SUPERFOOD SERIES: Carob

Posted by on 21st November 2017

carob  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Carob

Did you know that carob pod husks are chewed by singers to clear the voice and throat?

Made from dried, roasted carob tree pods, carob powder is a sweet and healthy substitute for chocolate.

The carob tree, or Ceratonia siliqua, has fruit that looks like a dark brown pea pod, which carries pulp and seeds. Carob can boost the immune system, reduce the risk of cancer, improve digestion, slow down aging, prevent cardiovascular diseases, and help prevent and manage diabetes.

Carob tannins contain Gallic acid that works as an analgesic, anti-allergic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral and antiseptic. The tannins found in carobs can increase the effectiveness of certain substances (enzymes) that help to regulate the digestion process.  Additionally, carob provides powerful anti-viral benefits that supply the body with essential antioxidants. Foods rich in tannins are often recommended for treatment of diarrhea as it reduces acid production and combats related ailments.

Experts say carobs contain fibre that naturally helps to regulate blood sugar levels (useful for people who suffer from diabetes). As an insoluble fibre product (which contains pinitol, a type of inositol), carob helps water bind in the digestive tract, which enhances the health of the intestinal tract and regulates blood glucose.

Due to the high percentage of insoluble fibre contained in carobs, research shows carobs have the potential to lower cholesterol levels. Carobs have naturally high levels of lignin and polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants.

In a clinical trial conducted in the US, consumption of a carob pulp preparation decreased postprandial responses of acylated ghrelin, triglycerides, suggesting a change toward increased fatty acid oxidation. In other words, carob fibre might exert beneficial effects in energy intake, and thus, reduce body weight.

Carob is high in phosphorus and calcium, which means it may help in the fight against osteoporosis ailment. It has also been recommended for children who have had polio ailment, due to the high levels of calcium and gallic acid.

As carobs are rich in vitamin E, and full of antioxidants and phytonutrients, they have, on occasion, been suggested in aid of the treatment of anemia, coughs, osteoclasis, colds and influenza.

Enjoy our $5 Juiced @ The Wicket ‘Carob Delight’ this week, guilt-free, knowing that this fibre-rich ingredient, high in antioxidants and low in sodium and fat, is a superfood that all chocoholics will love.

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Tuna

Posted by on 15th November 2017

tuna steak  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Tuna

Each day The Brasserie’s fishing boats, Brasserie Catch I and Brasserie Catch II, deliver fresh sustainably-caught fish to the Restaurant to be served on the menu just hours later, including this mouthwatering yellowfin tuna fillet.

And if you’re a guest at our first Harvest Dinner of the season on Thursday, you are in luck! Yellowfin tuna is one our hero ingredients that you will have the opportunity to enjoy, paired with garden vegetables and a speciality wine carefully selected by our sommelier.

Did you know that tuna are some of the fastest swimmers in the ocean with burst speeds recorded at around 45 kilometres per hour?

Not only is this impressive, but the vitamin, mineral and nutrient content, as well as other organic compounds found in this large fish are significant. These include antioxidants and protein, without much-saturated fat or sodium. It also has impressive levels of selenium and good amounts of phosphorous, iron, magnesium and potassium. In terms of vitamins, there is a wealth of vitamin B12 and niacin, as well as a good amount of vitamin B6 and riboflavin.

The health benefits help growth and development, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, assist weight loss, boost the immune system, increase energy, maintain skin health and reduce inflammation.

The combination of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce blood pressure, along with potassium,  make tuna fish very good for lowering blood pressure. Reducing hypertension can significantly boost your health by lowering the strain on your cardiovascular system. This can prevent heart attacks and stroke.

Luckily, for pescatarians, tuna fish is packed with protein. A single serving of only 165 grams (approximately 1 can of tuna fish) contains more than 80 per cent of your daily protein requirement. Proteins are the building blocks of our body, and with proper amounts of protein in our system, we are guaranteed to have increased growth and development, faster recovery from wounds and illnesses, improved muscle tone and growth, and overall metabolic efficiency. It can boost our energy levels and make our body work more effectively.

Tuna also contains good amounts of vitamin C, zine and manganese, all of which are considered antioxidant in nature. Antioxidants are one of the body’s defines mechanisms against free radicals. However the real champion of tuna’s immune system-boosting potential is selenium.

The B complex of vitamins has been connected with a wide range of different health aspects, but as a whole, they are mainly involved in improving the metabolism and increasing the efficiency of our organ systems, while also protecting the skin and increasing energy.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on The Brasserie’s Facebook page for updates on our daily catch, and join us this Thursday for our first Harvest Dinner of the season.

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Conch

Posted by on 7th November 2017

conch  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Conch

Look at that beloved Caribbean mollusk, the queen conch (pronounced “konk”).

The large marine snail—technically a gastropod mollusk—represents a huge part of Cayman culture. Their gorgeous pink spiral shells are widely found on our beaches. The fleshy, chewy meat is sliced and diced into fritters, salads, chowder, burgers, pasta, and handheld patties; it’s battered and deep-fried; it’s even scored (“scorched”) and eaten raw.

