by Erin Perkins
If you were looking for a place to work off those extra Charleston Wine + Food Festival calories, then we should have spotted you on the dance floor at the Jailhouse Shake-Up last night. The music filled the air for blocks as we walked up to the intimidatingly spooky facade of the Old Jail. No need to worry about ghosts though, the revelers were whooping it up at the raucous party and surely scaring any haints away.
Presented by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, the food and drinks offered at the event loosely reflected a Caribbean theme. Anson Restaurant served up a crudo of local fish, jalapeno sorbet, shrimp cracklings, and cucumber relish which was refreshing but a strange sensation to be eating a frozen item while bundled up for winter. We quickly warmed our palate with the drink offering from the Gin Joint. With a bit of spice and sweetness, their Milagro Anejo tequila cocktail named “Vagos Motorcycle Club” was our favorite of the evening. We got a taste of what is to come from Republic Reign as they mixed up a “Norm’s Neck” cocktail with Sailor Jerry rum and beet juice.
The longest line was at the Mediterra Catering tent. The lure of mojo braised pork and Ambrose Farms sweet potato cakes with blackened local shrimp had everyone queued up. Cru Cafe and Catering served a baby artichoke and sunchoke salad featuring an overwhelming blue cheese, but we went for seconds of their delicious yellowfin tuna with mascarpone and English pea risotto. Guests missed out if they didn’t get a chance to grab a lump crab and local shrimp salad crostini from Twenty Six Divine. The catering company also offered a dessert for partygoers in the form of a dark chocolate and cherry liqueur truffle.
The biggest hit of the fête however was the man parading around in a pirate costume. Everyone wanted to take their picture with him and towards the end of the evening he indulged the crowd by getting down with the ladies on the dance floor. DJ Mateo was serving up some interesting tunes — John Cougar Mellencamp mashed up with M83? Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and we heard several guests singing along as the tequila and rum took hold.