Intrepid, erstwhile Eater Miami correspondent Jackie Sayet is in Grand Cayman roughing it with the Michael's Genuine Food & Drink Team. In between hard labor, she's managed to give us the behind the scenes lowdown on this weekend's Cayman Cookout. Charlie Trotter's request for a group hug got Cayman Cookout weekend of to a more than cozy start with chefs Jose Andres, Susur Lee, Rachel Allen, Anthony Bourdain, and Top Cheffers Gail Simmons and Jennifer Carroll, joining host Eric Ripert for a weekend of fun in the sun at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. With South Florida talent Michael Schwartz, Cindy Hutson and Dean Max all now with restaurants on-island, the third annual Caribean food fest features an expanded line-up of events on and off property. Friday night's Surf & Sandcastles kicked things off on the Ritz-Carlton beachfront with each chef presenting a tasting item and a serving of saucy antics. Schwartz sat with Bourdain for a cathartic, on-the-record chit chat for a No Reservations podcast, addressing such uncomfortable subjects as his skewering of the Miami chef's pre-Michael's Genuine Food & Drink stint at creepy Afterglo, admitting that he genuinely felt badly for a guy with such "obvious talent in the kitchen" in a venue that was wrong on so many levels.
Jose Andres' daughter Ines (9), who confidently took the reins at his station plating Philly Cheese Steaks, proclaimed her love of all things sports especially soccer, in addition to cooking like her dad. It was a proud father-daughter moment, not lost on the crowds encircling the booth, and we must say a clever tactic Jose! Here's to no child labor laws on the island, that we know of!
Drinks of choice: Caybrew and Rum Runners
Best bite: Rachel Allen's roasted and grilled New Zealand lamb chop, pink on the inside and seared to a perfect crust on the outside with spinach walnut pesto and red currant jelly. [EaterWire]