Quiet on the Set! Filming of “The Flavors of Belize” on Ambergris Caye With Chefs Jennie Staines & Sean Kuylen

Yesterday filming began on Ambergris Caye for the next episodes of the popular Belize cooking series “The Flavors of Belize” with Chef Sean Kuylen.  Location?  Gorgeous Belizean Cove Estates at Mile 3, Ambergris Caye.


After meeting fun, talented and funny Sean a few months ago (one of my most popular posts ever)

Here he is getting make-up yesterday.


…and getting a cooking lesson with San Pedro’s Jennie Staines from Elvi’s Kitchen last year, I was pretty giddy to pretend to be a part of this.  More than happy to take pictures behind the scenes – in fact, it’s what I love most.

Flavors of Belize, the brand, was launched by Belizean Tanya McNab in 2009 with a magazine – to share local recipes, information on culture and cooking, recipes and restaurants, beautiful photography – and has been expanding as a brand ever since.  A few magazines later, there are now cooking shows featuring Belizean chefs as well as a gorgeous hard-cover cookbook that has sold thousands of copies in Belize and on Amazon.com.

Here it is.

IMG_2871It was an absolutely perfect HOT day.  I arrived up at Belizean Cove Estate at about 1pm and the spot is absolutely gorgeous.



I took a bunch of pictures of one of the upstairs units to show you in a bit.  The two downstairs, that were being used for cooking and filming, were a bit…cluttered.  Not only a film crew, a photographer, producer, props, chefs but they were making about 10 different dishes at the same time.  Including a Christmas turkey dinner.


It explains the Christmas tree!

I took a photo of San Pedro’s lovely “Chefs for Hire” (and their signature lipstick) in front of it.  These ladies are FUNNY and from what I hear?  Very good cooks.



When I first arrived, Carole Chanona was filming preparation of tortilla soup.  She trained with her cousin Sean and is now a excellent cook in her own right.  I watched her place jalapeno on the soup about 4 different times…to fine tune her lines.


Filming a cooking show is not easy.  But for a young chef, she was very impressive.


And here is the entire group later in the filming kitchen.  Including Tanya McNab with the flower in her hair, Shelley Bowen of Belikin Beer and others…


The schedule was quite intense.  And different chefs were doing different dishes.  All Belizean classic.  Sean was doing much of the hosting…

Which is an excellent idea since this guy is easy and natural and can TALK – plus?  He’s got jokes.  Bobby Flay look out.

IMG_2859Elvi’s Kitchen’s Chef Jennie was up next.

IMG_2876The outline of her lines were on the board and she was making one of her coconut curries.  If you have not been to Elvi’s for shrimp coconut curry, you are missing out.  It’s divine.  PLUS…Elvi’s is re-opening today for the season.

Sound check…


Here are Sean and Jennie playfully bickering about a coconut as set up started.

Like a cute old married couple.  Seriously.  Sean, as usual, was all smiles even after finishing a catered special event in Cayo at 5:30am that morning.


Tanya helping to prepare the crew and the chefs.





While that was going on, Shelley was in the next suite fining tuning the outline of the program with our Chefs for Hire.  They were doing Stew Beef.


And I took a chance to go on a tour of one gorgeous suite.  All are three bedrooms and three baths when used in full.   I was drawn right to the huge balcony and THIS VIEW.

IMG_2988And this beautiful living room…and, again, the view.  The whole thing is spacious and luxurious.


AND…fun fact:  When “The Bachelor” TV show filmed here on Ambergris Caye in 2011, this is where the eight ladies stayed.  Our Bachelor, Ben, lodged in the penthouse of Coco Beach Resort.

My very first paparazzi gig.

But that is SO 2011 – I can’t wait for these episodes of “The Flavors of Belize” to air.  What a cool experience.  For more pictures and updates, follow Flavors of Belize on Facebook and Instagram.   And while you are at it, follow me on Instagram.  It’s my new favorite…

I’ll leave you with another of my 25 pictures of Sean getting make-up…

IMG_2917When you are down south, particularly in the Hopkins area, make sure you check out his new restaurant in gorgeous Sittee River at the Curve Bar.  I promise you’ll thank me.

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