The 2017 Roundup: Cayman's Food & Drink Trends
Each year Cayman advances their food scene by observing up and coming trends of major foodie cities around the world. Our progression may be slower than New York, London or Toronto, but Cayman leads the pack in comparison to our Caribbean neighbours. Cayman has witnessed these top food and drink trends in 2017 and we'll have to wait and see if they are here to stay or will eventually run their course.
It’s Not Just For Hippies
We all have at least one friend who made the decision this year to minimise or erase the amount of meat and animal products they consumed. Restaurants and chefs around the island embraced this newly popular trend to accommodate these former minority eaters. Dining out with these dietary restrictions has been made a lot easier when you have restaurants like Agua offering separate vegetarian and vegan menus, Bread & Chocolate’s filling vegan meals and VIVO's top rated vegetarian dishes.
It's Local, But Not As You Remember It
The farm-to-table and sea-to-fork trend continues to have a strong representation in Cayman’s restaurants and homes. Consumers are more environmentally conscious about the distance their food has travelled, more aware of pesticides used, and less inclined to buy not-so-fresh ingredients. Local farmers have pushed the boundaries even further with the revival and introduction of non-traditional produce, like red chanterelle mushrooms as seen at Bacaro. The Brasserie has recently joined forces with Chef Jack Barwick, 2017 UK Young Chef of the Year winner, in a biweekly food series called Wild. The dinner focuses on forgotten and foraged local ingredients like flying fish, sorgassum and whelks. Ingredients to challenge anyone’s palate!
Healthy Options Knocking On Your Door
Living on a Caribbean island means that most people want to be bikini-ready even whilst leading busy lives. Luckily farmers and chefs have realized this niche market and have helped make it more accessible. The popularity of healthy meal delivery from vendors, such as Saucha and Nyamaste, have grown this year because they are health conscious and utilise local ingredients. Even the farmers have realized that if the buyer can’t get to the market, the market can come to the buyer. Josh Clark of The Farmacy grows seasonal local produce and buyers can expect a farm fresh box filled with fruit, vegetables and eggs delivered to your home or office. Being a locavore made easy!
Spotlight On Humble Cuisines
Steakhouses and Italian restaurants may have oversaturated the restaurant scene, but we are seeing a transition where restaurants coming to the island are taking a new approach. Food that may have been considered generally as “inexpensive”, “takeout” or “street food” are being elevated in the restaurant scene and thriving in Cayman. Tapas may have originally been small plates that came with your drink order, but now going to Anchor & Den’s weekly El Mercat or visiting Bacaro have turned formal dining into a sociable gathering with creative shared plates. Mexican street food has been elevated and even has a few twists when you visit restaurants like Coccoloba and Casa 43. Even Indian cuisine is becoming more popular on island with the authentic flavours at Pani making them worth a visit. Having more of these cuisines on island is a welcome addition, but I'm still over here waiting for an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant to come into play like it has in other foodie cities. #futureprediction
Bursting Brunch's Bubble
The traditional hotel brunch consisting of unlimited sparkling wine, all-you-can-eat buffets and custom food stations is a staple across Cayman. Brunch is a favourite for day drinking, but not everyone is a fan of the restricted sparkling wine selection. Luckily the arrival of the Kimpton Seafire has upped the game by offering all the above and 3 creative cocktails. Over this past year, we have watched other hotels fall in line with their own take on brunch...the Westin has added in margaritas and the Marriott now includes eclectic cocktails. Sunday Funday just got a lot more FUN!