Slow Food Day Grand Cayman Style

Apr 2016

There are many good reasons to travel south and get away from New England’s fickle spring. I’d be hard pressed to find better motivation than attending this year’s Slow Food Day in Grand Cayman style. Are you familiar with the Slow Food Movement?

Slow Food Dinner 2015 in Camana Bay Grand Cayman

I was first introduced, oddly enough, in 2010 when visiting a tea plantation in southern India. My hosts had a magazine focused on the Slow Food movement in Italy and I couldn’t wait to investigate further when I got home. Perhaps you’ll recognize the logo.

 Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.  Since its beginnings, Slow Food has grown into a global movement involving millions of people in over 160 countries, working to ensure everyone has access to good, clean and fair food.

Slow Food logo

Slow Food Day takes place in many forms around the world. On Saturday, April 16, the local chapter in the Cayman Islands will celebrate it’s 20th anniversary.  Called Slow Food South Sound the movement really took hold in 1996. Although it has gone through transformation and growth, the active convivium boasts a supportive membership. The events for Slow Food Day will be held at Camana Bay, a lively town situated on 600 acres of sea-to-sea land, and a model of sustainable development and living,

slow2  Foodies will enjoy Grand Cayman style celebrations with a Savour The South theme. A farmers market, tastings, demonstrations, a culinary challenge and educational components for the whole family will take place throughout the day.

slowThe highlight will be a grand, alfresco farm-to-table dinner featuring, you guessed it, local ingredients. Beginning with hors d’oeuvres and artisan bourbon tasting, Savour The South  will be the common thread running throughout the night. Guests will then feast on five entrees, prepared by Camana Bay’s restaurateurs and two award winning guest chefs, Edward Lee and Mike Lata.

Chef Edward Le and Chef Mike Lata

Chef Edward Lee (left) from Louisville Kentucky was the former host of Mind of a Chef on PBS, fan favorite on Top Chef: Texas, contestant on Iron Chef, four-time James Beard Award nominee and author of the cookbook Smoke & Pickles, an awesome combination of flavor profiles. He is most famous for his restaurant located in the heart of Old Louisville, 610 Magnolia, which offers a unique combination of southern hospitality and urban sophistication, and has been praised as the area’s finest dining destination. He is known for his enthusiasm and southern style cuisine with an Asian twist.

I’ve had the pleasure of eating at Chef Mike Lata’s FIG in Charleston, S.C. He is known for his outspoken commitment to support local farmers, fishermen and purveyors, and has cemented his position as a notable champion for Charleston’s flourishing culinary renaissance. Mike is an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and co-founder of the Charleston Slow Food convivium. Nominated in 2007 and 2008 for “James Beard Best Chef: Southeast,” Mike took home the award in 2009.  His food, philosophy, and contributions to the Charleston community have earned him recognition on national platform, including coverage in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Esquire, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, The New York Times and many more. Mike competed on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and was featured on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” Food Network show. He was profiled on Dateline’s “Platelist,” which described Mike’s food as “so good it will buckle your knees.” FIG has been consistently voted “Best Restaurant in Charleston” by Charleston City Paper readers and continues to be a favorite local destination. Chef Mike also starred in a Farm to Table documentary called Overalls and Aprons.

Now, doesn’t that sound like a day celebrating all things local? For those of us with any room left, a dessert buffet ends the evening on a sweet note and sends all the diners off to dreamland in a Savor The South induced food coma.

  1. Such an amazing experience we had at Slow Food Day! Every little detail was perfect! Also great message to convey about eating local. My highlight was our conversation with Clarence at the dinner table!

    • alison says:

      I have to agree with you Jess-on all of the above. I wish I could have spent more time with Clarence. I think he has a really interesting story to tell! Loved talking Slow Food with him.