What do you get when you mix ancient Maya influences, hearty Creole ingredients, spicy Mexican flavors, and traditional African recipes? You get the delicious fusion that is Belizean cuisine!
On July 21, 2018, the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City will be hosting this year's Taste of Belize, a lively cooking and mixology competition where top chefs and bartenders from all over the country compete for trophies and cash prizes in four different categories.
Taste of Belize is a bi-annual culinary competition organized by the Belize Tourism Board to promote Belizean cuisine and to challenge local chefs and bartenders to produce innovative and mouthwatering drinks and dishes. Categories include Junior Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Bartender of the Year, and Master Chef of the Year.
Winners in these four categories will go to represent Belize in the Taste of the Caribbean competition in 2019. Since 1993, Taste of the Caribbean has been the premier culinary competition in the region, pitting top chefs and mixologists from The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands against one another to be crowned as the best cooks and drink makers in the region.
Last year, Trinidad and Tobago took top honors as the top team in the competition while Barbados took top honors in the bartending competition, and Caribbean Chef of the Year honors went to Kenneth Molyneux of the British Virgin Islands. Junior Chef of the Year award went to Kenria Taylor of The Bahamas while Melissa Logan of the Cayman Islands took home the trophy for Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year.
Despite strong showings in this popular competition, Belize has never successfully managed to take home the top prize in any of the categories. This year's Taste of Belize chefs will be presenting seafood, beef, and lunch/dinner entrees along with chocolates and pastries while the bartenders will compete in a non-alcoholic, vodka, rum, and "mystery basket" competition.
The Belize Tourism Board's Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans, will be amongst the VIP speakers to open the Taste of Belize ceremony.
If you'd like to sample all the delicious foods of Belize, be sure to visit the amazing Ix'tabai Restaurant at the Cahal Pech Village Resort in San Ignacio. Located on a hilltop with a stunning view of the Macal River Valley, Ix'Tabai Restaurant serves a mouthwatering array of gourmet Belizean cuisine.