‘Taste’ returns with the ‘Kadun Pika’ Cookoff


The 19th Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden resumes on Saturday, May 13, at the Garapan Fishing Base, pitting chefs against each other in the “Kadun Pika” Cookoff.

Registration is still open for any adult ready to vie for bragging rights to the best “Kadun Pika” (spicy chicken) on Saipan.

The fun starts at 5:30pm, with judging at 7pm. Registration is free, but competitors must provide their own gas stove, pots, ingredients, and other equipment. Stewing chicken will be provided by sponsors Twins and Hannam supermarkets. The deadline to register is Friday, May 12, at 5pm at the Marianas Visitors Authority office in San Jose.

“We want to make this spicier this year with a couple of new contests, the ‘Kadun Pika’ Cookoff this week and the BBQ Pork Ribs Cookoff next week,” said MVA Community Projects manager Martin Duenas. “And to make it more interesting, only our famous Marianas ‘donni sali’ will be allowed as the hot pepper in the recipe.”

In this Saturday’s contest, first place will win $250 cash, a $125 shopping spree from Twins and Hannam, and $50 in Taste tokens. Second place will get $150 cash, a $75 shopping spree from Twins and Hannam, and $50 Taste tokens. For third place, it is $50 cash, a $50 shopping spree from Twins and Hannam, and $50 Taste tokens.

On the main stage, the night’s entertainment will include the man’amko fashion show at 6pm, HDMP at 6:30pm, Blue Dragon at 7pm, Pacific Flowers at 7:30pm, Poksai Guma Chamorro at 8:15pm, and Northern Star Band at 9pm.

Last week, the Taste challenged competitors to see who could finish five footlong hotdogs in 10 minutes…or at least who could eat the most. Ten brave men took the challenge of the Docomo Pacific Hotdog Eating Contest, with Ray Emul walking away with over $200 in prizes for first place, Michael Harris winning $30 in Taste tokens for second place, and Moses Kkuekis winning $20 in Taste tokens for third place.

“We really thank Docomo Pacific for joinng us as a major sponsor this year and for putting on a great contest,” said Community Projects specialist and Taste lead coordinator Ray Villagomez. “The crowd loved it!”

Thirteen food and three beverage vendors are participating in the MVA’s annual signature event, which features international cuisine at affordable prices from local hotels and restaurant vendors, non-stop live entertainment on the main stage, nightly contests on the secondary stage, and arts and crafts sales. The festival will be held from 6pm to 10pm each Saturday in May, closing at 11pm on the final night.

Participating food vendors are Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Kanoa Resort, Mariana Resort & Spa, Herman’s Bakery, D’Elegance Cafe, Furusato Restaurant, Thai House, Tropical Chills, Sierra’s Pearl Shake, Sweet Escapes, Matty’s BBQ, and Tony Roma’s/ Capricciosa.

Residents are also encouraged to show their support for Tourism Month by observing “Hafa Adai Tirow Spirit” Islandwear Fridays and participating in Tourism Trivia on KCNM-KZMI, KKMP, KWAW, and Power 99. CNMI students in grades 6-12 can win cash and Taste tokens in the “See My Marianas” graphic art design contest, which ends on May 12.

For registration forms and rules for the “Kadun Pika” and BBQ Pork Ribs Cookoffs, visit www.mymarianas.comor contact Villagomez at rvillagomez@mymarianas or 664-3210. (MVA)

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