HGTV’s House Hunters International Films at SAGA’s August Appetizer Cook-Off!

Almost every month, the SAGA Humane Society of San Pedro hosts a fundraising cook-off to keep the donation and volunteer driven group working hard on the island.  SAGA has some VERY important initiatives right now (that’s right…I used bold, italics and caps!)  Most immediate is the Canine Distemper outbreak on the island.  It’s a highly contagious disease that SAGA is trying to fight with a simple vaccine…they were out in an affected area just this week giving free shots to pets.  Obviously medicine is not free, so this August fundraiser raised money for more vaccinations.

(Here is Ingrid, the SAGA clinic manager who puts in some serious HOURS each week.)


An equally pressing but more long term project is the “Hip to Snip” campaign.  It’s a huge fundraising, education and practical movement that aims to spay or neuter 75% of the animals on the island in 3 to 5 years.  Free snip days, bringing volunteer vets, mobile clinics…we live on an island (theoretically containable), the more animals that are fixed, the less sick, hungry, unwanted and homeless dogs and cats we will have.  It’s that simple.

(Happy attendees of last night’s cook-off)


Enough of me blabbing, for much more coherent information, please check SAGA’s website.  And see how you can help!

Let’s get to the cook-off and the filming of the hugely popular House Hunters.  July was a salad cook-off at Wet Willy’s Cantina, this month the theme was appetizers (always a favorite) and AJ’s Bar was PACKED.  I’ve never seen a cook-off this crowded.

(Alexis, the champion two months in a row and his gorgeous cousins.)

IMG_3648-2Oh yes…and House Hunters International was filming!  Belize seems to have become the hot topic on the very popular house hunting show on HGTV and this week, they are filming an episode starring Heather Beck, a member of the SAGA Board of Directors.


Let’s pretend that she hasn’t already bought a place on Ambergris Caye and that she is currently looking for one.  Ok?

IMG_3628-2They were filming the “local color” portion of the show and Heather was using it as a chance to highlight her work with SAGA.  Pretty cool, right?

Everyone purchased their tickets to sample 8 different appetizers and lined up.  My buddy Lemuel was first up.  No dummy, he knows how fierce this hungry crowd can get…he queued up about 10 minutes early.  Edging out even the film crew.


More samplers…


Alexis made a delicious bacon wrapped shrimp dish.  Everyone who cooks and donates a dish is an absolute superstar.  Not only did Alexis (a current culinary school student on summer break) make shrimp for 65 but he brought along a huge group of supporters to the event.  Having all of his family and friends attend makes the party that much more fun and raised that much more money.

I’m going to be the first one taking pictures at his restaurant grand opening in San Pedro.  I might have to wait a few years for him to graduate (in fact, I don’t even know if he is planning to open a restaurant), but my camera is charged and ready.


MORE happy SAGA supporters.

IMG_3627-2Businesses around town donated prizes for a raffle.  How could I say no to this face?  Sure…I’ll take some tickets.

IMG_3618-2Heather and some friends.

IMG_3646-2After all the filming and the eating, the live music and the drinking (thanks AJs for donating a portion of your bar sales!), the winners of the raffle and the cook-off were announced.

Let me run thru them quickly, I hope I remembered everyone.

3rd place cook-off was a TIE.  To Black Orchid Restaurant (not pictured) and Feliz Bar‘s Heather and Kevin.  Here they are also winning a raffle prize…the cool goody bag for BTL’s Digicell.


2nd Place went to Lonestar Restaurant and 1st went to Alexis!  Congratulations everyone.  You rock.

There were two other raffle winners.  Here is the lucky recipient of an A&R Store Gift Certificate.  You should see how many school supplies they are stocking right now.


And the Ultimate Golf Cart 24 hour rental.

IMG_3633-2 IMG_3634-2

SAGA gives a HUGE thank you to all who donated money, all who attended and sampled, everyone who cooked, all the businesses that donated raffle prizes, to AJ’s Bar for hosting, to the SAGA board members and volunteers (especially Renee and Kathy)…to the hundreds of people who support SAGA and help them to do what they do.

And thanks to Valentino who performed at the event, he even labelled his tip jar for SAGA donations.



Thanks everyone.


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