of Belizean Cuisine and Culture
PRODUCED AND PUBLISHED BY McNab Publishing Ltd. CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tanya McNab McNab Design Ltd. MANAGING EDITOR AND PROJECT COORDINATOR Emaun Hyde McNab Publishing Ltd. CONTRIBUTORS ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) Oceana, Mar and Ted McElroy Mara Jernigan, Wil Maheia, Anett Zlotorzycki, Aline Habib, Jamal Galves, Chef Sean Kuylen, Chef Rob Pronk, My Backyard Belize Travel Blog PHOTOGRAPHY Cover Photo: Olivera Rusu Photography Leonardo Melendez Photography Esoteric Vision SPECIAL THANKS Stewart Krohn, Basil DeStefano Cayo Espanto and Chef Patrick Houghton, Victoria House, Ian Anderson and The Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, Belize Tourism Board
Flavors of Belize: Five Amazing Years Foreword: Stewart Krohn Chef Patrick, Cayo Espanto’s Culinary Mastermind Map of Belize Calendar of Events and Local Holidays Listings at a Glance NORTHERN BELIZE Promoting Responsible Shrimp Farming in Belize CENTRAL COAST The Tiburon Story ISLANDS & CAYES Protecting our Manatees From the Sea to the Frying Pan Say “I Do” in Belize WESTERN BELIZE The Art of Crafting Artisan Cheese Building a New Belizean Cuisine SOUTHERN COAST Belize + Yoga Sun, Rum and Reggae The Farm: The heart of Belcampo Directory
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RECIPE SPOTLIGHTS 5
You know, even as I type the words “5th Anniversary Edition” of this magazine, it still feels incredibly surreal to have reached this milestone. I can honestly say that when I started this journey eight years ago that I had no idea where it would have taken me. I was fresh out of college back in 2007 when I, with a lot of help from my parents (thanks mom and dad), opened McNab Design Ltd. At the time, it was just me, my laptop, and a deeprooted passion for creating and designing. A year later, we expanded and opened our own printing company – Dots Per Inch – so now, through this sister company, we had the capacity to take all our designs and concepts through to completion. It was two years after this that I decided I wanted to be a part of the publishing industry. I had a background in design, newfound printing capabilities, and could come up with no valid reason or response for when I asked myself, ‘why not?’ I wanted to create a distinctly Belizean publishing house that had its focus on creating publications that would enlighten the public both locally and internationally about my beautiful country. At the onset, I knew I had to produce something that highlighted a niche market. There were multiple guides and magazines that showcased Belize in the broader picture, but I wanted something that dug a little deeper, something that had our culture embedded into it and something that shared more than just ads. The answer was simpler than I thought; the ability to use the language of food is something that would bring people together, across age, gender, income and cultural background. About six months later, the first Flavors of Belize Magazine was born and it was the start of this new path that lay ahead.
Photo: Olivera Rusu Photography My grandparents, owners of the wellknown grocery store ‘Ro-Mac’s’ in downtown Belize City, had started a radio show they so appropriately called “The Belizean Cookhouse.” Every week they would share local recipes with their listeners and welcome submissions from their audience. Safe to say that in my family food has always been a pretty big deal and looking at things from a wider perspective, it’s easy to see that food is a big deal for families and cultures across our country and all corners of the globe. Food is an expression of culture, similar to art and music yet special in its own way, it’s something that brings us all together and links us in a very unique way. Creating a brand that thoroughly showcases Belizean food, distinct products that every Belizean wherever they are could be proud of, and offering an international platform to allow Belizean cuisine to penetrate borders and reach kitchens all over the world was something that I could have never anticipated.
