Taste of The Caymans Recipes: Your Guide to Cooking At Home

The Cayman Islands are often referred to as “the culinary capital of the Caribbean.” We think of food as a window into the culture of a community. When you try a new dish, you’re experiencing something special. Even after you leave the islands, you can still get a taste of The Caymans with the recipes below! Either take some of the dishes home with you or recreate them at home or in your luxury residence’s fully-stocked chef’s kitchen.
Start planning your vacation today when you access our complimentary Vacation Guide. Inside, you’ll find a list of all the best things to do and see on the island. 

Our Favorite Taste of The Caymans Recipes

Chocolate Nirvana to Take HomeRitz-Carlton Signature Cake

After an intense competition pitting pastry chefs against pastry chefs around the globe, The Ritz-Carlton Signature Cake debuted worldwide in March of 2014 and is available in Grand Cayman. Three varieties of chocolate, bitter caramel, and orange ganache are layered with a moist chocolate sponge in tribute to the story of the hotel’s founding. The Ritz-Carlton Signature Cake is served in an elegant box, designed to travel home as a delightful and still-fresh gift. It is available for sale at the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman’s gift shop.

Coconut Banana Bread

Coconut Banana Bread
Recipe from Miss Cleo’s Cayman Kitchen. Photo courtesy of The Deep Dish Cayman.

Enjoy this sweet taste of the tropical Cayman Islands featuring two of our favorite ingredients, coconut and bananas.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated fresh coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a bundt pan. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth, then slowly add eggs and bananas. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add to the banana mixture. Mix until batter is blended, making sure not to overbeat. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for five minutes and transfer to wire rack.

Cayman Islands CornbreadCayman Islands Cornbread

This is a sweeter, more cake-like cornbread and has a bit of rum in it.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan well. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together both types of milk, eggs, butter, rum, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures using a wooden spoon, just enough to dampen all ingredients, so it is still a bit lumpy. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. A toothpick should be able to come out clean.

Bartender Andreas Trattner Showcases an Exclusive RecipeSilver Palm

When bartender extraordinaire Andreas Trattner is not performing cocktail legerdemain, this magician of mixology can often be found whipping, blending, and shaking up cocktail concoctions for competitions. His hard work and talent paid off big-time when Trattner won the United State Bartenders’ Guild World Class Cayman Finals! He went on to represent the Islands in the Global Finals in the UK.

When you’re visiting Grand Cayman, be sure to stop by Silver Palms, the resort’s rum and cigar bar, and sample one of Andreas’ prize-winning creations. In the meantime, try this exclusive recipe, and cool off with a refreshing sip of the Caymans.

  • 2 oz Ketel One Vodka
  • 1/2 oz orange syrup
  • 1/4 oz Grand Marnier
  • Pinch of ascorbic acid
  • 2 drops orange bitters

Serve in a martini glass and garnish with orange zest.

Tropical Pico de GalloTropical Pico de Gallo

Make summer last forever with this sunshiny taste of The Cayman recipe. Perfect with fresh tortilla or pita chips, or try serving alongside your favorite grilled fish or seafood.

  • 1/2 lb Fresh Pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced fine
  • 1/2 lb Fresh Local Mango, peeled and diced fine
  • 1/2 lb Fresh Local Papaya, peeled, seeded, and diced fine
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion, diced fine
  • 1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced fine
  • A small handful of Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Lime or Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Pink Guava Puree
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Fold to incorporate fully. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving or refrigerate overnight for added flavor.

Blue Iguana Chocolate CupcakesBlue Iguana Chocolate Cupcakes

These scrumptious chocolate cupcakes capped with a cloud of blue buttercream frosting are a guest favorite from the Ritz-Carlton’s Community Footprints initiative supporting the Blue Iguana Recovery Program at Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.

