19 January 2020. The highly anticipated, 4-day lineup of delicious events celebrated culinary excellence, tours, food and alcohol tastings, demonstrations and chef competitions, featuring internationally-acclaimed, award-winning chefs, television hosts, beverage experts, culinary influencers and a host of food enthusiasts from the Cayman Islands and around the world.

Dubbed one of the most prestigious food and wine events in the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean and the world, Cookout packed a full itinerary where culinary A-Listers Chef Jose AndresEmeril LegasseAndrew ZimmernBernard Guillas and many other talented chefs cooked up tantalizing, palette-pleasing dishes, while master mixologist Bob Peters, beverage experts and global rum ambassador Ian Burrell shared demos and knowledge on a range of wines, cocktails and spirits.

Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell

While attendees had the exciting but difficult challenge of choosing from an extensive lineup of equally tasty events, signature events Barefoot Barbeque, Beach Bash, Rum and Robusto and the Chef’s Competition Brunch did not lose their top positions as most attended events. At any of these four signature events, attendees have to opportunity to mix, mingle, learn tips, tricks and rub shoulders with the experts and meet other food lovers in intimate settings across Grand Cayman.

Mini guide of all Cayman Cookout 2020 events​


Friday night’s Barefoot BBQ presented by Certified Angus BeefMoet and Chandon and Barilla was the perfect event to unwind after a long week. Chefs fired up succulent, sizzling steaks, fresh seafood and vegan dishes on the grill and mixologists crafted endless signature cocktails, while a live band kept barefeet dancing in the powdery sand on the Seven Mile Beach all night long. If that wasn’t enough, the night ended with a spectacular display of colourful fireworks.

Beloved and Veteran Cayman Cookout Chef Bernard Guillas fires up some fresh fish
Photo credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Mixologist Bob Peters serves a signature cocktail
Photo credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman



Escape the bustle of the busy Seven Mile Beach strip and set sail on a catamaran on the crystal clear waters of the North Sound or take a scenic, cross-island drive to Rum Point on Saturday morning to enjoy a light lunch at Beach Bash hosted by The Today’s Show, Al Roker.

Whether by boat or by car, you’ll be greeted with a glass of Moet & Chandon and a wide array of delicious bites and treats from seafood tostadas, tender pork belly tacos to sugary churros.

The Beach Bash is one of Cookout’s signature events and one of my top four events because it transports attendees across the island to fully experience a street food style, sea side dining in balmy sea breezes under a canopy of pine trees. The clear waters of the north sound sets a serene stage for an effortless and unusual dining experience– a relaxing yet exhilarating experience.


Specially customized ice-carving for Cayman Cookout 2020

This was my first time attending Sunday morning’s Chef’s Competition Brunch hosted in The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman’s Grand Royal Ballroom, by The Today Show’s, Al Roker. Unlike most of the other cookout events, brunch was a limited ticket, assigned seating event. The chef’s competition segment was also different than previous years. Instead of amateurs going head to head in a cookoff, local professionals Roman Kleinrath, Head Chef of LUCA Grand Cayman and Chef, Food and Restaurant consultant, Sara Mair-Doak who both scored the highest points in the preliminary 3-day competition, battled each other for an intense 40 minutes without the assistance of sous chefs. Their baskets contained a mix of mystery ingredients and local foods.

Chef JosĂ© Gutierrez prepping his plates

The brunch itself was quite extravagant. There were customized ice carving displays, meat and cheese charcuterie, delectable desserts, endless Moet and Chandon champagne, fresh sushi and fine brunch fare. Ladies came out in their Sunday best and the gents followed suit. Chefs manned their respective stations and served mouth-watering plates that kept you returning for more.

Chef Bernard Guillas serving a flute of Moet from the caviar station with Chef Phillipe Haddad looking on

Caviar Station by Paramount Caviar


Just after brunch, this poolside event is the perfect Cookout wrap-up event set around the Ritz’s Harbour Pool among tall palm trees, a live percussion drum band, local bites, cigar rollers and fine local, regional and international rums. It’s the one cookout event that locals look forward to before starting the new work week, and visitors wine down before the celebrations are over.

Although I am more of a wine than rum drinker, this signature event is my favourite Cayman Cookout event because not only does it have that Sunday-Funday vibe, but a more vibrant, stylish, island vibe infused with a healthy selection of creative rum cocktails.

Cigar roller

Cayman Cookout isn’t just another food festival but rather a culinary experience and adventure to be fully explored. It’s an appetite for the extraordinary and the one annual food event that allows you journey through time and travel to distant destinations through food and drink.

Olivia B