We have come a very long way since the original thought of this very same Flavors of Belize magazine. This journey, which is now celebrating five years has been one of adversity, growth, and success. It isn’t always easy to maintain and support the importance of recognizing Belize’s culinary world in ways that effectively reach people. Through a collaboration of people from all walks of life, unique personalities, interesting talents and above all, love of country, the project has managed to contest every challenge and surpass all expectations. Positive feedback from our magazine lead us to embark on The Flavors of Belize Cookbook, the country’s first comprehensive compilation of authentic Belizean recipes, which was a game changer. The team that consisted of international and local photographers, Belizean chefs and industry figures invested over a year of time and dedication on this project. The result is that our Cookbook now has a permanent home on amazon. com and is part of over 7,000 homes across the globe. We have maintained the production of this magazine, with an annual print run of 10,000 copies, produced multiple cooking shows featuring local chefs, developed a mobile app, and we consistently utilize the power of the Internet and social media to share the journey of Belizean cuisine with the world. Yes, it may not always be a walk in the park but it is truly a rewarding experience being able to collaborate with such talented people in an industry that is only just starting to spread its wings. It is my wish that every kitchen will experience something special from Belize and that it will connect you with family and friends through the language of food.
Thank You to everyone who has been a part of this incredible journey and I hope that you enjoy all the best Belize has to offer as you flip the pages of this definitive guide to Belize’s finest dining experiences, diverse culture and local cuisine.
Director | Designer McNab Design Ltd. Belize City, Belize
It’s hard to believe, but as recently as the early 1970’s the concept of going out to dinner was almost unknown in Belize. Oh yes, Belize City’s biggest hotel at the time, the 40-room Fort George, had a regal dining room but very few Belizeans could afford to eat there - this was only done when a relative or business associate was visiting from abroad or a special occasion was to be celebrated. There were also a couple of Chinese spots scattered around the city: Golden Dragon and Canton come to mind, and of course Mom’s Triangle Inn at the Bridge Foot, but eating was largely a family affair to be done together at home. The vast majority of working Belizeans would return home at noon every day for a deliciously filling plate of rice n’ beans, stewed chicken and
potato salad (pronounced as one word), while listening to what passed for news on Radio Belize, the nation’s sole dispensary of broadcast entertainment. The few tourists that happened to be in the country were mainly concentrated in San Pedro and usually ate family style in small locally owned hotels. While lobster tails were served in abundance, the choice was often restricted to boiled, broiled or deep fried. Looking past that though, the truth is that Belize never had a shortage of dishes that were rich in cultural history and flavors, but until recent years, have we started to see an emergence of what we are proud to call “Belizean Cuisine.” Today, like in much of the world, things have changed. New restaurants seem to open daily, catering to the majority of Belizeans who no longer have the time to go home for their midday meal and prefer to dine out in a social atmosphere that eating so often produces. Spurred by a consistently expanding tourism industry, the increasing quality and variety of restaurants across the country has been truly impressive. With the inspiration of many cultures, a new generation of chefs has come of age in a climate where new ideas are welcomed and innovation is celebrated. Creating dishes that blend tradition with contemporary style has garnered distinction for Belize’s culinary industry. Nowhere has this transition been chronicled as enthusiastically and beautifully than on the pages of the Flavors of Belize Cookbook and Magazine and on-screen
by way of their cooking shows featuring our country’s most influential chefs, a userfriendly website and one of Belize’s first smartphone apps. This Fifth Anniversary edition is proof positive that Belize’s culinary revolution is here to stay. While rice ‘n beans will always be respected, today’s most memorable experience in Belize is just as likely to be found in a restaurant as it is on the reefs, rivers and jungles of this always fascinating nation. STEWART KROHN Lead Partner Cocoplum Residences and Naïa Resort and Spa, Placencia, Stann Creek District