For the cupcakes:

  • 9 oz / 250 g Water
  • 2 oz / 54 g Cocoa Powder
  • 9 1/2oz /265 g Sour Cream
  • 6 3/4oz / 190 g Butter
  • 17 3/4oz / 490 g Brown Sugar
  • 5 ea / 230 g Eggs
  • 2 tsp / 6 g Vanilla
  • 1 tsp / 2 g Coffee Ext
  • 9 oz / 250 g AP Flour
  • 1 tbsp / 12 g Baking Soda

Cream butter and sugar together with a paddle. Scrape bowl and continue creaming until light and fully combined. Heat water and cocoa powder to a near boil and whisk in sour cream. Add eggs 1 by 1 to the butter and sugar, beating to combine thoroughly before each egg. Slowly add the hot water, cocoa, and sour cream mixture to the mixing bowl. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and mix until just combined. Combine and sift all the dry ingredients. Carefully add the dry ingredients to the mixture, just until combined. Scoop into desired lined muffin cups. Bake at 350°F. The time depends on the size of the cupcakes. A toothpick should be able to come out clean.

For the buttercream:

  • 8 oz / 225 g Sugar
  • 4 each Egg Whites
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 16 oz / 454 g Butter, soft
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

Whip the egg whites and salt to firm peaks. Boil sugar with enough water to make wet until 118°C. Carefully pour the hot sugar mixture into the whipping whites. Let cool while continuing to whip to just above room temperature. Add room temperature butter in three sections, scraping the bowl after each addition. Continue to whip until fluffy. Color as desired with liquid food coloring.

Cayman Style LobsterCayman Style Lobster

Ingredients

  • 4–6 lobsters
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Thyme to taste
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch, dissolved in water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

Instructions:

Rinse the lobsters under cold running water. Bring water and salt to boil in a 12 quart pot. Quickly plunge lobsters into the boiling water. Cover and boil for 20 minutes or until the lobsters turn red. Remove the lobsters and allow them to cool. Remove the lobster meat from the tails and claws and chop roughly. Heat butter or olive oil in a large pan over low heat. Sauté onions; red, green, and scotch bonnet peppers; thyme; and garlic. Add salt and chicken stock to the pan and then add the lobster meat and sauté everything for 10 to 15 minutes. Thicken sauce with the corn starch and water mixture.

Cayman Fish Rundown (Stew)

Cayman Fish Rundown
Photo courtesy of www. caribeaches.com

3-4 lbs white fish (such as turbot)

  • 6-8 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2-3 limes
  • 2 hot peppers or 3-4 season peppers
  • Thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb cassava
  • 1 lb sweet potato or yellow yam
  • 1 lb breadfruit
  • 3 green bananas
  • Cornmeal dumplings (store-bought or homemade)

Cut fish into pieces. Clean the fish very well with limes and water. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Peel, wash, and cut the cassava, sweet potato, breadfruit, and bananas. Put coconut milk in a pot and heat until it breaks oil. Add onion, thyme, salt, pepper, and whole hot peppers to the pot with the cut vegetables and fruit and bring to a boil. Then, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are almost cooked through. Add the fish and dumplings to the top of the rundown and allow to cook for another 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Coconut Lime Ceviche

Coconut Lime Ceviche
Recipe and photo courtesy of www.flavacayman.com

This flavorful ceviche makes a greater starter or light meal and stars the freshest seafood, gently “cooked” by a tangy lime juice marinade. A touch of creamy coconut milk adds a distinctly Caymanian flair.

  • 1lb fresh tuna or wahoo, cut into 1/4-inch diced pieces
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 3 tbsp oriental fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4-1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp scallion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp red bell pepper, diced

Combine the coconut milk, ginger, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and Scotch bonnet and blend until smooth. Place the diced fish, cilantro, scallion, and bell pepper in a mixing bowl and add the coconut milk dressing. Toss to combine and serve chilled. For a real island touch, serve in a hollowed-out coconut.

Savory Rice and Beans

Savory Rice and Beans
Recipe and picture courtesy of caymanislandsexplorer.com

This unique Caymanian take on traditional rice and beans features a touch of sweetness from coconut milk and a hint of heat from seasoning peppers, a type of hot pepper related to the Scotch Bonnet.

