The annual Table Talk Food Awards is gearing up to make its return to Cayman.
Scheduled to take place on Nov. 10 at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, the event, organized by the Best Dressed Chicken and Jamaica Observer newspaper, aims to recognize Cayman’s restaurants and industry professionals.
Adjudicated by a panel of industry professionals and aficionados, the awards feature 19 categories, including the prestigious Chairman’s and Best Dressed Chicken Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Judges are attorney Alistair Walters; mediator Julie McLaughlin; attorney Richard Barton; chef Maureen Cubbon; financial executives Nigel and Rosie Twohey; entrepreneurs Sebastien and Catherine Guilbard; chef Stephen Trench and his wife, attorney Wanda Trench. They bring a wide swathe of expertise and are well versed in the narrative of food and wine appreciation.
Last year’s winners included Robert Hamaty, Tortuga Rum Company, who scooped the Chairman’s award; the Foster family of Foster’s Food Fair IGA, who garnered the Best Dressed Chicken Lifetime Achievement Award; and Vidyadhara Shetty, executive chef and owner of Blue Cilantro, who won the Chef of the Year award.
Guests at November’s event can expect a sensational evening celebrating all things food. The formal awards presentation will be followed by a grand epicurean adventure presented by the chefs of the Marriott, local restaurants, as well as famed Jamaican chef Jacqui Tyson.
The awards have been held in Jamaica for the past 17 years and, since their inception, have also spread to Trinidad and Tobago. Organizers decided to further expand the awards to Cayman last year, thanks to its reputation as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.
“Having been a part of the food and restaurant industries here for more than two decades, we always felt that it was important to recognize the phenomenal talent and ingenuity that serve to make the Cayman Islands a culinary standout,” says Christopher Levy, president and CEO of Jamaica Broilers Group, whose flagship brand, The Best Dressed Chicken, is the presenting sponsor. “We know that this is a taste-driven island. That’s evident in the hundreds of restaurants.”
Novia Whyte, of the Jamaica Observer, adds that the Cayman Islands offer a remarkable culinary experience, from fine dining to roadside eateries.
“It has always been our mission to celebrate both excellence and diversity in any of the markets that the Table Talk Food Awards is presented and now more than ever, the Cayman Islands offers the perfect expression of that vision,” Novia says.
Part of this year’s proceeds from ticket sales will go to local charity, Feed our Future.