When anyone visits the Cayman Islands and asks advice from locals about restaurants, Calypso Grill is inevitably featured on the list. This iconic, colorful landmark overlooking Morgan’s Harbour is revered for its food, enviable location, a pretty amazing sticky toffee pudding, and quality cocktails, courtesy of Jeronimo Almonte.
Jeronimo (what an awesome name!) originally hails from the Dominican Republic; Puerto Plata, to be precise. He went to hospitality school and got right into the service industry, starting as a server at Occidental Jack Tar Village (now renamed Blue JackTar). He spent seven years working in this position before moving into a spot behind the bar. It was here that he found his true calling.
Jeronimo had been working in the Dominican Republic since 1998, so by 2007, he was ready for a change. A friend of his was working in the Cayman Islands and invited him to come and visit. It didn’t take him long to fall in love with the place, and in Oct. 2008 he was lucky enough to get a position at Calypso Grill, where he has been working ever since.
What isn’t there to love about Calypso Grill? You may have heard of Chef George Fowler, known for his signature dishes such as the creamy lobster and shrimp Champagne and that sticky toffee pudding we mentioned earlier. He has won multiple awards and has even written a book – “Going Down Sticky Toffee Lane.” George is an institution at Calypso Grill – he’s been there for years. It seems to be the way with many of the staff, and Jeronimo knows the secret why.
When asked what he likes about working at the restaurant, he laughs and says “Everything!”
“I like the management and the environment,” says Jeronimo. “The staff are treated well and we’re busy all the time. The owners are great.”
It seems that Jeronimo has definitely chosen the career that suits him. “I really enjoy making drinks,” he says, “and watching the customers enjoy them. I love serving people.”
Take a trip to West Bay and follow the road to Calypso Grill. The food and view are spectacular, and Jeronimo’s drinks are the icing on the cake.