Sukiyaki food fighters at Taste festival on June 25

Posted on Jun 23 2022

The Pika Me to Win duo of Donald Mendiola, second left, and Alex Standish, fourth right, win first place in the Eskabeche Cooking Contest at the 23rd Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden on June 19, 2022, at Garapan Fishing Base on Saipan. The team also won first place in the Kadun Pika Cooking Contest the previous evening. (MVA)

The Marianas Visitors Authority is looking for five more food fighters to join the Sukiyaki Eating Contest at the 23rd Annual Taste of The Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden this weekend in Saipan.

This festival returns for a second and final weekend on June 24, 25, and 26, at Garapan Fishing Base from 5pm to 10pm. The Sukiyaki Eating Contest will challenge up to 10 contestants on Saturday, June 25, at 8pm to be the first to finish five lbs. of the noodle dish within 30 minutes. Contestants may register in-person only at the MVA office on Beach Road in San Jose.
The annual signature event of the MVA has 29 food and four drink vendors this year, live entertainment, arts and crafts sales, and more.

“With a successful kickoff of ‘Taste’ last weekend, we are looking to an even better three days of ‘Taste’ this weekend,” said MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo. “Don’t miss out on all the nonstop entertainment and contests we have in store for you.”

The cooking demonstration of potu (sweetened steamed rice buns), apigigi (sweet young coconut grilled in banana leaf), and titiyas (tortillas) will be held on Friday, June 24, and Marianas Jr. Chef Challenge will also be held on Sunday, June 26.

The Kadun Pika (spicy chicken) Cooking Contest on Saturday (June 18) and the Eskabeche (Fried Fish with Coconut Milk and Vegetables) on Sunday (June 19) were topped by the same trio of winners. The Pika Me to Win duo of Donald Mendiola and Alex Standish won first place and $500 in both contests. In second place was Manny Borja, winning $250 in each contest, and in third place was Andrew Songsong, winning $150 in each contest. Additional prizes were awarded to other competitors. Entries were judged on taste, tenderness, ingredients, and presentation.

Marianas High School Poksai Guma Chamoro performs at the 23rd Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden on June 18, 2022, at Garapan Fishing Base on Saipan. (MVA)

The entertainment lineup for Friday includes Tom Basa (5pm), Groove Theory (6pm), Talabwogh Women (7pm), Uraali (7:30pm), Simiyan Marianas (8pm), Saipan Music & Dance Studio (8:30pm), and Flores Sinser (9pm). The entertainment lineup for Saturday includes Unshakable (5pm), Saipan Studio (6pm), WD40 (6:30pm), High Tide (7:30pm), Sukiyaki Eating Contest (8pm), High Tide (8:30pm). and Teivi Maori (9pm). The entertainment lineup for Sunday includes Marv & Jay (5pm), Da Kine (6pm), Ben San Nicolas (6:30pm), South Korea K Music Star (7pm), Songsong Mami (8pm), Petlas (8:30pm), Talabwogh Warriors (9pm), and Neber Mind Band (9:30pm). Entertainment is subject to change.

For more information, visit the MVA office or contact MVA Community Projects specialist Ray Villagomez at or 664-3200. (MVA)

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