CamaKane Catering keeps Chamorro cuisine alive

Posted on May 17 2023

CamaKane Catering sells Chamorro meat bento at Sabalu Market.

CamaKane Catering serves as an oasis of Chamorro cuisine at the Sabalu Market where Filipino, Thai, Korean, Chinese, and even Tex-Mex dishes abound.

Elsa Kanaeshi and her husband, Chavez, opened their stall that specialized in Chamorro meat bento at Sabalu Market across the Kristo Rai Church last May 11. 

“We sell smoked meat bento plates. We serve smoked meat that has been prepared the traditional way. They each come with a serving of red rice, coco, finadeni, and your choice of a smoked chicken leg quarter, a serving of smoked pork butt, or a serving of smoked beef fingers,” she told Saipan Tribune.

Kanaeshi said their bestseller so far is their pork butt bento and what’s unique about their setup is like the local Joeten Superstore, CamaKane Catering hands out samples of their smoked meat to passing customers.

They also offer kelaguin biringhenas or eggplant kelaguin and vegan lantiyas or custard cake.

Kelaguin biringhenas is grilled eggplant mixed in with coconut milk and local herb, and spices, while vegan lantiyas is coconut custard pudding poured over coconut sponge cake and topped with cinnamon.

As for the business’ name, Kaneshi said CamaKane Catering is a combination of her and her husband’s last names Camacho and Kaneshi. 

“It’s pronounced “Ca-ma-Kah-Neh.” We are a local caterer that prepares Chamorro dishes the traditional way. After about a year of smoking meat for family gatherings, we decided to give catering a try.”

Chavez Kanaeshi, left, and Elsa own and operate CamaKane Catering. (MARK RABAGO)

Kanashi said after three months of selling their Chamorro smoked meat at Sabulu Market they’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. 

“Lots of words of encouragement and praise,” she said.

Like other vendors at Sabalu Market, CamaKane Catering moved temporarily to Sabalu Market’s old location at the Civic Center in Susupe to make way for this month’s Taste of Marianas at the Garapan Fishing Base.

CamaKane Catering’s bento plates range from $9 to $13 depending on the type of smoked meat you choose. They can be both reached at CamaKane.Catering and CamaKane Catering on Facebook.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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