  • 1 cup of kidney beans
  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 seasoning pepper (native to Cayman but related to Scotch Bonnet peppers)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • Black pepper and salt to taste

Soak the beans overnight. Cook the beans until they are tender, about an hour. Drain the beans and save the bean water; it should be about 3 cups. You may need to add more water to get to 3 cups. In another pot, boil previously saved bean water, salt, black pepper, thyme, onion, and seasoning pepper. Add previously boiled beans and coconut milk and let everything come to a boil. Add rice. Make sure there is about half an inch of water over the rice and beans. When the pot starts to boil again, lower the heat, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.

Caribbean Steam Pot

Caribbean Steam Pot
Recipe courtesy of Chef Orrel “Rambo” Williams of Duke’s Seafood & Rib Shack in Flava Cayman Magazine. Photo by Chris Court.

With its delicious coconut-infused broth, this savory one-pot steamed seafood dinner is a delightful taste of the Caribbean you can easily make at home.

  • 10-11 mussels
  • 7 shrimp
  • 2 lobster tails, butterflied
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon picked thyme leaves, whole
  • 4 ounces coconut broth
  • Baby red potatoes, skinned and boiled
  • Corn on the cob, boiled
  • Fresh focaccia bread for serving

Coconut Broth

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 inch lemongrass
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 jalapeño pepper

Heat the oil in a large frying pan to medium heat. Add the lobster tails to lightly sear, then add the chopped onion, garlic, and thyme. Sauté for a minute, then add the seasoning water. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Next, add the shrimp and coconut broth and cook uncovered for another minute. Finally, add the mussels and cook until the mussels open. Discard any unopened mussels. To serve, place the boiled baby red-skinned potatoes in the bottom of the serving pot and scoop all the seafood over top with the lobster being the last to go in. Crown with the corn and freshly baked focaccia.

Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Insalata Arugula with Local Mango

Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman Insalata Arugula with Local Mango
Photo courtesy of Giallo Zafferano

This vibrant and healthy salad of spicy arugula, mixed greens, fresh local mango, avocado, candied pistachios, and pomegranate vinaigrette is as gorgeous to look at as it is to eat. Make this for a summer luncheon or dinner and let yourself be transported to the Cayman Islands! Add grilled shrimp—or your favorite seafood—to complete this light meal.

Serves 4 people

  • 1 pound washed and picked baby arugula
  • 1/2 pound your favorite mixed greens
  • 2 local mangos, shaved
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • 100 ml pomegranate concentrate
  • 1 local lemon
  • 250 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 100 g raw pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pomegranate Vinegrette

In a bowl, whisk pomegranate concentrate and honey together and slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify the dressing. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Candied Pistachios

In a medium-sized pan on the stovetop, bring the water and sugar to a simmer. Reduce sugar until it is a syrup consistency. Keep on low heat to avoid burning the sugar. Add pistachios to the sugar syrup and keep cooking until the sugar crystalizes to the pistachios. Season with salt and cool on a lined baking sheet.

Insalata Arugula

Toss arugula and mixed greens together with pomegranate vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish salad with pomegranate seeds, shaved local mango, avocado, and candied pistachios.

Ritz-Carlton Local Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Local Cayman Pickled MangoGoat Cheese Panna Cotta with Local Cayman Pickled Mango

Sweet and savory are combined in this deliciously creative dessert inspired by the tropical bounty of the Cayman Islands. It’s definitely one of out favorite Taste of The Caymans recipes!

