Digging into anything and everything that makes the CNMI tick beyond politics...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pancha is 2012 Saipan’s Next Top Chef

A DISH of pan-seared Certified Angus Beef bathed with shallots and peppered corn mango sauce got the nod of the judges and gave Marianas Resort & Spa section chef Emmanuel Pancha the title of Saipan’s Next Top Chef in a competition at the Pacific Islands Club on Saturday afternoon.
Emmanuel Pancha shows his winning dish. Photo by Raquel C. BagnolPancha’s dish, which also included a serving of potato pancakes with mascarpone on top and vegetable spaghetti, bested three other chefs.
“I did not expect to win but I am very happy,” Pancha said in an interview.
A dishwasher at the Marianas Resort 10 years ago, he got promoted as section chef five years after.
He said  he experimented with his entry a few weeks back, cooked samples of it and perfected the flavor and presentation.
Second place was Pacific Island sClub’s chef Joshua Ngeskebei while Jessie Aguon of the Hyatt finished third. The other participant was chef Nemencio Tulio of Fiesta Resort & Spa.
Event organizer Shelli Neal said more people turned up for this year’s event.
Another organizer, Vicky Benavente of the Pacific Islands Club, said “ticket sales went beyond our expectations, and we are very glad for the overall support we got from the community.”
Peter Duenas, Guam celebrity chef and event host, said  the competition was “great,” as it encouraged island chefs to use local ingredients and boost their morale.
He also noted that the competition was for a good cause and participating is rewarding in itself.
Duenas said the competition will be aired on his “TV Outdoor Chef” show’s next season.
The event was organized by the Empty Vessel Ministry Foundation to help raise funds to support low-income women, children, and families on Saipan, Kenya, the Philippines and Bangladesh.
Published HERE

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Castro wins 2012 Queen Marianas Gay crown

A CANDIDATE from Guam bagged the 2012 Queen Marianas Gay Pageant title after besting four other contestants in the Hibiscus Hall of Fiesta Resort & Spa on Saturday evening.
Scarlett CastroScarlett Castro, first runner up in the 2011 Miss Guahan pageant, also won the Best in Talent and Best in Lingerie awards.
“I am very happy and thankful my family and friends from Saipan and Guam came to the event to support me,” Castro said.
She said the competition was tough but she did her best. Castro was born on Saipan but relocated to Guam when she was five.
“I am always happy to be back home here,” she said.
Castro’s priorities are to help educate the people of the CNMI and Guam about the lifestyle of  gays, and to do what she can to combat domestic violence.
2012 Queen Marianas Gay Pageant first runner up was Leah Salas, also from Guam. She was named  Best in Girls Night Outfit and Evening Wear.
Prostee Lahore was named Miss Photogenic while Nina Camacho was Miss Congeniality.
The 2012 Queen Marianas Gay Pageant was hosted by Ge’la & Friends Production whose president is Elsa Nieto.  She said  she was happy with the turnout for the event.
“The pageant was a success, and we were able to deliver what we promised and that was a fun and entertaining evening,” Nieto said.
She said they will be making a donation to Guma Esperansa, which provides sanctuary, counseling and advocacy to  victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
“Ge’la and Friends would like to thank all of the sponsors and supporters to make this event a success. This is just the beginning of our journey to provide help and hope to those in need,” Nieto said.
The judges were Eulalia Villagomez, Tonnei Camacho, and Nida Deleon Guerrero.
The performers were Milkshake, the Party Rock Group and 2011 Queen Marianas Trinity Hufana from Guam.
Sponsors were Fiesta Resort & Spa, Pacific Islands Club, Saipan Ice & Water, Star Water Company, Islander Rent a Car, Marpac, Pacific Trading Company, National Office Supply, Duty Free Shoppers, Stickers Express Guam, Power 99, Saipan Music & Dance, Top Notch and Kevin’s Department Store.

First published HERE