Southern Cross Club Hosts 18th Annual Sister Islands Cook-Off

Cayman in the News 18 November 2015
Once again Team Southern Cross sweeps awards and comes out on top as 2015 Grand Champion; Culinary event kicks off holiday season

Little Cayman, Cayman Islands (November 18, 2015) – Cayman’s Top chefs gathered at the Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman on Saturday, November 14, 2015 for the annual Sister Islands Cook-off, the year’s main fundraiser for the Sister Islands Tourism Association. The competition has become a highlight of the winter season in the Sister Islands and has helped establish the Cayman Islands as a culinary destination. As always the event drew a large local crowd who came out to enjoy the festivities that kick off the holiday season. Judges flew in from Grand Cayman to evaluate competitor skills and culinary creations in 54 entries.

Chef Vidyadhara Shetty, owner of Blue Cilantro restaurant in Grand Cayman and the head of the Cayman Culinary Society, led the team of judges that included Chef Keith Griffin from the Cayman Islands Culinary Society and Chef Tanya Foster. Jacques Scott was the primary sponsor for the cook-off and local dive operators donated prizes for the hugely successful raffle that helped raise additional funds for the cause.

The competition featured five categories: local dish, soup/appetizer, salad, entrée, and dessert. First and second place winners in each category received a cash prize and a beautiful Cayman National Nambe Trophy.

Team Southern Cross Club led by Executive Chef Anu Christopher took home three 1st place trophies and a 2nd place prize. The team was also awarded the Grand Champion Award for the best dish of the night in the entire competition. Their appetizer entry, Cilantro and Coconut Chutney stuffed Tiger Shrimp on Green Papaya Salad, scored 39 points out of a possible 45 to have the highest number of points.

The Cayman Islands Culinary Society also gave out two Awards of Recognition at the event. Team Southern Cross Club was recognized for its Tender Coconut Jelly “No-Bake” Cheesecake in White Chocolate Shell topped with Nutella Soil and Berries.

The list of winners is as follows:

Soup and Salad

1st Place: Chef Diane, Pirates Point – Caribbean Roasted Corn Crab Chowder
2nd Pace: Hungry Iguana – Lionfish Chowder


1st Place: Team Southern Cross Club – Cilantro and Coconut Chutney stuffed Tiger Shrimp on Green Papaya Salad and Sweet Chili Garlic Sauce
2nd Place: Chef Diane, Pirates Point - Conch Samosas with Wasabi Island Tartar Sauce and Sweet Chili Harrisa Dipping Sauce


1st Place: Team Southern Cross Club – Potato Crusted Lamb Fillet with Root Vegetable Puree
2nd Place: Team Southern Cross Club – Lavender Scented Little Cayman Silk Snapper


1st Place: Diane, Pirates Point- Little Cayman Turtle Trifle with Salted Caramel
2nd Place: Chef Yvonne Waldo, Little Cayman Beach Resoryt- Coconut Macaroons


1st Place: Judith Jackson, Southern Cross Club – Pumpkin Flan
2nd Place: Patti Edwards- Cayman Style Land Crab

"The Sister Island Cook Off was a wonderful event showcasing the talented local chefs and sharing the delicious food. It was wonderful to see more participants this year," said Chef Vidyadhara Shetty. "I was surprised to see a lot of locally grown ingredients used in the dishes in a little Island, even though it is so hard to get the supply of food in Little Cayman there was a lot of creativity and flavors , the conch samosa and papaya flan was my favorite and high light of the event. Those who participated for the first time, we hope the experience will inspire them to return next year as well and make it an even larger event. We, the members of the Cayman Culinary Society would like to thank you for all of your involvement & commitment to this event."

“The Sister Islands Cook-Off 2015 is an experience that all of us at the Southern Cross Club look forward to each year,” said Executive Chef Anu Christopher. “The Grand Championship, and all the awards the Southern Cross Club Culinary Team received, are a testament to the creativity, commitment and hard work of our chefs. We strive to maintain the high quality and consistency of the cuisine at the Southern Cross Club, and the awards motivate us to keep working harder.”

“We are all extremely proud of Judith, who won in the local category, and thrilled and tremendously pleased with the SCC Culinary Team,” said General Manager Jennifer Mills. “The SITA committee works hard to make each cook-off better than the last to build its reputation as a terrific culinary event, and of course a solid fundraiser for the Sister Islands.”

A drawing for 20 prizes was also held at the cook-off. A number of operators and vendors from the Islands donated items including; a two-night stay at the Caribbean Club, a $250 Camana Bay Voucher, a case of Flor de Cana Rum donated by Tortuga Liquors, and a case of Tattinger Champagne donated by Jacques Scott. Money raised at the cook-off will help fund environmental awareness projects for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

“This year's cook-off was a culinary fan's dream! It was a pleasure to assist with the event during judging, tasting and the prize giving,” said Chevala Burke, Marketing & Promotions Manager at District Administration for the Sister Islands. “The community spirit in Little Cayman is always a treat to experience. Host Southern Cross Club did a phenomenal job of organizing the event and making SITA's main fund-raiser a great success.”

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