Photo: Cayo Espanto/Olivera Rusu Photography
At the tender age of 6, U.S. born Chef Patrick Houghton, got his start in the kitchen when his mom was home sick for the day, he enthusiastically prepared her some breakfast in bed. A bit alarmed but definitely pleased and intrigued, she decided to give him his first introduction to maneuvering around the kitchen. At 9 years old, he got his first culinary grade knife and by 12 cooking for his family became part of his household responsibilities; a daily adventure requiring him to scan the contents of the refrigerator and plan dinner. At 16, Patrick began working part time in a bakery, and shortly after moved to an Italian restaurant in Morgan Hill, CA. Although he started off washing pots, he quickly moved through the ranks under French trained Chef Alan Montgomery, who had become a sort of mentor to Patrick, training him in all cooking fundamentals – from making stock to knife skills. After five years under Montgomery’s tough tutelage, Houghton made his way to San Francisco to attend a culinary academy. Once there, he received his formal training in the culinary arts, excelling so much so that he was repeatedly invited to prepare dinner for the school’s executive chefs. Outside of school, Patrick acclimated quickly to his surroundings, diving into the life this metropolis had to offer. He shared stories of grabbing his knapsack and jumping on his bike as he head to Asian vendors for rare veggies, buying fresh fish from the fish markets, and finding lobster for sale in the Spanish district at three for $5. His building, which housed many of the students attending the same culinary institute, was the locale for many cook-offs and food challenges. When graduation time rolled around, all students were required to apply for internships, and while most of them had been researching and planning for up to six months, Patrick didn’t decide until a week before graduation. He was offered a choice between interning near the Eiffel Tower in Paris or at the obscure Cayo Espanto Island Resort in Belize. For Patrick, the allure of the unknown and the promise of uncharted ground is what drove him here and Belize’s rich cultural and geographical landscape is what kept him here. Three months later, when his internship with Cayo Espanto had ended, Patrick, at 23 years of age returned home to spend one month settling his affairs and selling off his possessions. He then booked a one-way ticket to Belize, resumed work at Cayo Espanto, and has returned to the U.S. only three times since. Today, Houghton is a happy resident of Ambergris Caye along with his wife and two children. He travels back and forth between San Pedro Town and Cayo Espanto, where as culinary director he creates different menus everyday that cater to each individual guest’s dietary needs.
complete extensive dietary surveys, which Houghton then works with on a day-to-day basis as he plans out breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He shared that on any given day he may have to cater to guests who are vegan, kosher, lactose intolerant, or gluten-free. This, however, is only part of the challenge; not only is Houghton tasked with creating a full menu that is tailored to each individual guest, but he must also produce these dishes using only what he has on hand at the time. While chefs in Belize have unfettered access to a wide range of completely organic ingredients – fruits, vegetables, seasonings, fish and meats – they may have trouble in sourcing items that aren’t produced locally. So while you may not have salmon on the menu, you may notice that instead you can try a fresh grouper fillet that’s encrusted with locally-grown cashew nuts. Creating these worldclass dishes using only local Belizean ingredients requires creativity and a level of resourcefulness that Chef Patrick Houghton and his team now have down to a science. As a devoted fan of local cuisine in Belize, he also utilizes this as daily inspiration when creating his menu; in fact, you’re sure to find rice and beans or ceviche on the menu a couple times a week. The combination of being able to spend his time either with his family, pursuing his passion, or savoring the local flavors and dishes both on the island and the mainland, is a sort of bliss he is grateful to have been lucky enough to find. And he also considers himself lucky because, beyond his personal success and fulfillment, he is afforded the privilege of seeing Belize’s culinary industry blossom and transform into one that is ready to take it’s place on the international scene.
Photo: Cayo Espanto/Olivera Rusu Photography
