Guam Diner Bytes: Hyatt Saipan wins 1st place in th Taste of the Marianas Chef Competition

by Ken Stewart
The Guam Food Guy

Team Hyatt Regency Saipan's Junior Chefs Vinson Deleon Guerrero and Pastry Chef Ian Cranley edged out their competition by preparing Mexican Tacos with Certified Angus Beef that wowed the judges sufficiently to garner 1st place. They were victorious over 4 other hotels' junior chef teams, all of who had made phenomenal attempts in creating awesome displays replete with fruit and vegetable carvings! The Hyatt's entry was titled "Pacifico Tacos al Pastor" with Lime Tortillas, Trio of Mango Salsa, and Island Avocado Tartare". The team took home the 1st Place Trophy and $500.00 cash. Their display used local cactus to give it a more authentic Southwestern feel and handmade their tortillas. They utilized local avocados to make their guacamole, local chilis, local lemons, mangos, and donne sali. They had also made chips and pico de gallo.

The second place finisher was Saipan World Resort (winning the 2nd place Trophy and $300) and placing third was last year's 1st place champion, Marianas Resort, who took home $200. The prize money was donated by the Hotel Association of the Northern Marianas. Triple J Five Star is the other prime sponsor along with the Marianas Visitor Authority. This was the 15th year of this festival. The other competing properties was the Pacific Islands Club and the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan.

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