Visitors can get an authentic taste of the Caribbean at Grand Old House, home of fine dining in the Cayman Islands, where local favorites are harvested fresh from the surrounding reefs and prepared by an internationally renowned team of chefs.
Half the fun of traveling to foreign places is exploring the native cuisine, taking the opportunity to try dishes, flavors, and combinations that are unfamiliar, and, hopefully, deliver an unexpected and delicious surprise.
Here in the Cayman Islands, surrounded as we are by the deep and abundant waters of the Caribbean Sea, it’s only natural that we have an ingrained and sophisticated approach to seafood. Couple that with the ethnic and cultural melting pot of humanity that makes its home here, and the opportunity arises for some deep-dive culinary exploration.
Here are some fruits De La Mer that are mainstays of Cayman seafood culture that every visitor should try at least once if they want to sample the best food in the Cayman Islands.
Codfish - This is a catch-all term for salted, dried fish, the main ingredient in the local favorite dish known as ‘ackee and codfish’ (ackee being a fruit with a yellow flesh with a taste and texture similar to a scrambled egg and popular breakfast food in the Cayman Islands).
Conch - Pronounced ‘conk’, its ubiquitous decorative shell is instantly familiar to visitors, but its succulent meat may not be. Conch is prepared in many different ways in the Cayman Islands, including fried, stewed, and used in salads. Look out for local favorites such as conch fritters and cracked conch – tenderized through pounding then breaded and fried. Of course, we recommend the local conch specialties prepared by the chefs at Grand Old House, the undisputed home of fine dining in the Cayman Islands.
Mahi Mahi - This is the Hawaiian term for the common dolphinfish (not a mammal, not related). Also known as dorado, mahi-mahi is a slightly fatty fish and is commonly served in the Cayman Islands as steaks or fillets, usually grilled or broiled. This simple preparation brings out the best in this flavorful flesh.
Turtle - Farming, a hatch, and release program and under strict government protection, means that the formerly endangered turtle population of the Cayman Islands is thriving and at a population, level not seen for many years. This has allowed a number of traditional turtle dishes to be reintroduced in local restaurants, including turtle stew and turtle steak. The popularity of turtling and turtle meat is an established Cayman tradition and is only possible today, thanks to sustainable farming.
Wahoo - Part of the family that includes mackerel and related fishes. Wahoo is known as ono in Hawaii and sometimes hoo in the USA. As well as being prized by sports fishermen for its speed and strength, the wahoo is a popular dish in the Cayman Islands for its high-quality, slightly fatty flesh.
While all the above dishes are subject to seasonal availability, the abundant seas surrounding the Cayman Islands ensure there is always a local specialty on the menu at Grand Old House, including popular dishes such as fresh local lobster, prawns, crab, oysters, and octopus. Check out the chef’s special menu on your next visit to enjoy the freshest, most succulent, and authentically local seafood dishes in the Caribbean.