Cayo Espanto offers 5 star luxury and personalized service comparable to luxury resorts worldwide. This private island with secluded villas and its own helipad is known for entertaining both the wealthy and the famous, including A-list celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, and many more. While one might think of this as quite a daunting task, Houghton explained that this is a job where he is both challenged and given the freedom to engage in an art form he truly loves. Prior to their arrival, all guests are required to
FEBRUARY Fiesta de Carnaval - Ambergris Caye International Bill Fish Tournament MARCH International Heroes and Benefactors Day (9)* La Ruta Maya Canoe River Challenge, San Ignacio to Belize City APRIL San Jose Succotz Fiesta - Cayo District San Pedro Lagoon-Reef Eco Challenge Easter (3,4,5,6)* Sittee River Easter Monday Fair (6)* - Stann Creek District MAY Cashew Festival - Crooked Tree Village, Belize District National Agriculture & Trade Show - Belmopan, Cayo Toledo Cacao Festival - Punta Gorda, Toledo Mango Festival - Hopkins, Stann Creek Monkey River Festival - Toledo Coconut Festival - Caye Caulker Labor Day (1)* and Commonwealth Day (24)* JUNE San Pedro, Placencia and Caye Caulker Lobster Festivals Summer Solstice JULY Pibil Fest - Progresso, Corozal Belize International Film Festival - Belize City AUGUST International Costa Maya Festival - Ambergris Caye Deer Dance Festival - San Antonio, Toledo SEPTEMBER Carnival Road March - Belize City, Orange Walk & Ambergris Caye St. George’s Caye Day (10)* Belize’s Independence Day (21)* OCTOBER TIDE Fish Festival - Toledo Pan American Day (12)* NOVEMBER Battle of the Drums - Dangriga, Stann Creek Garifuna Settlement Day (19)* DECEMBER Holiday Boat Lighting Parade - Ambergris Caye Winter Solstice Christmas Day (25)* and Boxing Day (26)* *Denotes holiday
Credit Cards Breakfast Lunch Dinner Outdoor Dining Waterview Bar Entertainment Delivery Page
Almond Tree Hotel Resort
Nahil Mayab Restaurant and Patio
Scotty’s Crocodile Cove Bar and Grill
CENTRAL COAST 28
Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza
The Beverage Division at Karl H. Menzies
Hour Bar and Grill
Mama Mia’s Pizzeria
Premium Wines and Spirits
Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel and Casino
ISLANDS AND CAYES 39
Black Orchid Restaurant and Lounge
Blue Water Grill, Sunbreeze Hotel
Caprice Bar and Grill, Holiday Hotel
Grand Caribe Resort and Rain Restaurant
Havana Cigar Lounge
Hidden Treasure Restaurant
Iguana Reef Inn
Il Pellicano Cucina Italiana
‘O’ Restaurant, Las Terrazas Resort
Palmilla Restaurant, Victoria House
Pineapples Restaurant, Ramon’s Village Resort
Portofino Beach Resort and Restaurant
Red Ginger, The Phoenix Resort
Wine De Vine
Credit Cards Breakfast Lunch Dinner Outdoor Dining Waterview Bar Entertainment Delivery
Photo: Leonardo Melendez
Running W Steakhouse, San Ignacio Resort Hotel
The Ice Cream Shoppe
SOUTHERN COAST 74
Barefoot Beach Bar
Belize Ocean Club
Belizean Dreams Resort
Chabil Mar Villas
Cocoplum Island Resort
The Curve Bar at Sittee River Marina
Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort
Hatchet Caye Resort, Lion Fish Grill
Hopkins Bay Resort
Itz’ana Resort and Limilita Restaurant
Mariposa Restaurant and Beach Suites
Maya Beach Hotel and Bistro
Chef Rob´s Gourmet Cafe, Parrot Cove Lodge
Sea Front Inn, Di Bone Ville Cafe
Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar
CORPORATE PARTNERS Belize Tourism Board Bowen and Bowen Ltd. Chukka Tours Cuello’s Distillery Ltd.
Georgetown Trust Ltd. Habanos Cigars Offshore Solutions Group Sandy Point Resorts
Sotheby’s Real Estate Tiburón Rum Vista Real Estate Wild Orchid
From left to right: Handmade wooden crafts, various gifts shops Organic Belizean chocolate, The Belize Chocolate Company Fruit jams and jellies, Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods All-natural coconut water, Glorious Belize Dark and white rum, Cuello’s Distillery Coconut rum, Traveller’s Liquors Creole pepper sauce, Gallon Jug Estates & Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods Local spices (red recado), various supermarkets Belizean coffee, Gallon Jug Estates
We can’t live without and you can’t leave without
Photo: Leonardo Melendez
