SUPERFOOD SERIES: Matcha

Posted by on 18th September 2017

Hands up if you have tasted our $5 ‘Morning Matcha’ special at Juiced @ The Wicket this week!

Matcha is a stone-ground powdered green tea used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. According to the 8th century Zen priest Eisai, who introduced the tea to Japan, matcha is “the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete”.

Did you know that matcha has less caffeine than coffee but provides sustained energy for 4-6 hours versus 1-3 hours with coffee?

For those who haven’t tried our ‘Morning Matcha’ yet, here are some more reasons why it could be worth joining the green party.

  1. It tastes amazing! Complex, rich, aromatic, astringent and with an alluring sweetness, matcha is many people’s first choice when it comes to choosing breakfast smoothie ingredients. And voila! We’ve already got one ready and waiting for you at the Wicket Bar for just $5.
  2. Rich in antioxidants! Matcha contains small amounts of various vitamins and minerals, but is most prized for being rich in polyphenol compounds called catechins, a type of antioxidant. Because matcha is made from ground up whole tea leaves, it’s a more potent source of catechins than standard green tea, which is consumed as an infusion and the leaves discarded. One study found that matcha contains three times more of the catechins called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – an antioxidant linked to fighting cancer, viruses and heart disease – than other kinds of standard green tea.
  3. Promotes a healthy heart! A 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the catechins in green tea had a significant effect on lowering LDL cholesterol. A 2013 Cochrane review also showed that regular green tea consumption was associated with lower blood pressure and an decreased risk of stroke.
  4. Boosts memory and concentration! Another side-effect of L-Theanine is the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals serve to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration – something that can benefit everyone!
  5. Makes your skin glow! The same antioxidants that make green tea protective, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may also help support skin health by reducing inflammation and free radicals that accelerate skin aging.
  6. Increases energy levels and endurance! While all green tea naturally contains caffeine, the energy boost received from matcha is largely due to its unique combination of other nutrients. The increased endurance from a bowl of matcha can last up to six hours and because of the effects of L-Theanine, matcha drinkers experience none of the usual side-effects of stimulants such as nervousness and hypertension.
  7. Burns calories! Drinking matcha green tea has also been shown to increase metabolism and help the body burn fat about four times faster than average.
  8. Detoxifies the body! High levels of chlorophyll in matcha not only give this tea its beautiful vibrant green colour, but also makes it a powerful detoxifier capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.

JUICED @ THE WICKET MORNING MATCHA SMOOTHIE

Ingredients

2 teaspoons matcha
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach
4 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
2 frozen bananas
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups coconut water
bee pollen, optional

Method

Blend all ingredients together and sprinkle with bee pollen if desired.

Matcha 2  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Matcha

Local artist splashes her colourful creativeness across Cayman

Posted by on 14th September 2017

Energetic, enthusiastic, creative and fun.

Talented and inspirational local Cayman artist, Kara Julian, is all of the above and so much more.

She can bring any space to life with her artistic flair and injection of colour. You may have noticed a couple of her chalkboard art creations gracing the Wicket Bar area at Cricket Square.

With new entrance signage and Wicket Bar menu boards also on the way, we thought we’d take a peek behind the scenes. As Kara puts it: “There’s no glamour, no stencils, no decals, no perfectly staged backdrops with expensive lighting and certainly no makeup crew. (Notice the hat? Yep, it’s “bad-hair” day). All that takes place right now is absolute chaos! Loads of chalk dust, paint everywhere, long hours and chaos! So let’s crank the music up and make beautiful chalk-art as I think to myself: “I’m gonna need a bigger cup of coffee!”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get inspiration from everywhere. Anything that stands out will grab my attention. It could be the typography in a label on a shampoo bottle, colours in a frozen beverage, sunsets and how it paints the sky in so many warm colors, the ocean or even photos from some of my favorite photographers.

When I was dreaming up ideas for the Juiced @ menus however, I got inspiration when I read the great combination of ingredients listed on the menu, from the vibrant colour of each beverage and surprisingly, from the enthusiasm I picked up on, when I listened to the backstory and vision for the Juiced @ concept.

What is involved in creating the Juiced @ boards?

There was a lot of thought and creativity that went into designing the Juiced @ boards.

First I took the the owner’s vision and objectives and then translated them into illustrations, text and colour. I took out my sketchbook and started drawing designs (as they came to me) that were inspired by the menu. I went through four or five concepts for each menu until I settled on an idea that I felt worked the best. Needless to say, there were a lot of drawings.

Then I started paring the illustrations with various styles of handwritten fonts and colours, in order to get a design that made the most impact and delivered on the goal of getting people excited about Juiced @.

While I created the illustrations, my friend and carpenter Benton Conolly designed and built the actual boards. Once again, a lot of care went into the construction of the boards to ensure that they could handle all the wear and tear from everyday use; not to mention exposure to our harsh Caribbean weather.

Once the signs were built, designs finalised and approved, it was off to my studio to start painting. Each sign was individually hand-painted with an original design, using acrylic paints and then sealed with several coats of varnish to protect the artwork.

What was the moment you knew you wanted to become a professional artist?

