Joeten BBQ Ribs Cook-off tomorrow at ‘Taste’


The 20th Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden returns tomorrow, May 12, with more food and festivities, including the Joeten Barbecue Ribs Cook-off, with judging time starting at 7:30pm.

The cook-off welcomes teams of one or two adults to compete. Prizes are: first place, $300 Joeten gift certificate and an IT&E cellphone; second place, $200 Joeten gift certificate, and an IT&E cellphone; and third place, an IT&E cellphone.

Registration is open to 10 entries and closes today, May 11, at 4pm. Rules and registration forms are available and must be submitted to the Marianas Visitors Authority office on Beach Road in San Jose.

The annual signature event of the MVA kicked off last Saturday, May 5, bigger, better, and with monster burritos at American Memorial Park.

The weekly celebration marking May Tourism Month featured five more food vendors than last year, a wider area to more comfortably accommodate the crowd, and mammoth 5-lb creations for the first-ever The Hut Burrito Challenge.

Zachariah Johnson bested four other competitors in The Hut Burrito Challenge competition, leaving only a few bites left of his gargantuan burrito and polishing off his feat with a shot of tequila after the 20-minute challenge. Johnson walked away with the grand prizes of a Samsung S7 from IT&E and $75 in Taste of the Marianas tokens.

“The opening night of Taste was fantastic. We broke our record for the second highest number of tokens sold on any of the nights in the history of the Taste of the Marianas. We had a larger layout so people were able to traverse more easily. We had a record number of vendors this year. The entertainment lineup was excellent. We are excited for the next three Saturdays in May,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion.

Festivities will continue this Saturday, May 12, with entertainment by Da Kine at 5pm, Hopwood Dance Music Production Empire at 6pm, Hopwood/ChaCha Dancers at 6:30pm, CAB Dancers at 7pm, Saipan Music and Dance Studio at 7:30pm, Alana’ia at 8pm, CAB Dancers at 8:30pm, Maharilikan Group at 9pm, and Retro Jazz Band at 9:30pm

“Due to the popularity of ‘Taste,’ this year we are starting entertainment at 5pm, and we are allowing those vendors who are interested to begin selling at 5:30pm,” said MVA Community Projects specialist and lead event coordinator Ray Villagomez.

Japan’s famous female food fighter Sachiyo Masubuchi will join the 20th Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden on May 19, 2018, taking on all local and international challengers in the J’s Fried Chicken Eating Competition. Applications are available at the MVA office on Beach Road in San Jose. Registration for the J’s Fried Chicken Eating Competition closes on Monday, May 14, at 4pm. Masubuchi is a famed competitive eater and holds numerous records in Japan. She is well-known in Japan as a TV personality, model, actress and a beauty contestant.

Participating food vendors are Hyatt Regency Saipan, Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, Kanoa Resort, Pacific Islands Club Saipan, Coral Ocean Golf Resort, Kensington Hotel Saipan, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Tony Roma’s/Capricciosa, Furusato Restaurant, Kinpachi Restaurant, Matty’s BBQ, D’Elegance Restaurant, The Hut, Herman’s Modern Bakery, Thai House, Terry’s Snack Bar, Sierra Pearl Shake, and Tropical Chills. Participating drink vendors are MarPac, Pacific Trading Co., and Saipan Brewing Co. (MVA)

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