Conch ceviche (pictured below) is now featuring on The Brasserie menu, coinciding with the start of Cayman’s conch season on 1 November 2017.

For 65 million years, conchs have dwelled in the warm, mostly shallow waters of our planet. Their habitat of choice is just one factor contributing to their currently dwindling numbers—pollution has led to the degradation of their preferred seagrass beds, and shallow waters, where juveniles in particular cluster, are all too easy for humans to infiltrate. One estimate suggests that out of 400,000 offspring, fewer than one conch will survive into adulthood. This alarming statistic, coupled with other environmental and human pressures, signals a worrying time for the queen conch.

The Cayman Islands’ Department of Environment conducts an annual conch survey to monitor the success of marine parks and replenishment zones in stabilising existing populations. In addition, they continue to recommend a reduction in legal catch limits to supplement their efforts and help protect the queen conch for future generations. As mentioned above, conch season is closed 1 May through 31 October, with a catch limit of five per person or ten per boat per day, whichever is less.

Conch has a high nutritional value, making it one of our local superfoods. Conch is a good source of protein, but it also supplies a wealth of key vitamins and minerals including iron, vitamin B12, selenium folate and vitamin E, as well as being low in fat and carbohydrates.

The calcinated conch shell of Turbinella pyrum consists of calcium, iron and magnesium. It is well known in Ayurvedic medicine for its antacid and digestive properties.

Did you know that blowing conch shells is said to exercise the thyroid glands and vocal cords, thus acting as a natural solution to speech issues, including stammering problems? It’s also believed that blowing conch shells can be great exercise for the facial muscles and reduce wrinkles. And if you want to achieve that flawless glow, massage your face with water from a conch shell!

Click here for our mouthwatering farm-to-table Brasserie menus that include Chef Artemio’s delicious conch ceviche, only available until 30 April and the duration of Cayman’s conch season.

DSC 1697  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Conch

The Art of Coffee

Posted by on 2nd November 2017

“You have to invest and be committed to quality.”

In January 2009, the Brasserie Market opened its doors and became the second espresso outlet on Grand Cayman, and the only location on island, to host an extensive barista training program led by freelance coffee consultant, Erin Hulbert.

Erin is from the coffee homeland of Seattle.

“I am a purest. I love the transparency – from the bean, through processing, to the cup – coffee is a ritual for me. It’s a time to gather with friends and family. It’s part of our culture.”

She wrote the coffee menu, trained staff, talked to press, hosted a “public cupping” (just like a wine tasting but with coffee) and introduced Barrington Roasting Coffee to The Brasserie and the Cayman Islands.

This was the start of The Brasserie Barista Program.

After six hours a day of steaming milk, mastering espresso fundamentals, diligently learning cleaning routines, coffee origins, and preparation methods, my team of baristas were well on their way of becoming the only residents on Cayman to fully understand and execute perfect espresso as an art. As the doors officially opened on January 11, I watched these new coffee enthusiasts’ eyes light up with each sip of perfectly mastered microfoam, reminding me how much I love my job. – An extract from ‘Bringing Coffee to Grand Cayman by Training Four Baristas in Two Weeks’ by Erin Hulbert, Serious Eats.

Since then, Erin says she has trained over 30 through the Program. She visits the island twice every year and trains four people every trip over a 10-day period. “What I cover with them in 10 days, would normally take six months.”

“I am continually challenging The Brasserie baristas to learn new skills on every visit, from taste, milk texture and temperature to the final quest, latte art,” says Erin.

“When teaching the techniques of milk texturising, the end product swirling in the pitcher should resemble a fresh can of white paint; thick, glossy and bubble-free. That’s my perfect cappuccino memory.

“I’m teaching baristas not just what to do but why they do what they do. We need to understand the complexities of making coffee so should we need to fix something, we are familiar. Just like learning a language – you don’t just start learning the vocabulary, but also what you need to create sentences, like grammar.

“You don’t want to stand in the way of the espresso. You should be able to taste the coffee, not the barista. The barista is just there to facilitate the coffee process.”

A stand out for The Brasserie is its emphasis on cleanliness.

“The coffee machines are cleaned every hour on the hour. Oils from the beans adhere to the surfaces and those oils will go rancid if left, making the coffee taste old and earthy no matter the quality of beans. Cleanliness is the most efficient and effective method for maintaining equipment.”

New participants to The Brasserie Barista Program train with Erin for 30 hours – this is the preliminary training period. After “passing the Bar Exam”, which is a written and practical exam at the end of the 10-day training, the trainees each continue to be mentored for one week every month over a three-month period before they pass the Program and are certified to make coffee for The Brasserie customers.

“I expect a lot from my trainees. Not everyone passes The Brasserie Barista Program. I’m here to move the company forward, set it up for success and maintain a high standard of quality,” says Erin.