I finally came to accept that I really wanted to pursue art back in 1997 while away in Florida, studying Accounting and Business Administration.

I came to this conclusion ONLY when my cousin Chris (who was also studying in Florida), popped over to my apartment one evening and pointed out that my dining table and coffee table were always littered with art magazines, art books and airbrushing equipment/tools. Meanwhile my accounting books were usually still tucked away in my backpack.

It was so obvious to him and everyone else (I still hadn’t gotten the memo…LOL!) that I was chasing the wrong dream. I was going through the motions but had not clearly opened my eyes to realise that I was fueled by creativity, not numbers. That was when I first had that “a-ha” moment and started on the journey of becoming a professional artist.

I did not have any formal training in art as I was growing up. It came naturally so I was always drawing and learning on my own. It didn’t help that I was a shy kid and was hesitant to pursue any formal training. When I finally did take a chance and enrolled in a high school art class I ended up feeling discouraged and intimidated by the art instructor. Sadly I dropped the class and resolved to continue teaching myself; with advance training only coming along when I was in my mid-twenties.

What do you love about chalkboard art?

I love working with two contrasting colours (usually black and white). You have to get creative with the use of lettering (the art of drawing letters and words) to make a bold statement. Chalkboards are so versatile and because they are used primarily for marketing, it’s the perfect “canvas” to apply my love of illustrations, lettering and modern calligraphy to tell a story. No two projects are alike so it’s a fun process, bringing a story to life on a simple blackboard.

What is your advice to budding artists looking to follow in your creative footsteps?

My advice for anyone pursuing or wishing to pursue chalkboard art, or any creative outlet in general, is to go for it!! Don’t let anyone discourage your dream. Your passion is what is going to make you successful at your art. Network with other artists and draw inspiration from them. Having said that, I encourage budding artists to stay true to who they are. Be your true original/authentic self, don’t shoplift another artists ideas or designs. Instead, develop your style so that it becomes like your handwriting…one of a kind. And most importantly make sure you LOVE what you are doing and practice, practice, practice. The dream doesn’t become a reality unless you put in the work that’s necessary.

You look very happy…

Getting involved in chalkboard art, was a happy accident. I was approached by the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort four years ago, after they saw my penmanship on a bottle of rum I had hand-painted for a mutual client. They wanted my help in revamping a 24″ x 36″ chalkboard pizza menu that they had, which was basically illegible.

At the time, I didn’t have a clue about designing chalkboards but figured I’d rise to the challenge and learn quickly. To my surprise, I fell in love with the process, was amazed at the impact a nicely designed chalkboard could have and now I design and create chalkboards on a regular basis.

Life has a great way of leading you down roads that you would have otherwise never taken.

Needless to say, I’m enjoying the journey!

**

To find out more about Kara, her gallery or to book in for one of her art classes visit her website: http://karajuliansart.blogspot.com

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Coconut

Posted by on 11th September 2017

DSC 1036  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Coconut

Nicknamed “The Tree of Life”, the coconut palm is revered by a growing band of supporters – including scientists – who are singing the healing and restorative praises of coconuts.

From culinary creations to magic beauty potions, coconuts are versatile and in demand. What is it about this exotic food that continues to tantalise and intimidate us at the same time?

The term coconut refers to the whole coconut palm or the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut.

Coconut supports immune system health: it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasite.

A natural source of quick energy, coconut also enhances physical and athletic performance, boosting your metabolism as it burns as fuel rather than stored as body fat. In addition to this, coconut water contains crucial electrolytes that help in maintaining hydration during and after physical exercise.

This popular food improves digestion and absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and as well as benefits insulin secretion and symptoms associated with diabetes.

Turn to coconut to help reduce the risk of heart health and improve good cholesterol (HDL) in the body, as well as protect against kidney disease and bladder infection.

Cytokinins, kinetin and trans-zeatin present in coconut have anti thrombotic, anti-carcinogenic and anti-ageing effects on the body. It helps keep hair and skin healthy and youthful looking, prevents wrinkles, age spots and provides sun protection.

Coconut oil fights bacteria responsible for tooth decay and could be a healthy, non-chemical additive in toothpaste and mouthwash, Irish research suggests. Scientists found that when the oil was treated with digestive enzymes it became a powerful killer of mouth bugs that can lead to tooth decay.

If that isn’t enough, did you also know that this superfood is a planet-friendly fuel for machinery? Biodiesel has been making the rounds as a fossil fuel alternative, and coconut trees happen to be one of the plants that can produce oil in workable quantities. Not only that, but coconuts can perform multiple roles: as a base substance, an additive, or a direct substitute for petroleum diesel.

So what are you waiting for? Come in and taste our delicious breadfruit and coconut salad currently featuring on The Brasserie menu.

BRASSERIE BREADFRUIT AND COCONUT SALAD

Ingredients

local homemade baked coconut chips
roasted breadfruit
avocado, sliced
mixed greens
seasoning peppers, thinly diced
olive oil
salt and pepper

Method

Combine breadfruit, mixed greens, seasoning pepper, olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. Layer the fresh local avocado on the serving plate and top with breadfruit mixture. Sprinkle with crunchy coconut chips and enjoy the sweet tastes of Cayman’s summer.

