Saturday, January 17, 2015

On the road again: Cayman Cookout, Grand Cayman, day 3

Today was a very busy day indeed.  It began entirely too early for my taste, but in the service of a good cause:  a boat trip to Stingray City to play in the ocean with the stingrays.  The weather and the water could not have been better as a large group of us sailed on a catamaran.   

Click an image to see a larger version.

The boat captain used the engines part of the time and the sails for much of the trip.

The water was a bit brisk and perfectly clear.  I held a stingray, which was soft and silky on the underside.  

From there we sailed to the Beach Bash, where eight or so savory stations offered everything from pork belly sliders to lobster rolls.  Two dessert stations provided half a dozen sweets.  The whole time, a live band played instrumental variations of a strange assortment of songs that included "Folsom Prison" and "Freefalling." 

To my pleasant surprise, the band was quite good, and I enjoyed their music. 

After a boat ride back to the hotel and a quick shower, I caught the presentation by Norman Love on Artistry in Chocolate. 

I came away impressed with Love's dedication, artistry, and skill.

The final official session of the day was one at which I forgot to take pictures, The Adventures of Eric & Tony.  Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain chatted as Bourdain cooked a Portuguese octopus and assorted seafood stew (quite delicious), and they were, as always, fun and entertaining.  I was once again impressed by how very smart Bourdain is, though I never believe him when he says he has no agenda; his agenda is just a very subtle one. 

Cayman Cookout attendees were basically on their own for dinner tonight, though the event organizers helped set up meals at several local restaurants.  I opted for Upstairs at Kaibo, which required a boat taxi to reach in any reasonable time.  The water in the fading light was a shimmering, lovely gray. 

The setting sun over the water was once again lovely.

The five-course tasting menu at Upstairs at Kaibo was good, but predictably it suffered in comparison to the offerings of the many great chefs at the Cookout.

Tomorrow, the Cayman Cookout 2015 wraps up with three very different but fun events.

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