Conscious Cuisine in the Cayman Islands
Embracing the trend for ethical eating
A new year inevitably brings with it resolutions, to do better, live better and for many, eat better. As a society, we are becoming increasingly aware of what we put into our bodies and the impact it has on our health as well as the environment. Here in the Cayman Islands, the “locovore” movement has been steadily evolving over the last few years but we believe 2019 will be the year that conscious cuisine makes it past the specials board and into our daily lives. Here are a few ways that we predict ethical eats will be making the main menu in 2019:
The plant based food movement is set to be one of the biggest food trends of 2019. As lovers of the Impossible Foods brand, we were excited to see local vegan bistro Bread & Chocolate introduce the famous “Impossible Burger” to the Cayman Islands recently. Described as a breakthrough in planet-friendly, sustainable and ethical food technology, the 100% plant based patty promises all the flavour, aroma and beefiness you would expect from a high quality burger. Now that sounds like a challenge! Anyone for a blind tasting?
Here in the Caribbean, coconut has become a firm favourite for those looking for alternatives to dishes typically centred around seafood. If Cayman Cabana’s Coconut Ceviche or Macabuca’s Coconut Calamari is anything to go by, this is a food swap we can definitely get behind.
The trend for cooking with invasive species here in Grand Cayman can perhaps be credited to Chef Thomas Tennant, who made a splash at Taste of Cayman in 2011 by demonstrating how to prepare and cook with lionfish. We’re predicting similar fanfare as Chef Thomas prepares to debut another invasive species, green iguana, at this year’s festival.
As bacon lovers, we were a little dubious when we first tried Fidel Murphy’s “Iguana Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese” a couple of years ago. We needn’t have worried, as we were soon won over by the smoky flavour of the tender iguana meat (its texture could be described as somewhere between chicken and pork) that paired so well with the creamy cheese sauce.
The “Cayman Tree Chicken” Iguana Sampler has also been a regular feature on the menu at Tukka for a while now but we anticipate seeing this eco-conscious delicacy on menus across the islands before the year is out.
If a recent interview with Cayman Cookout’s Eric Ripert is anything to go by, vegetables are set to take centre stage on menus across the globe this year.
As the demand for fresh ingredients grows, we expect to see an increase in the number of budding “backyard farmers” growing their own fruit and vegetables.
Growing your own can be a great way to reduce food waste and adopt a more sustainable way of eating. We started out with a few seedlings from the Cayman Islands Agricultural Show in 2017 and now have a garden filled with herbs, eggplants, pumpkins and peppers as well as an avocado tree, several mango trees and zucchini plants on the go.
More and more of our friends are embracing this trend and we can’t wait to see what they grow this year!
From sustainable seafood to eco-friendly packaging, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the food choices they make. Local foodie’s hearts and bellies will be won over this year by brands, restaurants and chefs that are putting our environment first.
Will you be embracing any of these conscious culinary trends in 2019? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch if you’d like to swap tips, recipes or give that meat free burger a blind tasting with us!