Last night was the culmination of the 2017 San Pedro Lobster Festival – the zenith of 11 years of festivals that we’ve held on this island to celebrate the opening of lobster season in Belize. And I was asked to be a judge of all the lobster dishes submitted by the 19 different restaurant booths.
Along with representatives from the Belize Tourism Board, the San Pedro Town Council and various blogs and publications, fresh-faced and excited to eat and drink. 2 hours later, it was a different story – fresh faced no more – but with all the music and dancing and the fabulous atmosphere, it was a burden worth bearing.
Let me show you my pictures and video from the night. I am now completely obsessed with Panerrifix Steel Drum band from Belmopan. These kids and young adults are a national treasure. So. much. fun.
I arrived at 5pm and things were already hopping.
The House of Culture had a really cool display of the industry in San Pedro. In the 1920s, fishermen sold their catch to canneries for 1 cent a pound. ONE CENT.
It’s not inflation either. .01 in 1925 = .14 today.
By the 1950s, prices were higher – around 50 cents. Today, we buy tails for about $25bzd a pound. (2017 prices of Maine Lobster have been climbing too – but not quite as high as the price is down here for their clawless counterparts.)
Ramon’s Village and their Pineapple Restaurant went all out…they won best booth!
Seating is always an issue at this uber-popular festival. The Rotary Club had seating for sale for charity. Great idea.
My school mates! Smith College does a reef education summer camp each year – they’ve been doing it for 18 years now. ALMOST getting you close to my year of graduation. 1995. Oy!
Nice work Smithies!
I’m not sure I ever looked that young.
One of the kids intent on her craft work at the booth.
Finn of Finn & Martini Restaurant setting up. Little did he know that his crew would win FIRST PLACE for both Food and Drink.
So I added some sprinkles on top.
My scorecard. There was another page too! The 1 = best was a bit tricky for me. No one uses the phrase “A perfect 1!”
But I got a hang of it…I had to because the food started arriving fast and furiously.
A four bite grilled cheese from Pier 366. REALLY good.
Brooklyn Bagels – I LOVED the candied jalapeno cream cheese.
I was already eating too much!
A honey lime margarita from Pirate’s Treasure – it was a favorite.
And their lobster tail with siracha butter was perfectly cooked.
Ramon’s/Pineapple’s plate was beautiful.
A perfect meatball…with chunks of lobster in the center.
Huge shout out to the guy who was wearing that costume. That takes some stamina.
DJ Debbie and announcer David had the crowd dancing.
The food…it had just started. Why did I eat all the grilled cheese? And those yummy bagels…oh no.
Casa Picasso served a feast! Truffle and homemade pasta and tender buttery lobster.
Staring me down – practically forcing me to have more than just one bite.
Dish after dish after dish…and then Finn bringing over his fresh lychee martini (now I know where they are grown!)
Wearing a necklace that would put a 70s Greek playboy/shipping magnate or Mr. T to shame. His delicious lobster dish…
And it all ended with a enormous lobster corn dog from Paco’s Tiki Bar.
So many good ones this year…the scores were entered. And the winners announced!
Best Booth Ramon’s Village – Pineapples Restaurant
Best Food Dish
- Finn & Martini
- Paco’s Tiki Bar: Lobster “Corn Dog”
- TIE: Pineapples Restaurant and Casa Picasso
- TIE: Finn & Martini and Brooklyn Brothers’ Bagels
- Casitas Tres Cocos – Youcan Toucan
- Picasso Spirits
I was feeling SERIOUSLY butter-drunk and woozy. I stayed for the end of the steel band – I’d be crazy to leave during that…
And then I headed home again.
I hear that businesses are already signing up to participate in 2018 LobsterFest! SUCCESS! What a good night in San Pedro.
Congratulations to all the winners and the participants and organizers – to make it go off this seamlessly…MAN! It’s a ton of work.
Hope to see you next year. All hail the spiny lobster.
Now. Shake off that food funk. Who is ready for 2017 Caye Caulker Lobsterfest!