Slow Food Day 2017: When Farmers & Chefs Unite

Starting out as a grassroots initiative in Italy, the Slow Food Movement has been taken on by more than 130 countries around the world.  The goal is to preserve local and regional cuisine whilst also promoting small businesses and the use of sustainable ingredients.  In Cayman, we have seen the sea/farm-to-table movement continue to grow exponentially over the years.  More and more restaurants are using local ingredients (primarily seafood, in my opinion) and more of us average Joes are buying produce from our local farmer's market.  The annual Slow Food Day held in Grand Cayman is meant to promote and appreciate all that the Cayman Islands has to offer, from both the land and sea.  This year it was hosted by Slow Food South Sound and Camana Bay with three events to target foodies of all ages.  Food Revolution ambassador Maureen Cubbon hosted the Kids' Seed2Plate Workshop where she challenged young aspiring chefs to use local ingredients in an collaborative cooking class.  The Harvest Dinner this year was held at Abacus and featured Michelin-Star Chef Clare Smyth as she cooked alongside their own Chef Will O'Hara for a delectable feast. 

I made sure to attend the popular and free "Farm-To-Table Tasting Market" held at The Crescent.  Every year a local farmer partners with a restaurant to create a delicious dish for the public to taste.  This event remains one of my favourites because it allows people from a variety of backgrounds the chance to experience something new using locally grown ingredients.  You can sample a restaurant outside of your norm and price range (here's looking at you Blue!) or take the opportunity to speak directly to a farmer or artisan whose product you love.  So regardless of your age or price range Slow Food Day 2017 was a major hit!

My tasting passport for the morning consisting of restaurants and their farmer counterparts

My tasting passport for the morning consisting of restaurants and their farmer counterparts

Smokie's vegetarian chili with a side of corn bread.  They definitely stood by their name with this dish!

Smokie's vegetarian chili with a side of corn bread.  They definitely stood by their name with this dish!

Free food from Chef Eric Ripert's restaurant, Blue...yes please!

Free food from Chef Eric Ripert's restaurant, Blue...yes please!

Saucha's healthy (vegan & gluten-free!) mini tomato flax flatbread with scotch bonnet beet ribbons, cashew cheese, kale marinade & pesto.

Saucha's healthy (vegan & gluten-free!) mini tomato flax flatbread with scotch bonnet beet ribbons, cashew cheese, kale marinade & pesto.

Upcoming Camana Bay restaurant Pani Indian Kitchen served up a flavourful vegetable samosa chat with a mint and tamarind chutney.

Upcoming Camana Bay restaurant Pani Indian Kitchen served up a flavourful vegetable samosa chat with a mint and tamarind chutney.

I met and chatted with some incredibly inspirational NYC food bloggers down for the weekend: Dara (@skinnypignyc) and Rayna (@onehungryjew).

I met and chatted with some incredibly inspirational NYC food bloggers down for the weekend: Dara (@skinnypignyc) and Rayna (@onehungryjew).

Cayman Cabana's local tomato crostini was a burst of flavour

Cayman Cabana's local tomato crostini was a burst of flavour

Blue's Tepache (aka fermented pineapple juice)

Blue's Tepache (aka fermented pineapple juice)

Abacus' crispy Asian style pork belly

Abacus' crispy Asian style pork belly

Herbs, spice and everything nice!

Herbs, spice and everything nice!