(Published in Flava magazine, spring issue, 2015)
Supporting Cayman’s local farmers and fishermen is becoming central to a growing number of chefs and restaurants, with increasing numbers embracing the concept of farm-to-table.
Cayman Cabana is one of the latest restaurants to host regular farm-to-table dinners, offering diners a delicious meal which showcases the very best of Cayman’s locally grown food.
Owner Luigi Moxam was inspired to start the weekly oceanside dinners after attending a farm-to-table meal hosted by local farm Plantation Organics and Slow Food South Sound, an organization that promotes the use of sustainable, locally sourced foods.
“The decision to join the farm-to-table movement came quite naturally as our passion for delicious and locally inspired food has always been a part of the mantra at Cabana,” Luigi says. “We are passionate about sharing the sustainable and eco-conscious benefits of eating local with the community, along with all of the health benefits and deliciousness that the local ingredients have to offer.”
Guests gather every Thursday evening at an al fresco communal table at Cayman Cabana’s George Town location to enjoy a host of dishes, served family style. No dinner is ever the same, as the food served relies entirely on the seasonal availability of local ingredients.
Chef Edmar Aldas is at the helm of Cayman Cabana’s kitchen, where his culinary skills help Cayman’s local flavors and ingredients shine. Originally from the Philippines he has been with the restaurant since its doors opened in 2012.
At a recent dinner we feasted on lobster ceviche, marinated conch, basil and heirloom tomato flatbread, a farm-fresh salad, banana leaf wrapped herbed wahoo, creamy pumpkin orzo, herbed local free-range chicken, plantain-wrapped callaloo, and coconut crêpes, to name just a few.
Luigi says he works with farmers island-wide, including Plantation Organics, Green Valley Plantation, Island Fresh, Hamlin’s, and Cayman Farm & Garden, in addition to the local fishermen, who bring in their daily fresh catch to the dock right next door to the restaurant.
“We’re working with Patrick Panton to bring local free-range chicken to the table as well as Caribos who offer homemade local sausages,” Luigi explains. “We love to support all of the farmers at the farmers market and delve into some of their unique and special ingredients whenever possible.”
Luigi grew up in Lower Valley surrounded by fruit trees and farms. He says he has always had a deep appreciation for farmers and their locally grown produce.
“I feel this is so important for the long-term sustainability of our islands,” Luigi says. “Being eco-conscious and eco-aware will allow for future generations to prosper and preserve this very special place many of us call home.”
He adds: “Every country needs sustainable and healthy agricultural resources. The bottom line is, it just tastes better, it’s healthier, and we are consciously committed to doing our part in offering our guests the freshest produce and seafood available. We have also started working with the farmers to create an urban herb garden on the property and highly encourage everyone to do the same.”
As the dinner came to a close, guests discussed their favorite dishes, exchanged culinary tales, and washed down the last few delicious morsels with the remaining bottles of wine.
“Each week is something different; new recipes with new fresh ingredients, new friends, and new connections,” Luigi says. “There’s something truly special about food and fellowship.”