NORTHERN BELIZE Beautifully tranquil with soothing rivers and its coastal waters, there is plenty for anyone wanting to escape the hustle and bustle and seek out sanctuary in the close-knit communities of the North. These districts, Corozal and Orange Walk, boast popular archaeological attractions, including the Mayan temples Lamanai, Cerros, and Santa Rita – a result of our country’s rich history as a part of the Yucatan Peninsula, the geographical location of the ancient Maya civilization. While only physical remains, these sites are not the only reminders of this longstanding history that we share with our neighboring countries. Today, the north is home to some of the largest settlements of the Maya and Mestizo in the country. It is through these people and their culture which has been passed down through generations that we are afforded a glimpse into what was a truly phenomenal empire. The culture in the north has been blended with these historical influences from the Mayan civilization with that of our northern neighbor – Mexico – observable through the cultural expressions of language, art, music, and most notably – cuisine. The delicacies of the north, such as Relleno Negro, Tamalitos, Escabeche, and of course – tacos – are favored among both locals and visitors alike. The Corozal Bay, a must stop in Northern Belize is an excellent location to relax, be adventurous and awaken your taste buds. 20
Nahil Mayab Restaurant and Patio is the ideal venue for a family dinner, romantic date, business lunch, or to socialize. Guests can dine in our air-conditioned dining hall or in the courtyard surrounded by a lush, tropical garden. Choose from a wide array of dishes prepared by our certified chef and her team. CUISINE Latin, Vegetarian, International, Yucatec Maya RESTAURANT HOURS Monday 10AM - 3PM Tuesday to Saturday 10AM - 10PM Closed on Sundays LOCATION Corner Guadalupe St. & Santa Ana St. Orange Walk Town, Orange Walk HIGHLIGHTS Award - Winning Restaurant Complimentary Wifi and Children’s Playground
P: +501-322-0831 www.nahilmayab.com email@example.com
ESCABECHE INGREDIENTS 4 pounds chicken, cut into serving sizes 6 to 8 cups water 6 cloves garlic, crushed 8 dried oregano leaves 2 teaspoons salt 2 escabeche peppers OR 3 canned jalapeño peppers 1 tablespoon red recado 2 pounds onion, sliced ½ cup vinegar ¼ cup olive oil, optional 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
recado in a little vinegar, enough to make a paste and rub on chicken. Arrange chicken on a broiler tray and broil until golden brown, set aside. Bring reserved broth to a boil, add onions and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Add vinegar, stir and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper. Plate chicken over onion soup and serve with fresh corn tortillas.
DIRECTIONS Place chicken in a stockpot with water, garlic, oregano, salt and escabeche or jalapeño peppers. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook chicken. Remove chicken and drain. Reserve broth and escabeche peppers. Dissolve red
“Belize is paradise and even the birds know it.” Belize has become abundantly rich in ecosystems that provide sustainable habitats for almost 600 bird species within a small geographical area, all while resting on one of the world’s most vibrant biological corridors.
We are a small resort located on the beautiful Corozal Bay. We provide a unique environment with comfort and a touch of elegance. Our dinner menu changes often depending on the requests of our guests.
Come visit us and enjoy a tasty meal right on the Corozal Bay. We have a full bar featuring mixed drinks, Belikin products, and imported beer. Open, friendly atmosphere with a laid back Caribbean vibe right on the water. Our full menu features burgers, tacos, burritos, chicken wings, rice and beans.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
Agua Caliente Wildlife Sanctuary
Closed on Wednesdays
Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
LOCATION #41 First Avenue Corozal Town, Corozal
Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker
HIGHLIGHTS Bayside Location Open Palapa Dining
Shipstern Nature Reserve
Caracol Archaeological Reserve
P: +501-422-0005 www.scottysbarandgrill.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Half Moon Caye Natural Monument
Red Bank Village
CUISINE American Belizean
RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 7AM - 8PM
RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: Noon - Midnight
LOCATION #425 Bay Shore Drive South End Corozal HIGHLIGHTS Bayside Location Daily Appetizers & Specialty Drinks
P: +501-422-0006 Skype: +1-217-636-3357 www.almondtreeresort.com email@example.com
BIRDING HOTSPOTS IN BELIZE •
CUISINE American Belizean Italian
Closed on Sundays
Belize has quickly become a favorite spot among bird watchers and nature lovers, allowing for various experiences whether you’re new to birding or a seasoned tropical bird enthusiast. Visiting hot-spots from north to south, you can easily spend days captivated by water birds such as Jabirus, Spoonbills, and the rare Agami Heron. Track down tropical birds such as Toucans, Parrots, Jacanas, and the Tinamous, one of the most ancient groups of birds. You can also enjoy familiar regional birds like the Yucatan Jay and Woodpecker.
