SAGA’s Cook-Off Of Champions Packs Wet Willy’s with Supporters

Last night SAGA Humane Society held a Cook-off of Champions to raise money for the animals of San Pedro.  An invitational competition with all of our winners from our 2012 monthly themed cook-offs.  The best of the best.

We were doubly excited since all the donations and money raised at the event (and until the end of today) are being matched up to $2000US by a long term supporter and hand’s on helper, Heather Beck.  Thanks Heather!

Wet Willy’s Cantina and Smokehouse Restaurant was the venue…and I do not lie when I say that by 6pm, starting time, the place was PACKED.  After we sold the last of our 130 tasting tickets at about 6:05pm, we had to vacate our little sales table to provide more seating.  I would guess that we had almost 200 supporters and volunteers attend.  AMAZING crowd.

Also amazing, we had 14 delicious entries from all sorts of categories.  From Chicken Tamales to Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potato Ball (from AJ’s Bar) to a gooey Apple Crisp (from Crazy Canucks) to Wet Willy’s Smokehouse Asian Marinated Pork Loin with Ginger Sweet Potatoes….this decision was close to impossible for all the tasters.

But every one definitely got some very good eats.

Scott and Jody from Palapa Bar did some good competitive lobbying for their dish.

Even Coconut Leo loves bacon!

Here is Ari enjoying their dish:  Deep Fried Bacon Rolled in Chocolate Syrup by Palapa Bar.  I know…it’s tough to act ladylike when deep fried pork is around.

Did you know that they brought their own deep fryer down from Palapa Bar to insure some warm crispy bacon?  Dedication to excellence!

Our 15+ volunteers lined up to hand out the dishes.  Here are some of them…

Karen and Jan have a chance to smile as they dish out the food…

Sorry Alice!  I shouldn’t ask you questions while I am taking your picture.  She is one of our very best helpers.

This is the crowd as they moved outside to eat.  Both the inside and the huge outside decks were packed.  We even had about 10 people perched on the edge of the stage to eat.

Some new friends outside.  Great to meet you Glenda!

In the end, winners must be declared.  3rd place went to AJ’s Bar and their delicious fried mashed potato balls.  2nd place went to the bacon! and Scott and Reindeer Sunny of Palapa Bar proudly accepted his prize.

And the Champion of Champions, the SAGA Iron Chef of San Pedro…Ruben Alexis Gonzalez for his Delicious Mac n Cheese.  He even brought a version with chicken and a vegetarian option.  How thoughtful is that?  Congratulations!  And best of luck over the next 3 years.  This young man is headed up to California to attend cooking school for three years.  You are going to do great.

Next up were our raffle prize winners.  Chunky and Ruth won a beautiful necklace in absentia.

Linda now has plenty of rum for the holidays.  Linda and her husband are also opening a new restaurant at Exotic Caye (formerly Miss Sara’s Kitchen) that will be specializing in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.  One of my heart’s fondest wishes has been answered.  Woo hoo!

And Ken won a new Ipod Shuffle for his birthday!

What an amazing night.  Such great food, A HUGE CROWD of locals, San Pedro business owners and visitors, the great live music and venue provided by Wet Willy’s…here’s Diane one of the bar & restaurant owners…

To the cooks, to the volunteers, to LouAnn and Renee for keeping us organized, to the sponsors and donors, to all 200 of you who came, danced and ate…THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU from the SAGA Board.  I’m pretty sure this was our biggest and maybe our very best cook-off YET.

And…don’t forget…we are still hoping to take advantage of the generous $2000 US match so if you haven’t had a chance yet, please visit our website: and make a PayPal donation for the animals of San Pedro for Xmas.  This cartoon is so cute and so true…

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