Andy harvests coconuts. Images: TANEOS RAMSAY

In a cliff side corner of Savannah, Coco Bluff Farm gardener Andy McKenzie swings his machete.

Andy harvests and cuts coconuts, mulches leftover husks and tends to more than 200 palms that dot the five-acre plantation belonging to The Brasserie restaurant.

“I take care of the new generation of coconut trees, selecting the best trees that produce coconuts with the biggest bowls of coconut water and the most flesh, and growing them from seedlings to eventually be planted on the plantation,” he says. “There is also a small garden at the coconut plantation growing various organic vegetables, which I oversee.”

Varieties of coconuts on the farm have been given names by Andy and The Brasserie owner King Flowers, including May Pan, King Coconut, Dwarf, Jamaican Talls and Panama Big Bowl, named for its abnormally large nut and high output of water.

A tree laden with coconuts.

“This variety was brought to Cayman many years ago by Mr. Hutchen McLaughlin, who has passed now,” says Andy.

Coconut water and flesh are staple ingredients in many of the dishes served at The Brasserie, and in the freshly squeezed juices and smoothies served at The Brasserie Group’s juice bar, Juiced @ The Wicket.

The leftover husk is used as mulch around the base of the palms as well as in the raised beds of The Brasserie restaurant garden, and landscaping around Cricket Square, while shells are used as fire fodder at The Caboose, The Brasserie Group’s smokehouse.

Coco Bluff Farm and Plantation is just one example of The Brasserie’s mission to be as self-sufficient or locally supplied as possible, and to reduce, reuse and recycle within their business.

Radish in the garden.

The restaurant, owned by King and Lisa Flowers, was born from a desire to both pioneer and cultivate the farm-to-table movement in Cayman, spearheaded by chef Dean James Max.

Of the restaurant’s food offerings, 85% is locally sourced, with Coco Bluff Farm, The Brasserie fishing boats, chicken coop and the restaurant garden providing the majority of that, and other local farms providing the rest.

Andy McKenzie tends to coconuts at the plantation.



Adjacent to the much-loved restaurant and market in Cricket Square, is the restaurant’s garden, carefully tended to by qualified biologist and culinary gardener Aidé Lopez, whose husband Artemio works in the restaurant as chef de cuisine.

The garden grows organic non-GMO fruit, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers for use on menus in The Brasserie, The Market, The Caboose and Juiced @ The Wicket.

“We grow many different types of edible leaves, like Asian greens, spicy greens, lettuce of course, herbs, root vegetables…,” says Aidé. “We only change the varieties depending on what plants thrive the best in the Cayman climate and by the typical growing seasons, but most of them stay same.”

Restaurant garden plants.

Aidé uses a biodynamic calendar as a guide for planting, transplanting and scheduling labour in the garden, as well as the no-dig method which aims for minimal disturbance of the soil, and avoiding the use of pesticides.

“It is better to work with nature rather than against it,” she says. “We have a responsibility to take care of the billions of beneficial microorganisms that inhabit the soil, and to have an awareness of what we are eating.”

The organic garden reduces food miles, while excess herbs are hung to dry, trimmings go into stock, and excess fruits are fermented and preserved.

“I identify strongly with the farm-to-table vision of The Brasserie,” says Aidé, who relishes being a part of a company focused on environmental sustainability.

Clockwise: Bees at the apiary, eggs collected at Chateau Chooks, Brasserie fishing boats at sea. Image: SUBMITTED


A chicken at Chateau Chooks.

Also tended by Aidé is Chateau Chooks, which is a short walk or golf cart ride from the garden, not far from The Brasserie Bakehouse Bakery which produces home-baked breads and pastries.

More than 100 chickens live at Chateau Chooks, providing eggs to The Brasserie kitchen and recycling the restaurant’s food waste, while their eggshells and manure are used to compost the plants and produce in the restaurant garden.

After a few years, the laying hens will be retired, and live out their days keeping Andy company at the coconut plantation.

Their retirement will include natural pest management around the plantation – eating insects, alerting Andy to worms, and being rewarded with leftover coconuts to peck at, as well as chicken feed.

Bees at the apiary.

“They work here and are a part of The Brasserie and Cricket Square family,” says Andy.

The Brasserie also dispatches two boats, Brasserie Catch I and Brasserie Catch II, to provide the restaurant with sustainably caught fish from the waters around Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. King Flowers also fishes and will occasionally bring in his catch for the restaurant.

Bees also feature in the company’s wheelhouse, with about 35 hives in its apiary, producing honey, beeswax candles and beauty and wellness products, all of which are sold at The Market at The Brasserie.

Tomato plants.







Aidé monitors progress.








Eggs collected at Chateau Chooks.








This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of InsideOut magazine, now available at magazine stands around the island.

Chickens enjoy leftover coconuts.