Belize hosted the first Shrimp Aquaculture Dialogue (ShAD) meeting in the Central America and Mexico region in 2008. Four years on, in 2012, five farmers from Belize took part in ASC’s pilot audits to test the robustness and effectiveness of the standard. There are now eight shrimp farms certified to ASC standard to date. Since 2007 the Belize farms have been reducing their environmental impacts. They have been upgrading structures to reduce the nutrients in effluents, as well as ensuring systems are in place to protect the mangrove forest, which they use as a natural biofilter to remove effluents before the water is released into receiving waterways.
Belizean shrimp producers have become global frontrunners of responsible aquaculture. Following years of hard work, the extraordinary achievement of certifying 90% of the total farmed shrimp production in Belize, and 67% of Belizean shrimp farms, against the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) standard for responsible shrimp farming has become a reality. In April this year, the Belizean shrimp farmers celebrated their ASC certification at the world’s largest seafood show, Seafood Expo Global, in Brussels. The independent certification body Control Union Peru, which carried out the third-party assessments of the farms, presented six of the growers with their certificates. The celebration in Brussels marked the culmination of a journey towards responsible shrimp farming in Belize that stretches over almost a decade. Protecting the environment and biodiversity has been key in driving the change in Belizean shrimp aquaculture. Although a small country, Belize contains a remarkably diverse range of ecosystems within its borders. Its marine ecosystem includes the open ocean, coral reefs and seagrass beds. However, the country’s marine resources are under pressure. Farm certification and implementation of responsible aquaculture practices based on robust standards have been an important strategy to counter any adverse environmental or social impacts from aquaculture. Through ASC certification shrimp farms aim to measurably reduce adverse impacts by preserving wetlands and mangroves; addressing the transfer of viruses and reducing disease; bringing cleaner water and ensuring responsible use of water; ensuring the responsible use of feed; and addressing biodiversity issues. The standards also set requirements to ensure care for employees and the local community. In 2006, Alvin Henderson of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association met with WWF Belize’s Mesoamerican Reef Program officer Mauricio Mejia to discuss how to move the country’s shrimp farming sector towards sustainability. Mejia and Henderson have since been instrumental in convening the region’s shrimp growers.
The Belize shrimp farmers also maintain communication with community leaders along the shrimp belt. Local communities and shrimp farmers work in collaboration to develop strategies to protect the natural resources in the area. The workforce is also recruited from local communities. Gaining certification against the global ASC Shrimp Standard for responsible aquaculture is a valuable opportunity for Belizean shrimp growers to demonstrate through a third-party assessment that the sector produces high-quality shrimp in a responsible manner. As well as safeguarding responsible aquaculture practices, certification works as an important tool to retain and secure new markets for farmers. ASC certification provides the farms with an objective assessment through independent third party audits against the ASC standards. The ASC certification programme was developed and implemented according to international codes of good conduct, including FAO Guidelines for ecolabelling and ISEAL Standard Setting Codes. ISEAL is a membership organization for sustainability standards; to become a member ASC has demonstrated that it meets the ISEAL Codes of Good Practice and accompanying requirements, including impartiality and transparency. Photo: © Belize Aquaculture Ltd.
Photo: Leonardo Melendez
Dating back to the 1600â€™s, the early British settlers established Belize City as a base for the export of Caribbean logwood. Despite no longer being the capital city, it has remained the commercial epicenter and main port of entry into the country. With a growing population of almost 60,000 people, Belize City is centrally located and sits right on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. It is currently the only port of call for cruise ships passing through and also home to the Phillip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). The city serves as the perfect gateway to exploring the rest of the country with daily buses, commuter airplanes, and boat transfers to aid in your travels. While it may be the primary gateway to the rest of the country, there is no shortage of exciting experiences to be had in the old capital. The majestic Altun Ha, with its recently renovated visitor center, is in close proximity. Similarly, day trips such as cave tubing, zip lining, the Belize Zoo, museums, historical sites, and the Baboon Sanctuary are all easily accessible from the city. Some places within the city limits to add to your itinerary are The Belize Museum, The House of Culture and the Baron Bliss Lighthouse Monument.
A dessert bar and deli offering a wide assortment of breakfast and dessert items. Our menu includes banana bread, croissants, paninis, sausage rolls, cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, and local favorites such as johnny cakes, powder bun, bread pudding, and jam rolls. Come enjoy fresh gelato from Placenciaâ€™s famous Tuttifrutti! We also cater.
