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    Thursday, February 22, 2018-3:41:30A.M.






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BBQ Pork Ribs Cook Off at ‘Taste’ on May 20

(MVA) — Think you have the best barbecue ribs on Saipan? Bring your recipe and see if the judges agree at the BBQ Pork Ribs Cook Off on Saturday, May 20. at the 19th Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden.

Registration is still open for the first 10 adults. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m., with judging at 7:30 p.m. and awards at 8:30 p.m. Registration is free, but competitors must provide their own grill, charcoal, ingredients, and other equipment. Ribs will be provided by sponsors Twins and Hannam Super Markets. The deadline to register is Friday, May 19, at 5 p.m. at the Marianas Visitors Authority office in San Jose.

“We’re looking for the best ribs in Saipan, professional or non-professional,” said MVA Managing Director Christopher A. Concepcion. “If your ribs are tender and delicious, come on out for some fun and friendly competition on Saturday.”

Click to enlarge
Judges award Andrew Songsong 1st place in the “Kadun Pika” Cook Off at 19th Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival and Beer Garden at Garapan Fishing Base, Saipan, on May 13, 2017.  Pictured from left are James Harris, Songsong and child, Marianas Visitors Authority Managing Director Christopher A. Concepcion, Sophia Alvarez, Farah Younis, and Samson Tan.  MVA photo

Prizes are: 1st place, $250 cash, a $100 Shopping Spree from Twin’s and Hannam Super Markets, and $50 in Taste tokens; 2nd place, $150 cash, a $75 Shopping Spree from Twin’s and Hannam Super Markets, and $50 Taste tokens; and 3rd place; $50 cash, a $50 Shopping Spree from Twin’s and Hannam Super Market, and $50 Taste tokens.

On the main stage, the night’s entertainment will include: Out of the Ordinary Band at 6 p.m., CAB Dancers at 7 p.m., Alana’ai at 7:30 p.m., Saipan Music & Dance Studio at 8:30 p.m., UBSES at 9 p.m., and Da Kine at 9:30 p.m.

Last week, the Taste challenged competitors to the popular local dish “kadun pika” (spicy chicken).   Seven chefs took the challenge of the “Kadun Pika” Cook Off and prepared their dishes on site, with Andrew Songsong getting the highest judges’ rating for 1st place, Gloria Tenorio in 2nd place, Spencer Marchadesch & Angelo Camacho in 3rd, and Kaliko Camacho in 4th. Nearly $900 in cash, shopping gifts certificates, and Taste tokens were awarded to the winners.

“We are receiving tremendous support from Twins and Hannam Super Markets for our new cook off challenges this year, and we thank you,” said MVA community projects specialist and Taste lead coordinator Ray Villagomez. “Most especially, we thank all the competitors for coming out to share their specialty dishes.”

Thirteen food and three beverage vendors are participating in t MVA’s annual signature event, which features international cuisine at affordable prices from local hotels and restaurant vendors, non-stop live entertainment on the main stage, nightly contests on the secondary stage, and arts and crafts sales. The festival will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. each Saturday in May, closing at 11 p.m. on the final night.

Participating food vendors are Fiesta Resort & Spa, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Kanoa Resort, Mariana Resort & Spa, Herman’s Bakery, D’Elegance Cafe, Furusato Restaurant, Thai House, Tropical Chills, Sierra’s Pearl Shake, Sweet Escapes, Matty’s BBQ, and Tony Roma’s/ Capricciosa. New this Saturday will be Kinpachi Restaurant.

Residents are also encouraged to show their support for Tourism Month by observing “Hafa Adai Tirow Spirit” Island Wear Fridays and participating in Tourism Trivia on KCNM-KZMI, KKMP, KWAW and Power 99.   CNMI students grades 6-12 can win cash and Taste tokens in the “See My Marianas” Graphic Art Design contest, which has been extended to May 19.

For registration forms and rules for the BBQ Pork Ribs Cook Offs, visit or contact MVA community projects specialist Ray Villagomez at rvillagomez@mymarianas or 664-3210.