Ortanique in Grand Cayman, Ducasse in Puerto Rico

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File under "So Near And Yet So Far"...

Ortanique opened in Grand Cayman last week, joining Michael's Genuine Food & Drink as well as Eric Ripert's Blue (in the Ritz-Carlton). Executive chef is Sara Mair, a Caribbean native best known as a contestant on Top Chef: Miami, but who was also chef de cuisine for five years at Ortanique in the Gables. Owner Cindy Hutson will be orchestrating the Camana Bay kitchen, and will be participating in Grand Cayman's January 'Culinary Month' celebrations - including a stint as host of BanDana Beach Barbecue at Cayman Cookout held January 13 through January 16. Then there is the Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival, held at Camana Bay on January 29. This is the largest culinary festival of its kind in the Caribbean, now in its 23rd year.

Summation for those with short attention span: If you were thinking of vacationing in the Cayman Islands this year, January would probably be a good month to do so.

Meanwhile, over in Puerto Rico...

...acclaimed chef Alain Ducasse has opened La Pescadora in the W Retreat & Spa Vieques Island -- which, if you want to get technical, is actually eight miles off the east coast of Puerto Rico. Featuring a "fresh-catch seafood menu updated daily", La Pescadora offers al fresco dining atop a wooden deck replete with tiki torches and views of the Atlantic Ocean. On-site grills will kick out octopus, calamari, cuttlefish, Caribbean lobster, and all sorts of other goodies. Dinner is served Thursday through Saturday 6:30PM to 9:30PM, "or until the daily catch is gone."

I'm not certain where Alain Ducasse or his cuisine fit in, but I did find out that the homemade sangria is made with passion fruit juice and that sugar-covered churros with pineapple and caramel dipping sauce is one of the desserts.

La Pescadora
W Retreat & Spa-Vieques Island
State Road 200, Vieques, Puerto Rico

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