Camana Bay Ultimate Dinner Party (VIDEO: Restaurants Behind the Scenes)

Join us behind the scenes as we explore the restaucamana bayrants that participated in this year’s Ultimate Dinner Party at Camana Bay.

Restaurants involved included Abacus, Michael Genuine, Ortanique and Mizu.

Get also your sneak peek at the Pig’s head diners enjoyed at Abacus Restaurant with Chef Martin Picard and see Chef Daniel Boulud at work at Mizu.

For more information on this great event you can visit the Official Cayman Cookout Site.

Check the video

#1 Restaurant in Tampa – Shrimp Boat Grill Restaurant

I was on vacation and after a van load of shopping we were exhausted and hungry! Just happened to be in a store where we asked the sales clerk her favorite restaurant in Tampa and she mentioned Shrimp Boat Grill. I asked her why it was her favourite and her response was “It is just simply delicious”.

She was correct!

I was surprised on this one because for me first impressions count. The restaurant is located in a plaza and upon entering I thought we may have mistaken the address because it just really looked like a bar with several food booths.

But being my usual adventurous self I decided to not only give it a try but I also choose the 5 course chef menu.





Boy was it good! It was so good that we drove from Orlando again the next week just to eat there again!

We had to meet the chef! A great guy – Chef Al Paone – who actually never went to culinary school but has a passion for cooking!


I agree … The food is just simply amazing! You guys need to try it – won’t disappoint.

Top thing to do when visiting the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands boasts many fantastic things to do while visiting. On the bigger island, Grand Cayman (secretly my favorite island is Little Cayman but that is another story…) some of the more popular activities are Stingray City, Seven Mile Beach, Hell, Turtle Farm, Pedro St. James, or the Botanic Park.

But there is something new in town! So, if you have already tried the above or if you are like me, you need to now try the top thing to do when visiting the Cayman Islands … the Cayman Islands Food tour!

Our very informative and beautiful guide, Ms. Marzeta Bodden (a local resident on island) left the corporate world and decided to open her own business a few months ago. Marzeta had a dream and above all a passion for her country and as she laughingly told us, FOOD! With over 200 restaurants, this small island is known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.

Marzeta Bodden, Owner of Cayman Food Tours

Marzeta Bodden, Owner of Cayman Food Tours


Our three-hour tour started at Guy Harvey Restaurant, owned by Dr. Guy Harvey who is well-known for his conservation efforts and wildlife artwork, which can be viewed not only on island but at the Ft. Lauderdale airport and Nova South Eastern University in South Florida.

Local Secret:

The restaurant only serves fish that are sustainable. Several locals catch their fish and bring it to them to cook.

Our tasting at this location included Cayman style snapper (snapper cooked with a tomato and herb spiced sauce), rice and beans, and plump juicy fried plantain.It was divine!

Cayman Style Snapper at Guy Harvey Restaurant

Cayman Style Snapper with Rice & Beans and juicy fried plantain at Guy Harvey Restaurant


Fresh Seafood at Guy Harvey

Fresh Seafood at Guy Harvey


Our next few stops immersed us in the culture and heritage of the Cayman Islands and the area of George Town specifically.

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Local Secret:

The local museum building which is over 100 yrs old was used in the past for many things including govt offices, court house, church and even a dance hall club on Saturday nights!

Tastings that we explored included Cathy Hay‘s pepper jelly and the local Tea Time in Cayman; Singh’s Roti Shop where we enjoyed a delicious vegetarian roti filled with spinach, pumpkin and potato. The roti was served with the local award-winning Caybrew flagship beer. We tasted the very popular and trendy Tortuga Patties and Rum Cake as well as sampled their rums! A highlight of the tour for many!

And last but not least we tasted the best pasta (outside of Italy) at Casanova’s restaurant and their “to die for” Tiramisu!


This was all just to whet your appetite … to learn about Capt. Bodden and his famous designs, or who really shot the Spanish ships down or just to truly learn the local secrets and enjoy a delicious but informative stroll then you have to try this new tour.




Local Secrets 2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Burgers in Paradise and Queen Lidia Bastianich

When you think of burgers, you really don’t think there is really much variety available! Well, at least we didn’t. This was one event we were not sure if we wanted to attend for the 2014 Cayman Cookout but thankfully we did… the burgers were not only AWESOME but there were so many different burgers to try!

With the beautiful setting on Seven Mile Beach and our toes in the sand, it was a great opportunity to relax, listen to the cool sounds of the local bands and yes you got it… eat and drink!

But the best part of the day was the demo with the Queen of Italian cuisine, Lidia Bastianich, which we have now affectionately termed Auntie Lidia or “Nana”. We absolutely loved her! She is as real as a celebrity can get! Her cooking style, personality, knowledge, experience and wonderful humor is such a powerful combination we would have spent the entire evening with her.

We know that the usual rhythm of cookout is that Celebrity chefs change annually, but Chef Eric, please we want to see our Nana again next year!

Celebrity Chef’s 2014 Food Trend Choice

We are back in the Cayman Islands at the 2014 Cayman Cookout at the Ritz Carlton and excited about the new line up! Hosted by Chef Eric Ripert, Celebrity Chef’s this year include his good friends Chef Jose Andres and non other than Mr. Anthony Bourdain! Other Celebrity Chef’s include Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless, Daniel Boulud, Martin Picard, Daniel Humm, Michael Schwartz and Jacques Torres. A fantastic line up as always at this event.

Before we go into what is the recognized food trend for 2014, let me just give you a wrap up of the first day of Cookout.

It all began with the Three Amigos! Yes, you heard me right. Decked out in sombreros, Jose Andres grand entrance this year included riding down Seven Mile Beach on a horse with his two buddies, Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain.

Three Amigos grand entrance to Cayman Cookout 2014

Anthony Bourdain, Jose Andres and Eric Ripert grand entrance at Cayman Cookout 2014

It was epic!

Three Amigos after horse back riding entrance to Cayman Cookout 2014

Bromance – Jose Andres, Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain

The day progressed with lots to drink…

Local Rum - Governor's Reserve

Rum made locally in the Cayman Islands – Governor’s Reserve served at Anthony Bourdain’s “Rundown” with the locals


Stingray Brewery line of beers

Stingray Brewery line of beers at Cayman Cookout 2014


New Energy drink, 28 Black, presented at Cayman Cookout 2014

New Energy drink, 28 Black, presented at Cayman Cookout 2014


And even more to eat! It was Food heaven!

Jerk shrimp in a cone

Jerk shrimp at Anthony Bourdain’s “Rundown” with the locals at Cayman Cookout 2014


Authentic Local Cayman food dish

Authentic Local Cayman food dish presented at Anthony Bourdain’s “Rundown” at Cayman Cookout 2014


Rick Bayless Ceviches

Rick Bayless Ceviches at Cayman Cookout 2014


Daniel Boulund french cuisine at Cayman Cookout 2014

Daniel Boulud infusing his french cuisine with a local twist at Cayman Cookout 2014

But before I digress any further in my food orgasmic experience today, this is what we heard loud and clear…

The 2014 Food Trend is MEXICAN CUISINE! And we kind of guessed it with Jose’s entrance, the addition of Rick Bayless in the celebrity line up of chefs and the increasing mexican infusions that we have been seeing in recent months. I for one love mexican cuisine and any excuse for a sombrero party!