Islands of Plenty

The Cayman Islands in the western Caribbean isn’t just a spectacularly pretty face. Beyond perfect beaches and gin-clear waters is a gastronomic scene with a myriad of influences. Here, creative and modern cuisine meets tradition and you can enjoy everything from the best local lobster to lionfish tacos served with cocktails made from banana liqueur

Some might picture stingrays skimming the sandbars when they think of the Cayman Islands. For others, perhaps, it’s butterflyfish weaving through colourful corals. The shallow, crystal-clear waters that surround the trio of islands have long been a draw – but with each year that passes there are more and more delicious depths to discover.

Nowhere is this better reflected than in the islands’ restaurant scene. Sure, there’s no shortage of jerk huts, conch fritters and super-sweet mango. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll find world-class chefs tempted by the world-class ingredients and a growing hub of expertise on the islands. The wealth of produce grown has inspired pioneering sustainability initiatives, a booming cocktail scene and a farm-to-table movement where guests may even be invited to pick their own produce for the chef to prepare (as is the case at Le Soleil d’Or on Cayman Brac).

The western Caribbean archipelago is made up of three different islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, each with its own personality. Their combined land mass is tiny – together, the three would fit into Britain almost 1,000 times over – yet it’s home to 150 different nationalities, which creates a unique diversity that underpins the Cayman culture. Residents hail from neighbouring Jamaica, Britain, The Philippines, India and Canada, among others. The result is a
deliciously tropical melting-pot. It feels apt for a British Overseas Territory that features the monarch on bank notes alongside banana orchids, hawksbill turtles, conch shells and parrots.

It’s this fusion of ideas and ingredients that is responsible for such a fertile culinary landscape. Inspiration comes from every corner of the world – yet the Cayman Islands’ sun-ripened and sea-fresh produce remains at the heart of dishes. There’s local goat salami, cured snapper and cassava cake served at Chellamella – an ‘exotic fine dining’ supper club hosted by British-Caymanian chef Jack Barwick (UK young chef of the year). At farm-to-table pioneer Brasserie, colourful plates are plucked from the edible garden and incorporate honey from their own hives or fermented coconut made from the excess fruit at their plantation. Even the vibrant cocktail scene calls on homemade banana liqueurs, soursop, cassia flower cordial and vibrant floral garnishes.

There are few examples that better demonstrate the creative Cayman approach and can-do attitude than the quarterly tradition of a lionfish hunt. The chef-led initiative was set up to tackle the issue surrounding the non-native species, which was decimating nearby reefs and multiplying at an alarming rate. Seeking a delicious solution, island cooks learnt to navigate the creature’s venomous spines and they began to cook with the invasive predator. Now lionfish tacos, seared lionfish and tangy lionfish ceviche have all become staples on menus throughout the Cayman Islands.

It's typical of that very specific Cayman spirit. It’s an archipelago defined by its agility and ability to adapt. After all, diversity enables creativity and if that’s what you’re after, there are few better locations to enjoy global cuisine cooked with the freshest of ingredients and eaten under a Caribbean sun. And getting there’s a breeze, with British Airways offering five weekly flights from London Heathrow, with a touchdown (no disembarkation) at Nassau, Bahamas, and 1hr 35min additional leg over to Grand Cayman. Arrive with an empty stomach and expect the unexpected. To find out more, head over to

AAA Diamond-rated dining within the luxurious confines of The Ritz Carlton from the man behind the annual Cayman Cookout. Expect inspired seafood and exquisite wine pairings.

A taste of traditional Cayman with grouper and coconut mahi mahi – served from their iconic turquoise beachside hut.

Waterfront restaurant serving local lobster and freshly caught fish, with stunning panoramic views across Governor’s Creek.

Clever, organic and plant-based plates often garnished with small-batch ferments and best enjoyed with their home-brewed kombucha.

Live entertainment and its ‘Cayman Signature Cocktails’ have already won this new opening several awards and make it an exciting addition to Cayman’s buzzing cocktail scene.

A list of 120 carefully selected wines with 25 by the glass and small raw plates to accompany.

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