  • 220 grams heavy cream
  • 85 grams sugar
  • 3 gelatin sheets
  • 225 grams local goat cheese*

Bloom gelatin sheets in ice water, and set aside. Bring cream and sugar to a simmer, and dissolve gelatin sheets in the mixture. Prepare a loaf pan by lightly spraying it with water and spreading plastic wrap over it. Be sure to smooth out the bottom and sides. Temper this mixture into the cheese in two to three additions. Pour into a prepared loaf pan, and chill overnight. Unmold, and cut into 1 1/2″ x 4″ portions

Local Cayman Pickled Mango

  • 2 small local Cayman mangos (or any fresh mangos you can find)
  • 40 grams sherry vinegar
  • 20 grams rice wine vinegar
  • 40 grams white verjus
  • 120 grams honey
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 star anise
  • 12 grams fresh ginger

Peel mangos and cut 1/2 cm thick slices. Then, cube the mango into 1/2 cm x 1/2 cm or cut batons 1/2 cm x 3 cm. Peel and slice the ginger. Place all ingredients except the mango into a pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and allow the mixture to infuse for one hour. Place cut the mango into a flat bottom dish and pour the pickling liquid over the top. Cover the mango and liquid and allow to sit overnight. It can keep for up to 7 days.

Chocolate Banana Bread and Butter Pudding

Chocolate Banana Bread and Butter Pudding
Photo by Stephen Clarke via Flava Magazine
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 10 slices white bread, buttered, crusts discarded and sliced in half
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 bananas, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecan nuts
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar, extra for sprinkling
  • Cream or ice cream for serving

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, and vanilla until combined. Dip the bread in the milk mixture and then place it onto a greased baking dish. After, layer with the chocolate, banana, and nuts. Pour over the remaining milk mixture. Press down lightly and sprinkle with the extra sugar. Bake at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Allow the dish to cool slightly before serving. Spoon generously into bowls and serve with chilled cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Ritz-Carlton Eternity CocktailRitz-Carlton Eternity Cocktail

  • 60ml Souchong or Earl Grey tea
  • 6 chunks of fresh pineapple
  • 60ml fresh apple juice
  • 15ml honey
  • 5ml lime juice
  • A dash of Angostura Bitters

The process is simple. Make the tea, and make sure it’s not too strong. Once the tea is cooled, take all the ingredients, muddle them well together and double strain it. Serve chilled.

*Tips for brewing the perfect cup of tea: Steep one teaspoon of loose tea leaves in an infuser (or 1 teabag) in a cup of boiling water for three to five minutes. You can use more or less to make it the strength you like.

Ritz-Carlton Chocolate Bourbon CakeRitz-Carlton Chocolate Bourbon Cake

  • 1/2 cup currants or 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 ounces Bourbon
  • 3 ounces water
  • 1 lb semisweet baking chocolate, melted
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter

Soak currants in bourbon and water overnight, or heat liquid and let currants soak for 1 hour. Beat egg yolks and confectioners’ sugar to full volume. It should be thick and lemon-colored, and the mixture should form a ribbon. In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat whites, gradually adding granulated sugar to soft peaks. Add yolks to whites and mix at medium speed. Add melted butter until incorporated. Then, fold in the melted chocolate, walnuts, and currants with 2 tablespoons of liquid they soaked in. Add flavorings and fold in cake flour. Pour into a greased and floured 9-inch springform pan lined with baking parchment.

Place pan on a large sheet of heavy-duty foil wrap and shape to the contour of the pan at least halfway up. Bake in a water bath (a roasting pan filled halfway with water will do) at 275° about 3 to 3-and-a-half hours or until a knife poked in the center is just a little moist. Don’t be alarmed by a crust forming on top; the top will be turned over and become the bottom. When the cake is cool, remove it from the pan and turn it over. Melt the remaining 8 ounces of chocolate and the butter separately. Add the butter to the chocolate and mix well. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cake frosting top and sides. Refrigerate until firm.

Taste These Amazing Dishes Locally!

Now that you know all the best Taste of The Caymans recipes, it’s time to book your foodie getaway to the Islands! The Residences Located at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is your premier destination offering unmatched resort amenities and activities you could only dream of. What are you waiting for? Take advantage of one of our luxury condos with stunning views of the world-renowned Seven Mile Beach and experience privileged access to a private Residences entrance, private elevator, private concierge, and private bellman, exclusive to you.

BOOK NOW