It was about cooking up success.
From thorough planning to its seamless execution, the latest edition of the CNMI Next Top Chef competition was the largest ever successfully staged, joint organizers Empty Vessel Ministry and the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands said.
The organizers acknowledged that the widely respected culinary competition was the result of the collective hard work by the committees and sponsors. A total of 12 chefs and their student chef-assistants from Kagman High School participated in this year’s competition.
This year’s competition was held on Wednesday evening and produced three top chefs: Marinero Galit of Saipan World Resort, first place; Edgardo Casing, Fiesta Resort Saipan, second place; and Francisco A. Sablan, independent, third place.
Imperial Pacific International was a gold sponsor. IPI fielded 10 volunteers from its Corporate Social Responsibility team, providing support and assistance in the setup and behind-the-scenes work to the actual staging of the competition, which was held at the Saipan World Resort.
“This year, the hotel association joined with Empty Vessel Ministry to bring to the CNMI the first-of-its-kind format for the CNMI Top Chef competition featuring Certified Angus Beef and Entwine, the wine of the Food Channel,” said HANMI president Gloria Cavanagh. “The planning and execution of tonight’s event could not have happened without the hard work of the committee. I applaud these hardworking people. It was not an easy event to pull off and I believe they presented us with a top quality event. I would like to recognize our gold sponsors, Best Sunshine International (Imperial Pacific International) and Docomo Pacific; also our silver sponsor, Bridge Capital LLC, and bronze sponsors Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods, IT&E, and the T Galleria. Thank you to all of our corporate sponsors that are always there to assist a good cause, which I believe this is.”
All proceeds raised from the event will fund the work and advocacy of Empty Vessel Ministry Foundation. Since partnering with HANMI, the competition held this year was Empty Vessel Ministry’s fourth and largest Top Chef event to date. It was established in 2011
“Best Sunshine International is a part of HANMI, and HANMI is a partner of Empty Vessel Ministry Foundation. We also have contributed to Empty Vessel in many different ways and have mutually collaborated with them in previous projects,” IPI-CSR executive director Geri Dela Cruz said. “We consider them our partners in their main mission to go out and help the community and those in need.”
Dela Cruz’ team of 10 volunteers sat on the Top Chef committee assisting with planning months before the competition.
Aside from providing manpower, as a gold sponsor, Imperial Pacific International’s $2,000 helped fund needed materials and prizes for the competition.
Prior to the start of the event, IPI-CSR assisted with setting up the competition venue. During the event, IPI CSR was also responsible for time-keeping, clearing each chef’s cooking station between competition rounds, assisting the backstage kitchen with cleaning each chefs’ utensils, and securing the chefs who were waiting for their part in the competition.
Assisting in this year’s competition was an exciting experience for the CSR volunteers who were able to observe firsthand the work of a professional chef and culinary experts.
Empty Vessel Ministry president Rose Smith acknowledged the support extended by Imperial Pacific International. “Empty Vessel would like to thank Imperial Pacific for the partnership that they have extended to Empty Vessel since last year. When the island was hit by Typhoon Soudelor, Imperial Pacific was among the first and fastest sponsors to support Empty Vessel. They have continually supported our causes and donated funds toward events such as this for us to continue helping in the community,” Smith noted.
For CNMI Next Top Chef, Imperial Pacific is a gold sponsor. “The company provided their CSR staff’s services in helping at this event and they are an active part of the committee. Without the major support from Imperial Pacific, this event would not have gone the way it has gone], which is a very huge success. We do sincerely appreciate the company’s support,” Smith added.