“When I return six months later, everyone who takes part in the last Program must pass the written and practical exam again.

“In the practical exam, trainees make every drink on the coffee menu and the written exam is based on the manual that I wrote for The Brasserie. For example: What is the ideal temperature for extracting espresso? Why do we serve ristretto?

“At the end of this course all of those employees that pass can confidently go anywhere and understand how espresso works. This can be a blessing and a curse. It opens your eyes up to things that you may not have understood or seen before.”

Erin’s top tip for barista excellence is to stay present.

“Every time you pour a drink, it’s a training moment.”

What about her favourite type of coffee?

“I always opt for an Americano. You can get a real indication of what the coffee is like. I call this American artisan – we have taken ideas from Italy, modelled their flavor profile and then made it our own.

“There are things about different coffee varieties that I love. American coffees share the familiar traits of your morning cup. They are known for their balance and even temperament. The African bean sparkles and adds adventure and excitement to our daily lives. Some Ethiopian beans smell and taste like fresh blueberry pie, while some Kenyan beans can taste so juicy that they make me feel like I’m drinking a Capri sun. Asian coffees are known for having the most curves. They are full bodied with a syrupy mouth feel. These coffees are richer, thicker and exotic with dark chocolate, bold nuttiness and subtle earthy tones.”

And then there’s always the hot topic, for baristas and coffee drinkers alike, of how to steam milk properly.

“I can sit across the room from a barista and tell exactly what texture will appear just by the sound of the aerating milk. Make sure you have cold milk and an even colder pitcher. This low starting temperature allows a longer steaming window, which provides optimal texture.”

Let’s not share all Erin’s secrets though. You’ll need to come to the Market and Restaurant and taste our coffee for yourself!

THE PITCH: November in Cricket Square

Posted by on 2nd November 2017

Introducing The Brasserie’s 20th Anniversary Event Series to Cricket Square to celebrate an epic milestone for the pioneers of Cayman’s farm-to-table movement.

Award-winning farm-to-table

THE BRASSERIE — We kick off Cayman’s harvest season with a celebration of The Brasserie’s 20th year in operation! Don’t miss out on this exciting Harvest Dinner in our organic garden at 7pm on Thursday 16 November, as we celebrate Chef Dean and Chef Arte’s amazing accomplishments in bringing farm-to-table to The Brasserie and Cayman. Tickets are CI$90 incl. with a sommelier-selected wine pairing. Email us to book or call 945-1815.

SWIRL: Thursday 9 November

THE BRASSERIE — Big bold reds are the world’s most popular choice of wine and it’s easy to see why. They are everything a great wine should be – rich, flavourful and when consumed in moderation, also good for your health! Enjoy this unique wine tasting with hearty canapés and great company. Tickets are CI$30. Email or call 945-1815.

American Thanksgiving: 23 November

THE BRASSERIE — There is no better place to celebrate American Thanksgiving than amongst family and friends at The Brasserie. Enjoy a three-course traditional feast of roasted potato and coconut soup, free range organic turkey roulade and local pumpkin tart. Wine pairings included at an additional cost. Book your table here.

Book your Christmas party with us

THE BRASSERIE — Looking for a venue to host your Christmas party this year? Buyout the restaurant for up to 80 people. What about the green outdoor space at the Wicket Bar for a cocktail party of 150? Or the relaxing vibe of our restaurant garden that can hold 40 people as you sip on cocktails under the stars? Call 945 1815 or email to book your event.

Holiday celebrations at The Brasserie

THE BRASSERIE — As we head towards the festive season make sure The Brasserie is your first stop when planning your celebrations. Our exclusive Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve menus have just been released and are available in hardcopy at the Restaurant. Take a look at our holiday events calendar and book now. Call 945-1815 or email.

Weekly specials every night of the week

THE BRASSERIE — Every Monday savour three courses with a bottle of wine for CI$89 per couple. For gourmet British-style comfort food join us for Gastro Pub on Tuesdays. Burgers and beer on Wednesday, while Thursdays call for Cayman-style soft tacos and the best margaritas on island! Enjoy brick oven pizzas and Pinot every Friday.

FREE juice at Juiced @ The Wicket

WICKET BAR — Buy 10 juices or smoothies from our delicious menu and get one FREE. Collect your Juiced @ card at the Wicket Bar and reward yourself with a healthy and delicious treat from our extensive menu that incorporates the freshest seasonal produce on island. In a hurry? Call 927 6419 and order ahead.

Hot for the Holiday specials at ENERGY

ENERGY — Get ready for the holiday season at ENERGY with group fitness, the lunch Pilates mat series and group reformer classes. Email ENERGY for details on how you can finish off 2017 with a bang!

Trunk Sale: Friday 1 December

WICKET BAR — Join us for our very own Brasserie Purveyors Trunk Sale! Come and stock up on fine wines, craft beers and artisan spirits ahead of the festive season. Don’t miss out! Once it’s gone, it’s gone. See you at the Wicket Bar from 3 – 6pm.