CUISINE Bakery / Deli / Dessert RESTAURANT HOURS Monday - Friday 6:45AM - 7PM Saturday 6:45AM - 3PM Closed on Sundays
LOCATION #8 Heusnerâ€™s Crescent Belize City, Belize HIGHLIGHTS Centrally Located Local Favorites P: +501-223-7640 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Victorian Dining Room has become one of the best restaurants in Belize City through its commitment to the highest quality product and services. We offer daily buffet breakfast with an omelet station, lunch buffet from Monday through Friday, brunch on Sunday as well. In addition to the daily buffets, A la carte menus are available throughout the day.
P: +501-223-2302 www.belizebiltmore.com email@example.com
MENU ITEMS CALYPSO SHRIMP SALAD Crispy garden lettuce, tomato, apple, mint leaves, fresh cilantro, shrimp SERE FISH SOUP A mouthwatering combination of coconut milk, ripe plantain, okra, cilantro, green banana and half whole fish SEAFOOD PLATTER Combination of shrimp, calamari rings & fish fillet coated with flour, breadcrumbs and then deep fried. Served with french fries and tartar sauce. NEW YORK STEAK 1 lb Imported New York steak grilled/charbroiled to perfection, served with steam vegetables, baked or mashed potato.
VICTORIAN DINING ROOM
CUISINE International RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 6:30AM - 10PM LOCATION 3Â˝ Miles, Phillip Goldson Highway Belize City, Belize HIGHLIGHTS Indoor & Poolside Bar Banquet Facilities Papa Gallo Gift Shop Go-Green Certified Daily Themed Buffet
The best pizza in Belize City is at Mama Mia’s Pizzeria. Build your own fresh hand-tossed dough or thin crust pizza with pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, ham, beef, bacon, pineapple, tomatoes, black olives, chicken, and of course - cheese. BBQ or Buffalo Baked Wings, Paninis, & Garlic Breadsticks also available. CUISINE Italian RESTAURANT HOURS Monday - Thursday 9AM - 2PM, 4:30PM - 9PM Friday - Saturday 9AM - 10PM Closed on Sundays
LOCATION 1755 Coney Drive Belize City, Belize HIGHLIGHTS Delivery Available
P: +501-223-1444 firstname.lastname@example.org
Guests’ appetites are met with mouth watering drinks and enjoyable dishes served à la carte. With a great menu and friendly customer service, the Hour Bar & Grill offers something for everyone in an extraordinary setting overlooking the breathtaking Caribbean Sea.
CUISINE American Fusion RESTAURANT HOURS Tuesday - Wednesday 11AM - 11PM Thursday - Saturday 11AM - 1AM Sunday 11AM - 11PM Limited kitchen menu on Mondays
LOCATION #1 Princess Margaret Drive Belize City, Belize HIGHLIGHTS Free Wi-fi Seaside Open-Air Deck
ROSÉ + ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE
THE WINE LIST
Montes Purple Angel Carménère, Colchagua Valley, Chile
Lapostolle Casa Grand Selection Sauvignon Blanc, Rapel Valley Chile
Beringer White Zinfandel, California, USA
T.H. (Terrior Hunter) Pinot Noir by Undurraga, Leyda Valley, Chile
Ladoucette Comte LaFond Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc), Loire Valley, France
Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut, Reims, France
Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyard Mendoza, Argentina
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Malborough, New Zealand
PREMIUM WINES AND SPIRITS
Seven Daughters Red Blend California, USA
Sartori Pinot Grigio Arcole, Veneto, Italy
WINE DE VINE
Premium Wines and Spirits is the leading supplier of a wide selection of imported wines, champagnes, port, spirits and mixers together with locally produced wine, rums, brandy and more. Our range notably features our Undurraga wines from Chile, Beringer and Kendall Jackson wines from the USA, Calvet and Louis Jadot lines from France and Rosemount and Lindemans from Australia and many more from Spain, Italy and South Africa. Fresh coffee beans, ground to your preference, are also available. Join us on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm for the Premium Wines/Radisson Fort George Hotel Wine Club.
