This are the results as published by the Belize Tourism Board.
Belize Tourism Board
Lower Flat, New Horizon Investment Building
3 ½ Miles Northern Highway
Belize City, Belize
Tel.: 223 1913, Fax: 223-1943, E-mail: email@example.com
For Immediate Release
Taste of Belize - A Success
-- Belize City, Belize, Monday, June 5th, 2006 -- The Belize Tourism Industry held its 5th Annual Taste of Belize Competition on Saturday, June 3rd, at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel which featured 15 professional chefs, 7 amateur chefs, 6 cake decorators and 8 bartenders.
“Taste of Belize” is Belize’s ‘signature culinary competition’ geared at developing the Culinary Arts in Belize. Competitors in all categories are expected to create a unique dish using his/her choice of ingredients. This dish may be an appetizer, main dish or dessert and must reflect Belizean or regional cuisine. The “Taste” commenced early on Saturday morning and the judges had the unwieldy task of short listing from 15 to 7 chefs. For the first time this year, a cake decorating competition was introduced, in addition to the day-long cook-off and elimination rounds.
Mr. Patrick Haughton of Cayo Espanto in San Pedro, captured the title of “Professional Chef of the Year 2006” with his savory Pan Plantain De Rosa with Mango, Chile Mojo and Gavifretts. As a part of his winning package, he received a trophy and cash prize of $1200.00. The second place winner, Chris Aycock of Blue Water Grill in San Pedro, received a trophy and $800.00 cash prize. The third place winner, Jason De Ocampo of Global Spice Restaurant of the Philip Goldson International Airport, received a trophy and $500 cash prize.
The Amateur Competition consisted of public cooks, kitchen apprentices, and caterers. Ms. Mitylene Bailey, Teacher of Pallotti High School, was awarded the title of “Amateur Chef of the Year” and received a trophy and a $500.00 cash prize for her Queso Doble Deluxe Burrito with cool Guacamole, Sals Picante and Cheesy Sour Cream. The second place winner was Henry Jex, Banker at the Belize Bank, who received a trophy and a $300.00 cash prize. The third place winner, Stephanie Crawford of the Radisson Fort George Hotel, received a trophy and a $150.00 cash prize.
Participants competing in the bartending category were required to create a signature drink, giving the audience and judges, a sample of what was expected to meet with their stamp of approval. Mariano Coc, bartender at The Placencia Hotel & Residences, won the prestigious title of “Bartender of the Year” and his winning drink “Placencia Threat” was dubbed as “Belize’s best new signature drink for 2006.” Additionally, Mr. Coc was awarded a trophy and a $500 cash prize. The second place winner, Enrique Luna of Victoria House in San Pedro was awarded a trophy and $300 cash prize. The third place winner, Trevor Del Valle of Wild Mangoes in San Pedro was awarded a trophy and a cash prize of $150.00.
Amy Knox of Wild Mango’s in San Pedro, captured the title of “Cake Decorator of the Year 2006” for her Coconut Cake wit Banana Cream Filling. As a part of her winning package, she received a trophy and a $500.00 cash prize. The second place winner, Carmen Leticia Vasquez of Journey’s End Resort in Placencia was awarded a trophy and a $300.00 cash prize. The third place winner, Priscilla Castillo, Independent, was awarded a trophy and a cash prize of $150.00.
The Gala night included cultural entertainment from Mango Jamz Jazz Band, Pantempters Steel Band, Youth Connection Band alongside Lela Vernon. Additions to this year’s event also included a Tasting and Sampling Gallery comprised of nine business places from the local Food and Beverage Industry, namely Pirates Taiwanese Restaurant, brodies – Wine Tasting, Sunspree Resort, Princess Hotel & Casino, Karl H. Menzies – Liquors, Gallon Jug, Bel Mer Wines, Rendevous Winery, and Traveller’s Liquors. The “Taste of Belize” attracted over 1200 attendees.
The judges for this year’s culinary competition included Executive Chef Jereon Hanlo - Charisma Hotels, Cancun; Executive Chef Jan Kuska - Goddard Catering Group, El Salvador; Executive Chef Rainer Zingrebe – Ritz Carlton, Cancun; Chef Rob Pronk – Chaa Creek Cottages; Beverly Brown – ITEVET, Belize; Bernard Blades, Belize.
“This event highlights local expertise and creativity in the culinary arts,” comments Tourism Director, Tracy Panton. “The Competition encourages food connoisseurs to take an active role in developing and sharpening their skills, as well as and the culinary sector in Belize.
Other participants in the professional and amateur chef categories included Rosalva Reyes, Colleen Swendinger, Carla Jones, Calbert Santiago, Aron Mai, Jeff Spiegel, Adam Thompson, Ainsley Castro, Peter Ma, Sheridan Sierra, Saul Aguilar, Joseph Pech, Beverly Rubio, Deona Pilgrim and Trinnell Smith. The remaining competitors in the Bartending Category were Roett King Lewis, Calixtro Tzul, Lelo Batun, Roquel Riviera and Luis Velasquez. In the Cake Decorating Category, remaining participants were Elvera Strawn, Emelda Vernon and Andrew Middleton.
Local sponsors for the event were Santiago Castillo Ltd., Appleton Jamaica Rum, James Brodies & Co. Ltd., First Caribbean Bank, Belize Bank, Fresh Catch, Belize Aquaculture Limited, Running W Meats, University of Belize, Polystructure Ltd., Tropic Air, YWCA, Northern Fishermen Cooperative, Bowen & Bowen Ltd., HRI Express and Institute for Technical, Educational & Vocational Training (ITVET), Belize Tourism Industry Association and Belize Hotels Association.
For more information, please contact the Product Development Department at the Belize Tourism Board at 223-1913, via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.travelbelize.org.
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