First to visit was critically acclaimed chef, Clare Smyth, who headed to the islands to get some inspiration ahead of her first restaurant opening, set to open its doors in London this August. The 10-day culinary extravaganza started with a four-course delectable dinner in the Presidential Suite at The Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, moving onto a farm-to-table feast at Abacus at Camana Bay working with local farmers and chefs to create a uniquely Caymanian fare.

Chef Clare’s visit was the first in a wider initiative put in place by newly appointed Representative for the Cayman Islands Government here in the UK, Mr Eric Bush, working in collaboration with Dart Real Estate which is proudly headquartered in Grand Cayman. Caymanian cuisine is known for reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the islands and as such, the team in the UK is busy lining up other critically acclaimed chefs and partners to share the wealth of talent and offering that exists.

Mr Eric Bush, Representative for the Cayman Islands Government commented, “As the representative for Cayman here in the UK, it is important for us to showcase what the islands have to offer outside of what we are already known for. We are working closely with Clare to translate her Cayman experience into one for the British public to enjoy. Our culinary offering is fantastic and one that has already received great feedback. The hope of work with such acclaimed chefs is that we inspire and broaden opinions of Caymanian food with the hope of one day creating a twin pop-up between the islands and the UK. Working with key partners such as Dart Real Estate, this will be an ongoing programme and we are currently in discussions with our next chef and hope to announce further details shortly.”

Mr Robert Walton, President of the Restaurant Association and founder of the Nth Degree Club said, “The heart of this programme is to showcase the gastronomic diversity of Caribbean cuisine with critically acclaimed chefs from around the world, and in my opinion, the Cayman Islands was the obvious host as the culinary capital. Having Clare Smyth, the only three-star Michelin female chef to launch the programme with an eight-day culinary experience, ahead of her first restaurant opening in London, really has set the standard. Providing inspiration from Caymanian cuisine with someone of such standing within the restaurant industry is the perfect start for something so incredibly unique.”  

Jackie Doak, President of Dart Real Estate added, “The Chef Clare Takes Cayman pop up series epitomises the culinary experience visitors to Grand Cayman can expect: dining on par with leading restaurants in world capitals presented in the Caribbean landscape. Chef Clare showcased Cayman’s local produce and talent through extraordinary experiences at Kimpton Seafire and Camana Bay, and we are thrilled to see Grand Cayman’s culinary profile being elevated in the UK as a result.”