Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 21 Oct 2017 12am

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    Saturday, October 21, 2017-1:39:57P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

CNMI Next Top Chef on Nov. 9

ORGANIZERS of the CNMI Next Top Chef competition are preparing for the culinary event which is set for Nov. 9 at the Fiesta Resort & Spa from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

“The planning committee is doing very well and everybody is giving their 100 percent support,” organizing committee chair Catherine Perry Harris said.

CNMI Next Top Chef planning committee chair Catherine Perry Harris, seated center, poses with hotel chefs and executives after conducting a meeting to finalize the upcoming competition.  Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

The event, sponsored by the Hotel Association of Northern Mariana Islands or HANMI, will raise funds for the benefit of the Empty Vessel Ministry.

“We look forward to putting a great event for the community while helping Empty Vessel continue serving the community,” Harris said.

Gloria Cavanagh, Mariana Resort general manager and HANMI president, said organizers will invite 12 chefs from Hyatt Regency Saipan, Kanoa Resort, Mariana Resort, Grandvio Resort Saipan, Fiesta Resort and Spa and Saipan World Resort Saipan. Everest Kitchen will also participate while two slots are reserved for the Northern Marianas Trades Institute culinary students or graduates.

Cavanagh said the competition has three remaining slots.

Organizing committee member Gabriele Colombo of Hyatt Regency Saipan said last year’s contest rules will still apply, and there will be a three-round progressive elimination.

In the first round, the 12 participants will prepare an appetizer with shrimp as the main ingredient.

Only six participants will advance to the second round to prepare the main dish with certified Angus beef as main ingredient.

The final round will be competition among three finalists who will prepare dessert with Saipan lady finger banana as the main ingredient.

Ken Stewart, popularly known as Guam’s Food Guy, will be one of the judges. He said for each round, there will be a “mystery ingredient” that participants can combine with the main ingredient.

“If the ingredient is not used, the participant will be penalized. This is part of the criteria — it’s not just taste and presentation,” he said.

Participants will be required to use at least two local ingredients for their dishes, Stewart said.

The event will show why this is “a great profession and great industry” that helps the local economy, Stewart added.

Cavanagh said the first place winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000; second place, $500; and third place, $300.

This is HANMI’s second year to get involved in the competition, she added. “HANMI decided to do this to support the culinary arts on island and our chefs.”

Rose Smith, founding director of Empty Vessel Ministry, said the event raised $36,000 last year.

Proceeds are earmarked for various programs that benefit children and families “who are in great need of help,” she added.

Besides HANMI, the event sponsors are Aqua Resort Club, Laolao Bay Golf and Resort, Aquarius Tower Resort, Century Hotel, Coral Ocean Point, Fiesta Resort & Spa, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Kanoa Resort, Grandvio Resort Saipan, Pacific Islands Club, Saipan World Resort, Kensington Hotel, Micronesia Broker, Marianas Variety, Saipan Tribune, Triple J, Marianas Visitors Authority, KKMP, Power 99 and H-Mart.

Smith said the committee is still accepting sponsorships. Tickets will be sold at $50 each and will include the Pacific Paradise buffet dinner.

For more information about sponsorship and tickets, call Rose Smith at 235-2340 or 483-0162.