International celebrity Chef Keith Jones arrived in Belize last week and spent days “taking in” paradise and filming “Taste of Belize” a new culinary show that will air in Colors TV Dish Networks.

Colours TV entices its viewers to join Chef Keith Jones, for a unique “Eatertainment” experience, while he travels across Belize, as the “culinary ambassador to the world.” In each episode, Jones will meet vibrant “people” within Belize. From local standouts to international visitors, Jones sets out in search of interesting people and amazing cuisine.

Before heading back home to the US, Ambergris Today got the opportunity to chat with Chef Jones and get his impressions of Belize.

*AT - How was your experience filming in Belize?
Chef Jones - “I was blown away on this my first trip to Belize. I did not know what to expect, but this was a once in a lifetime experience for me.”

*AT – Any memorable moments in San Pedro?
Chef Jones – “I am not much of a swimmer, but after a little convincing, I had a wonderful experience at Shark Ray Alley. I saw a diver grab an octopus; I saw a couple of dolphins and then I ate some of the best food at Wish Willy Bar & Grill in Caye Caulker. I also had the opportunity to meet the Minister of Tourism and Mayor of San Pedro who were such a pleasure to talk to and see how down to earth they are. It is wonderful to see how approachable people in government office are in Belize. I got to visit various local restaurants and shops, talked to the locals and absorbed all the beautiful culture of your country. The Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations was quite an amazing experience as well.”

*AT – How do you think the filming of the show went?
Chef Jones – “I had a wonderful experience. The show more than just cooking; it’s a mixture of travel, culture and food. We filmed in San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Belize City. I met with the Film Commissioner of Belize who toured me in the City and had a wonderful time at Memorial Park where there was lots of food and dance.”

* AT – What is Chef Keith taking back with him?
Chef – “The pride of the people of Belize! All those smiling faces were amazing. There is so much pride in Belize, from the local fisherman selling his catch by the seaside to the person selling conch fritters on the street side. People in Belize are very friendly and I had many beautiful experiences with the locals. People came up to me to chat. There was this you boy who came up to me and said, “I saw you on TV.” Very shy but approachable; we don’t have that back home. This is very beautiful of your people.”

* AT – Any final words?
Chef – “I was honored to be part of this project and I cannot wait to come back to Belize, be it for the show or for pleasure.

Taste of Belize, which will be picked up by Dish Networks, will air on Colours TV and reach to about 19 million homes in the US. Filming in San Pedro took place at La Perla del Caribe, Las Terrazas, Portofino and Rendezvous Restaurant, including on board the famous Ras Creek boat in Caye Caulker. “Taste of Belize with Chef Keith Jones” will be six – thirty minute episodes that is due out on spring 2010.

Ambergris Today