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Hurricane Preparedness 2021: What to Keep in Your Storm Kit

I flew to Grand Cayman to attend a pop-up dinner hosted by Clare Smyth, the former Chef Patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsey in London and one of a handful of female chefs (and the first British one) to earn three Michelin stars. She has plans to open her own restaurant in Notting Hill later this year, but decided to take a Caribbean tour, partnering with local chefs and cooking up a storm.

I flew to Grand Cayman to attend a pop-up dinner hosted by Clare Smyth, the former Chef Patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsey in London and one of a handful of female chefs (and the first British one) to earn three Michelin stars. She has plans to open her own restaurant in Notting Hill later this year, but decided to take a Caribbean tour, partnering with local chefs and cooking up a storm.

That dinner, held at the months-old Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa, started with a terrine of foie gras and tuna tartare and a bright and citrusy gelee, and ended with a chocolate truffle with eggplant cream, with Clare’s snapper ras el hanout as the main event. It was definitely a highlight of my four-day trip, but more than any one meal, what really surprised me was how consistently great the food was.

That dinner, held at the months-old Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa, started with a terrine of foie gras and tuna tartare and a bright and citrusy gelee, and ended with a chocolate truffle with eggplant cream, with Clare’s snapper ras el hanout as the main event. It was definitely a highlight of my four-day trip, but more than any one meal, what really surprised me was how consistently great the food was.

That dinner, held at the months-old Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa, started with a terrine of foie gras and tuna tartare and a bright and citrusy gelee, and ended with a chocolate truffle with eggplant cream, with Clare’s snapper ras el hanout as the main event. It was definitely a highlight of my four-day trip, but more than any one meal, what really surprised me was how consistently great the food was.

Here are guidelines that can help you compile a workable list of emergency supplies:   

Food and Water 

  • Shop and stock foods that have a long shelf life i.e. canned goods, dry mixes.   
  • Purchase foods that are low in salt. The CDC advises that food high in salt or foods may cause increased drinking and water may not be readily available. 
  • It’s equally important to stock food for babies and family members with a special diet.   
  • Store containers of clean water; it’s also a good idea to keep on hand at least three days’ supply of water for each person and pet.   
  • Do not store water longer than six months.  Be sure to keep check.  Additionally, note the expiration date of purchased water.   

Power supplies 

  • Battery-powered radio. 
  • Flashlights, candles and matchboxes should be stores.  Be sure to check that they’re in good working order.   
  • Cell phone charger.  
  • Keep adequate stock of batteries.   

Medical and other supplies 

  • Invest in a first-aid kit and keep it outfitted with band-aids, gauze, over-the-counter drugs, sanitiser, masks, gloves, antibiotic creams and ointments, thermometer etc. 
  • Pain relievers, anti-diarrhoea medication, antacids and laxatives. 
  • A whistle to signal for help. 
  • Wipes or moist toilettes. 

Important documents 

  • Place passports, birth certificates, legal and medical documents in a waterproof bag and store them in a secure spot.   
  • Grab a copy of your local telephone directory book.  The mini copies are super neat and easy to store.  It’s good to have a copy on hand in the event internet connections are faulty. 

Let’s have this hurricane season meet us prepared. 

A Food-Lover’s Guide to Grand Cayman

The One Food You Should Try

I had heard that the food to try was turtle which, I’ll be honest, did not really appeal to me. Still, I was prepared to try turtle in the name of research if that was required. Happily, I discovered that while stewed turtle is traditional, it’s definitely not all that common — surely not as common as fish rundown (a fish stew with coconut milk, tomatoes, onions, and garlic) or heavy cake (made with cassava, and as dense as it sounds).

But if I had to pick just one, I’d say a pattie, preferably picked up at a gas station, which is what I did when I got peckish on a long walk to Georgetown one morning.

A pattie is a hand pie with an outer crust that’s similar to a puff pastry, but quite a bit denser. It’s filled with meat or veggies or some combination, and often quite spicy. Many locals have a fierce loyalty to Island Taste patties, but it’s worth trying a few different ones and deciding for yourself! The Frozen Beverage to Sip You might think this would be something tropical, fruity, and spiked with rum, but no: The frosty beverage of choice on Grand Cayman is the mudslide, a combination of vodka, Kahlua, and Bailey’s ice cream.

Allegedly, the best on the island is to be found at Rum Point, on the north shore. But you can find versions elsewhere, including (conveniently for me) at Coccoloba at the Seafire Resort (where I stayed).

The Dish I’d Fly Back For I ate a lot of great food on this trip, but — no contest — the coconut grouper at Heritage Kitchen is the one I’d fly back for. Lightly fried, topped with a mess of coconut and onions, and served with fried bread and rice, it is just what I want to eat after a day of sun and sand.

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