Cooking contests at Taste festival

Posted on Aug 06 2021

The 22nd Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden on Aug. 27-29, 2021, will feature cooking contests for two dishes: kadun pika and eskabeche.

The annual signature event of the Marianas Visitors Authority will be held at Garapan Fishing Base on Saipan and features international cuisines, live entertainment, and arts and crafts sales. The festival will begin at 4pm on the first day (Aug. 27) and at 5pm on Aug. 28 and 29, ending at 10pm on all three days.

Kadun pika is stewing chicken with a healthy dose of garlic and other seasoning, including donne, the potent local hot pepper. Eskabeche is fish dish with a vinegar-based sauce and fresh vegetables.

“To showcase our indigenous cultures and support sustainable living, this year’s cooking contests at Taste of the Marianas will exclusively feature dishes from the Marianas,” said MVA managing director Priscilla Maratita Iakopo. “Many of us have enjoyed these dishes in our homes since we were children, so the contestants will face quite a challenge to impress our judges. We’re anticipating tasty entries and encourage cooks and chefs of all levels to join.”

Registration forms are available on the Marianas Calendar at The cooking contests are open to participants ages 18 and older with cash prizes for the winners: $500 for first place, $250 for second place, $150 for third place, and $100 for fourth place. Up to two members are allowed per team. The MVA will provide a prep table, stewing chicken, and fish, while contestants must provide their own gas stove, pots, ingredients, presentation plating, and other equipment.

Twenty food and two beverage vendors are confirmed for the festival. COVID-19 protocols will be strictly followed at the event. There will be two points of entry at the north and south sides of Garapan Fishing Base, and all attendees must undergo a temperature check, and wear a wristband at the event. Vendors will accept both Taste of the Marianas tokens or cash; however, tokens will not be sold this year.

For more information, contact MVA community projects specialist Ray Villagomez at or 664-3200. (MVA)

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