In celebration of Earth Week 2019, the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Office along with The Nature Conservancy and Palau Community College (PCC) hosted the first Pelagic Fish Cookout Challenge on Wednesday last week.

This was in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET); the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs (MCCA); Ministry of Health (MOH); and Ministry of Education (MOE).

The purpose of this event was to build on the ‘Choose Pelagics’ campaign initiated by the Palau Conservation Society. The campaign encourages pelagic fishery, the consumption and sale of pelagic fish by local fishers in order to relieve pressure on Palau’s overfished reefs.

The cookout was a challenge to cook the best dish made with the main ingredient of tuna and the participants were Food Service Cooks from MCCA, MOE, MOH, and PCC. The event was hosted at the PCC Tourism and Hospitality School of Excellence building.

Participants were given an introduction brief by PCC Tourism instructor Didiich Albert who demonstrated proper technique for storing, handling, and preparing tuna for commercial consumption.

The cooks were then given 35 minutes to prepare their dishes. Once all the tuna dishes were prepared, the audience members were invited to enter the kitchen and taste each dish. They were then made to vote for their favorite. Votes were further tallied to determine the three most popular dishes.

PNMS and TNC, along with partner agencies, are pleased to announce the winners of the first Pelagic Fish Cookout Challenge.

1st place was PCC, represented by cook Gurney Lee Umang

2nd place was MCCA, represented by Maria Temol, Leory Techur and IbulOngelungel;

3rd place was awarded to the MOH, represented by Johanes Rechetuker, Felicita Ngesil, and Nikki Christopher.

A PNMS, TNC, and partner agency extends their gratitude to all the cooks who participated as well as the Palauan community members who attended the event, tasted the dishes, and voted.

Gratitude is also expressed to Koror State Government Solid Waste Management for the donation of three recycled glass trophies, and to Palau Tuna, Inc. for the donation of the fish used to prepare the dishes.  (PR)