Another successful San Pedro Lobster Festival is in the books as an entire week of celebrations at select restaurants offering special lobster dishes and great entertainment kicked off last week with the opening of lobster season in Belize.
The Lobster Crawl culminated at the massive Lobster Fest Block Party held at Central Park in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, on Saturday, June 21. Lobster dishes started rolling out as early as 5p.m. as visitors and locals wanted to take advantage of the special prices and special lobster dishes local restaurants presented at their individual boots. Later in the evening you had to wait at least 30 minutes at most food booths to get your order; the lines were that long.
Caliente Restaurant chef grilling lobster tails at Lobster Fest Block Party
Lobster Pops and Lobster Waffles from Cayo Espanto
Chef Jennie Staines of Elvi's Kitchen busy preparing lobster dishes
But people did not mind the long wait as the local restaurants were cooking up some delicious lobster in more ways than one; some ran wild with unique and imaginative creations. Chef Jennie Staines told Ambergris Today that she had sold over 300 Lobster Tacos in just about four hours and her patrons were also loving the Lobster Hot Dogs she was preparing. Pineapples Restaurant of Ramon’s Village was shelling out an amazing Lobster Pesto Wontons and delicious Spicy Lobster Lettuce Wraps. Hidden Treasure Restaurant came out with hot Lobster stuffed Jalapeno Popper.
The judges were delighted to savor two new lobster creations never before seen at Lobster Fest; Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Gill impressed with a savory Lobster Chimichanga while Cayo Espanto impressed with Lobster Waffles. The Best Lobster Dish went to Casa Picasso with their Lobster Risotto.
And food was not the only thing the judges were sampling throughout the evening. Lobster inspired cocktails were also on the judging table. Pineapples came up with a Luscious Margarita garnished with lobster and olives, Hidden Treasure Restaurant had a sweet Mango Mojito, Cayo Espanto produced Lobsteritas and Casa Picasso had a fresh cucumber martini they called the Rejuvenate. The Best Cocktail award went to Hidden Treasure.
This year eight judges had the fun and difficult task of selecting the best lobster dish and drink during Lobster Fest. Below are the top three winners in each category:
Best Lobster Dish
1st Place – Casa Picasso: Lobster Risotto
2nd Place – Pineapples Restaurant: Spicy Lobster Lettuce Wraps/ Lobster Pesto Wontons
3rd Place – Coco Blanco Restaurant: Black Lobster Risotto, Lobster Ravioli & Bacon-wrapped Lobster
1st Place – Hidden Treasure: Mango Mojito
2nd Place – Casa Picasso: Cucumber Martini
3rd Place – Cayo Espanto: Lobsteritas
Best Booth Award was given to the San Pedro AIDS Commission Group
Erin de Santiago and Dorian Nunez, two of eight judges who had the pleasure of judging the food and drinks at Lobster Fest
Lobster Pesto Wonton and Spicy Lobster Lettuce Wraps by Pineapples Restaurant
Lobster Waffles by Cayo Espanto
Lobster Hot Dogs by Elvi's Kitchen
Musical entertainment keeping up the happy vibes during the block party included The Pannerifix Steel Band from Our Lady of Guadalupe Music Program in Belmopan that presented interpretations of modern music with a touch of soca, calypso and punta. Cool J’s Band followed with great music and the main entertainer of the evening was Supa G who had everybody dancing late into the night.
“Our first Lobster Festival was in June 2007. In the last 7 years I have seen this event grow and develop into something that we can be very proud of as a community,” commented Chairlady of the Lobster Fest Committee, Rebecca Arceo. “This year I was particularly proud; the restaurants pushed themselves to be even more creative and we had some of the best food ever, from Lobster Sausages, Lobster Pops to Lobster Ravioli and Lobster Wontons just to name a few. The food was spectacular.
“We have been making an effort to thank all of the people that helped make this years Festival possible but I personally wanted to take a moment to say thank everyone that helped make Lobster festival 2014 a great success,” continued Rebecca. “I was also proud of the time and effort everyone put into decorating their booths. Finally I am proud of clean up team for helping keep "La Isla Bonita" clean during that block. Saturday night, as I looked out at the crowd and saw young and old, residents and visitors, new faces and returning guests, I saw a very happy crowd eating, drinking and enjoying San Pedro! It was a proud moment not for me as an organizer but for all of us as a community. See you next year for Lobster Festival 2015.”
Pannerifix Steel Band from Our Lady of Guadalupe Music Program in Belmopan entertain at Lobster Fest