Hotel chefs duel, extended hours on final ‘Taste’ night

Posted on May 24 2019

The final night of the 21st Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden tomorrow, May 25, will feature a duel between hotel chefs and an extra one-and-a-half hours of all the food, fun, and festivities.

The festival will run from 5:30pm to 11pm at American Memorial Park (token booth opens at 5pm), with up to eight chefs competing in the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands Junior Chef Competition beginning at 6pm. This year’s theme, “Chinese Style Beef,” is a nod to the exponential growth of visitor arrivals from China in recent years. All cutting and cooking must be done on the spot, and the entries will be judged by fellow chefs beginning at 7pm.

The competition is also sponsored by Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods, and contestants will be required to use Certified Angus Beef sirloin flap and at least three local ingredients from Garapan Public Market.

At last Saturday’s J’s Fried Rice Eating Competition, professional food fighter Sachiyo Masubuchi of Japan returned to defend her win in last year’s J’s Fried Chicken Eating Competition.

Masubuchi bested six competitors from the Marianas in eating 6 lbs of the 10-lb goal in 30 minutes. Following Masubuchi in place order were Simon Necesito, James Garcia, Andrew Songsong, Prathuan Rinthamart, Kirk Johns, and Laura Lee.

Although no contender garnered the challenge prize of $1,000 cash by finishing all the rice in time, consolations prizes were awarded from Hyatt Regency Saipan, Imperial Pacific International, and Ina’s Kitchen.

“Last Saturday’s J’s Fried Rice Eating Competition was quite an event to see,” said MVA managing director Priscilla Iakopo. “We invite everyone to join the final night of fun this week as we celebrate the last week of Marianas Tourism Month.”

The Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden is an annual signature event of the MVA and is one of the largest annual celebrations in the Marianas.

The festival features international cuisine at affordable prices from local hotels and restaurant vendors, non-stop live entertainment on the main stage.

Each Saturday this year, the first 40 patrons to purchase $40 or more in Taste tokens will receive a free caricature sketch by Ronald Valiente. Also, those who purchase at least $20 worth of tokens this Saturday will receive a raffle ticket for giveaways throughout the evening.

Twenty-three food and drink vendors offer their tastiest dishes and brews at American Memorial Park during the event. The festival includes delights from the kitchens of Hyatt Regency Saipan, Tony Roma’s/Capricciosa, Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, D’Elegance Cafe, Kanoa Resort, Terry’s Snack Bar, Furusato Restaurant, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Mystique BBQ, Sierra’s Pearl Shake, Kinpachi Restaurant, Herman’s Modern Bakery, Ina’s Kitchen, Matty’s BBQ, Tropical Chill, The Hut, Pacific Islands Club Saipan, Kensington Hotel Saipan, Java Joe’s, and Thai House. Drinks are offered by Saipan Brewing Co., MARPAC, and Pacific Trading Co.

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