The next few weeks are important to many on island because there are not one, but two thanksgiving celebrations taking place.  Thursday 24th November is American Thanksgiving with many residents choosing to celebrate in the evening or over the weekend (since it’s not a holiday here).  In two weeks’ time, Thursday 1st December, there is also the unofficial holiday known as Cayman Thanksgiving where residents celebrate the end of hurricane season (particularly when we get out of it unscathed).  Other things that we can be thankful for include the transition into a cooler and drier time of year (we see you Christmas breeze), more tourists to support businesses as we enter our first high season since 2020 and the many holiday events that will take place to round out 2022.  If you want to spend less time in the kitchen then you should consider catering options from supermarkets and some of my favourite local restaurants.

The supermarkets are offering more American-based dishes in the lead up to American Thanksgiving weekend, but you’ll see some of them add more local meals as we approach Christmas.   To see what they are offering visit the Hurley’s ‘Catering & Bakery’ page, the ‘Holiday Dinners’ tab for Fosters and the ‘Holiday Entertaining’ page for Kirk Market. 

If you want to support some of the smaller businesses that have both American & Caribbean cuisine for Thanksgiving, then you need to check out Island Taste, Tomfoodery Kitchen & Bar and The Edgy Vedge.  Island Taste has the largest selection of Caribbean and Caymanian food on offer.   For the past 40+ years they have been known to setup large and small events, but they also offer pick-up options too.  Order anything from stewed conch, Cayman style beef, jerk chicken, stewed turtle and sides like rice & beans, potato salad, cassava, breadfruit and fried plantains. 

Photo courtesy of Tom Foodery Kitchen & Bar.

Tomfoodery have once again launched their popular ‘Pot Luck Menu’ and they make it easy to order directly on their website.  Some of their mains include roasted turkey, braised lamb shoulder, boneless short rib, Cayman style beef and coconut poached snapper, plus a few vegan items like the tikka masala roasted cauliflower and veggie coconut rundown.  The kitchen is led by Chef Thomas Tennant so you can expect a cheffed up version of the mains, but especially the sides: mac & cheese made with three cheeses, roasted pumpkin in sage and brown butter, and sour cream mashed potatoes with chive butter and bacon bits.  Tomfoodery can cater to any dietary restrictions or allergies, just let them know in advance.  

Are you looking for a completely vegan holiday meal?  Check out The Edgy Vedge’s website as they have a Thanksgiving menu that includes jackfruit shepherd’s pie, potato gratin, sage & ‘sausage’ stuffing, caramelised brussels sprouts, maple glazed carrots, mac & cheez, gravy and pumpkin pie.  Not one bit of egg, dairy or meat product can be found in their kitchen, but note they do use cashews, tofu and vegan meats to make it tasty regardless if you’re vegan or not.  Note that their ordering deadline is Monday 21st November and pick-up is either Wednesday 23rd November or Thursday 24th November. 

There are so many choices out there to make your Thanksgiving dinner a hit, but these are just a few of my personal recommendations.  Note that these are extraordinary meals that these businesses offer on top of their day-to-day service, so many will require advance ordering by at least 2-3 days.  Also, keep these places in mind for Christmas and New Years as many will have similar offerings available.