Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 22 Aug 2017 12am

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    Sunday, August 20, 2017-9:06:45A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Taste of the Marianas expands culinary explorations

(MVA) — The final night of 19th Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden highlighted the culinary ingenuity of some of the best up-and-coming junior chefs in The Marianas.

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The 19th Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival and Beer Garden in Saipan attracted  thousands  of  people  each  Saturday  evening  during  May  Tourism Month.  MVA photo Antonio Agulto Jr. of Hyatt Regency Saipan shows of his 1st  place dish in the Chefs Compeition at the 19th  Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival and Beer Garden at Garapan Fishing Base, Saipan, on May 27, 2017.  MVA photo
Offerings at the 19th Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival and Beer in Saipan included island inspired tastes and flavors. The festival is an annual signature event of the Marianas Visitors Authority held during May Tourism Month.  MVA photo An entry in the Chefs Competition at the 19th Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival and Beer Garden on May 27, 2017.  MVA photo
Simiyan Marianas Chamorro dance group entertain the crowd at the 19th Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival and Beer Garden at Garapan Fishing Base, Saipan, on May 27, 2017.  MVA photo Ali’i’s Polynesian dance group entertain the crowd  at the 19th  Annual Taste of the Marianas  International  Food  Festival  and  Beer  Garden  at  Garapan  Fishing  Base, Saipan, on May 27, 2017.  MVA photo
The annual Certified Angus Beef Chefs Competition, jointly organized by the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands and Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods, was held on Saturday (May 27) and featured live cooking on-site for the first time.

Antonio Agulto Jr. of Hyatt Regency Saipan won 1st place, in 2nd place was Sonny Encarnacion of Kanoa Resort, and in 3rd place was Vicente M. Montoya of Fiesta Resort & Spa.

“Bottom butt flap is an interesting name for a cut of Certified Angus Beef that has a wonderful meaty flavor and fine texture when carefully prepared,” said Triple J Five Star Wholesale GM Jay Santos. “We’re excited with what the junior chefs came up with to feature this increasingly popular cut.”

Junior chefs from participating hotels were challenged to prepare a dish using this year’s featured cut, bottom butt flap. Chefs also selected local vegetables and herbs from Garapan Public Market, with a least two items incorporated.   The top three winners won cash prizes, trophies, Certified Angus Beef items, and the opportunity to participate in this year’s CNMI Next Top Chef competition.

“This year we explored some new ways of making ‘Taste’ even better than ever,” said Marianas Visitors Authority Managing Director Christopher A. Concepcion.   “We have the Chefs’ Competition live for the first time onsite, we added live competitions for ‘kadun pika’ (spicy chicken) and barbecue pork ribs, and we had live demonstrations of making apigigi and titiyas. Of course, the entertainment was diverse and exciting.   I have to commend our MVA team and our partners for really putting together a great event enjoyed by visitors and residents, alike.”

“And we’re not done creating opportunities for people to explore the Marianas with their taste buds. MVA has something else brewing,” Concepcion added cryptically.

Fourteen food and three beverage vendors are participating in the 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. Participating food vendors were 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, Tony Roma’s/ Capricciosa, and Kinpachi Restaurant.

Winners of the student “See My Marianas” Graphic Art Design Contest were also announced on the main stage at 8 p.m. The contest challenged students in grade 6-12 to use graphic design to promote their favorite sites in the Marianas.