SUGAR CITY CHOSEN AS THE BEST OF BELIZE
The pomp and pageantry on Saturday night brought together the best of Belize’s service industry to recognize the nation’s top taste tempters. The 2010 edition of the Taste of Belize competition saw more than four categories where participants were challenged to bring cultural foods to the table … but with a twist. And this year’s competitors brought their A-game.
Terry Valentine-Sabal; Business Action Network, Dangriga
“As soon as BTB told us about it and sent an email we discussed it and we agreed that we were going to represent Dangriga and actually the Stann Creek District. The theme is not only made up of people from Dangriga. We also have the Maya Museum; Julio Saki and his wife who are from Maya Centre are involved as well. So we have Kriole, Garifuna and Maya involved with this organization.”
Melinna Martinez, Reporter
How did you decided on what foods to have on display today?
“Well we had to be representing the area we are from and the main food is more Garifuna Food because the majority of people living in that area are Garifuna. We came up with a full meal; representing the Maya we have an appetizer which is Cuhune Cabbage and homemade corn tortilla and then for the main course we did darasa and stew chicken. We also have hudutu which is green plantain and cassava milk. We did a desert called cassava pudding and a drink which is hiyu.”
Shalue Butcher-Casey; Proprietor, Iguana Hotel and Sacred Heard Junior College
“I am a lecturer in the Food and Beverage Program at Sacred Heart Junior College and I am also the Proprietor of the Iguana Hotel.”
Melinna Martinez, Reporter
What kind of food do you have here tonight and how are you representing Cayo?
“We were very fortunate to have the head chef Rudy from Cahal Pech Village come in and work with the students. We took classic Cayo dishes and put an innovative twist to them. We took Chaya Bollito and we fused it with bacon, we also took pebil and dumplings. Instead of the traditional pebil where you have your tortilla we did the pebil where you have your tortilla, we did the pebil and we stuffed them in dumplings and we steamed them. We also took escabeche and we just did a really different twist and made the actually bowl out of masa and instead of just regular chicken we made our own chicken sausage.”
When all the presentations were over and the tasting done …. the judges decided that Orange Walk is the best of Belize. Dangriga came in second, Hopkins with its Lasagna made out of cassava came in third and the voters chose Cayo as their favorite. According to Director of Quality Assurance at BTB Laura Esquivel Frampton the new format was a big hit.
Laura Esquivel Frampton; Director of Quality Assurance, BTB
“We were pleasantly surprised with the crowd that came out especially because we changed it up a bit. We changed the venue and we changed the format but we managed to get a good crowd and everybody so far is loving the format that we chose this year.”
The theme ‘we are Belize’ was carried over to this year’s cake decorating competition and Belizean Chef Tamara Tingling took home that title. She was followed by Diane Galvez and Sharon Mckay of Nazarene High School. For the Bar Tending Competition Kendra Timons from the Radisson Fort George came out on top. She is followed by Marvin Argereth from Riverside Tavern and Mariano Coc from San Ignacio Hotel. Love News spoke with Coc earlier in the competition.
Mariano Coc; Bartending Competition
“The competition is consisted of three rounds. There is the first round which is the originality of making these concoctions based from Travelers Company Limited. Our concoction has to be made with their products and we created beautiful tasty concoctions. I came up with three exotic flavorful drinks. I came up with a drink named the crabu lada, which is crabu the fruit and I also made a Cayo busta and I made another drink called the Iguana Lash and you know the best comes from the west.”
The winner of the professional chef competition is Calbert Santiago from D Deck Restaurant. Jason De Campo from Global Spice took second place and Luis Cawich from the Villas at Banyan Bay took third place.