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Goat cheese

Posted by on 4th September 2017

DSC 1000  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Goat cheese

Some people might be ok with giving up dairy, but for the rest of us, the cheeseless life is just not a realistic option.

Did you know that it’s estimated 72 per cent of the world’s milk consumption is from goats?

The good news is that goat cheese has fewer calories than cow’s cheese and is rich in essential nutrients vitamin A, vitamin B, riboflavin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.

Goat milk has less lactose and a slightly different protein structure than cow’s milk. These subtle shifts actually make a big difference. Even people who are allergic to cow’s milk can usually drink goat’s milk without issue. Goat cheese contains less lactose than cow’s milk and cheese, and contains smaller fat globules, which make the cheese easier to digest and ideal for people who suffer from lactose intolerance

The low amounts of sodium and good amounts of potassium in goat cheese helps in modulating the blood pressure in those who suffer from high blood pressure.

Goat cheese is especially rich in calcium. Calcium is especially important for the body to help strengthen bones and teeth as well as protect from diseases. Eating goat cheese rich in calcium can also boost your metabolism.

The antioxidants and antibodies, particularly selenium, found in goat cheese help to protect the body from infections and germs. The nutrients and good bacteria in the cheese keep the gut healthy thanks to their probiotic activity.

These milk-making machines are opportunistic foragers who happily munch on a wide variety of plants like desert scrub, weeds, trees, shrubs and aromatic herbs, reducing plant overgrowth and lessening the risk for forest fires.

Not only do we have goats to thank for their cheese, but also coffee! Apparently in Ethiopia a goat herder saw goats behaving more actively and energetically after eating from a particular bush. He then tried it himself and felt uplifted, awake and full of energy. It was coffee bean plant!

We’re excited to be launching a new menu at The Brasserie and here is one of our featured salads (recipe below, pictured above) incorporating as much local produce as possible.

BRASSERIE GOAT CHEESE, WALNUT & PUMPKIN SALAD

Ingredients

roasted pumpkin
local mixed greens
candied walnuts
spicy pumpkin seed granola
cranberries
walnut vinaigrette
goat cheese

Method

Puree a portion of the roasted pumpkin and spread as a base to the salad. Combine mixed greens, candied walnuts, cranberries and granola in a bowl and dress with walnut vinaigrette. Sprinkle generously with goat cheese and enjoy the crunch, sweetness and flavour of our new favourite Brasserie salad.

THE PITCH: September in Cricket Square

Posted by on 1st September 2017

As the summer winds to a close, Cricket Square comes back to life with new purpose. Check out what’s on offer.

The Brasserie is Open

THE BRASSERIE — With polished floors, a fresh lick of paint and our gardens replanted with winter vegetables, we reopen The Brasserie Restaurant doors today with plenty of new and exciting culinary surprises up our chef’s sleeves. Get out your diary as we also reveal a revamped winter event season including The Brasserie’s 20th Anniversary celebrations!

SWIRL: Thursday 28 September

THE BRASSERIE — Did you know that it takes approximately 600-800 wine grapes to make a bottle of wine? A lot of these grapes are grown in California, the fourth leading wine producer in the world. For just $30 enjoy this unique opportunity to taste a selection of the Golden State’s finest wines, paired with tasty canapés. Call 945-1815 or email Corey to book.

The Big Shave: Friday 22 September

WICKET BAR — The fifth annual Hannah’s Heroes – The Big Shaveis on 22 September 2017. Join us at The Wicket to be a part of a wonderful cause that so many will benefit from. Whether you decide to get the ultimate hair make-over, donate or volunteer, you’ll be helping change the lives of children battling cancer. For more information, contact the team at Hannah’s Heroes.

Dreaming of a Decadent Christmas

THE BRASSERIE — Beginning to feel a lot like Christmas? As we head into “winter” and the home run to the festive season, look no further than The Brasserie to host your Christmas celebrations with loved ones, colleagues and friends. We have spectacular set menus with extensive cocktail and fine wine lists to match. Contact our elves to reserve your preferred date.

RECIPE: Mango Daiquiri

THE BRASSERIE — We’re making the most of Cayman’s mango season with our local take on the traditional daiquiri. Refreshing delicious and the perfect concoction to beat the heat, click here to learn how to make it yourself. View our extensive menu to order your craft beers, specialty wines and spirits from Brasserie Purveyors. Call 945 1815 or email us to order.

Three New Classes at ENERGY

ENERGY — Get your sweat on with three new class styles this month. Ultimate Barre, Pure Yoga and Reformer Glow have joined the list of 37 weekly classes so now there’s no excuse to miss out on that exercise glow. Contact Colleen for more details and sign up for classes with Energy’s online scheduler. Let the team help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Twenty Glorious Years of The Brasserie

THE BRASSERIE — The Brasserie is celebrating a big milestone next month! The Restaurant’s 20th Anniversary will be held on Saturday 14 October – a momentous occasion to reflect on where the farm-to-table movement in Cayman began and the awareness created since then, in sourcing and eating local foods. Celebrate with us! Contact Corey for details.