Enjoy upper-midscale comfort at our newly renovated Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel. Each of our 160 newly renovated guest rooms boasts ocean views, a refrigerator, air conditioning and free Wi-Fi Internet access. And with free breakfast, 24-hour room service, a gift shop, and located in the heart of Belize Cityâ€™s business district, and easy access to attractions like the Museum of Belize and the Baron Bliss Lighthouse, discover for yourself why The Ramada Belize City Princess is the place to stay when your travels bring you to the beautiful Caribbean/Central American country of Belize.
P: +501-223-2670 www.ramada.com email@example.com
MENU ITEMS SEAFOOD CHOWDER SHEPHERD SALAD ANGUS CUT RIB EYE TOPPED WITH A CHIMICHANGA SAUCE FRESH CATCH, DEEP SEA RED SNAPPER WITH A SIDE OF CREOLE SAUCE COCONUT INFUSED PILAF KEY LIME PIE TRIPLE CHOCOLATE DECADENT TOPPED WITH GANACHE
SEAVIEW RESTAURANT + CALYPSO BAR & GRILL CUISINE
International with Seafood Specialties RESTAURANT HOURS
Daily: 7AM - 10PM LOCATION
Newtown Barracks Belize City, Belize HIGHLIGHTS
160 Oceanview Rooms Casino & Nightclub 24HR Room Service 2 Cinemas Centrally Located
Emaun Hyde Basil DeStefano, head finance director for the largest luxury car dealership in the state of Illinois, made his first trip to Belize in 2006 with his wife, and was instantly charmed by the feel of island life on Ambergris Caye. Shortly after that first visit, he became the owner of a condominium at the Phoenix Resort in downtown San Pedro. In his interview, Basil shared that the experience on that first trip was one that permanently altered the direction of his life. He expressed the predilection he developed over the years for Belize and the Belizean culture, cuisine, and of course, rum. In fact, after every trip to Belize, Basil would take back bottles of rum for his friends and family. Now, this isn’t very unusual; it’s actually a pretty common occurrence for items such as pepper or rum to make their way back into the homes of those visiting the country and the pantries of their friends and family. What is unique, however, is finding someone who embraces Belize as their second home and produces a distinctly Belizean product in partnership with a local company. What originally started as a dinner table joke between Basil, his wife, and their friends as they enjoyed a glass of 1 Barrel Rum turned into an idea that he couldn’t seem to shake. He started researching, learning the processes involved in rum making, and telling himself that it was something he not only wanted to do, but something he was certainly capable of. In time, he reached out to the owners of Travellers Liquors with a concept for rum that he thought would fare well in the U.S. market. At the time they may have thought he was crazy, but were more than willing to be the makers of the rum and fully supported this initiative from its inception. They worked on the blend, came up with samples, made the selection, and spent almost a year designing the bottles and branding the rum so that it was a reflection of the spirit of island life. Tiburon Rum was now officially a reality.
GARNACHES INGREDIENTS 12 corn tortillas, fried 1 cup refried black or red kidney beans ¾ cup tomato sauce 2 tablespoons salsa casera ¾ cup Edam or Dutch cheese, shredded ½ cup hot pepper onion sauce 3 large chicken breasts, optional DIRECTIONS Spread 1 tablespoon refried beans on tortilla. Combine tomato sauce and salsa casera. Spoon onto refried beans and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Garnish with hot pepper onion sauce. Mini corn tortilla rounds can be used for hors d’oeuvres. CHICKEN: Season chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Boil in enough water to cover chicken for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked. Remove from water, cool and shred. Place shredded chicken on top of refried beans and finish as noted above.
Working on the principle that they weren’t just selling rum but that they were selling an authentic Belizean experience, Basil was sure that his rum was good – what he didn’t anticipate was that he had created an award winning blend that distributors from all over the world would be interested in. He entered competitions thinking that if he won a couple, it would help him market, but then he started to win … every time. To date, Tiburon has been awarded over 10 times, has garnered global attention, and has even been named the best new rum by a popular Chicago publication. It’s sold in 7 states in the U.S., the U.K., Puerto Rico, and of course, Belize, where despite it’s price difference in comparison with other local rums has been doing exceptionally well on the market. Aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, the rum boasts flavors of vanilla, caramel, banana and butterscotch, yet has no sugar additives and manages to finish off smoothly. It works great as a sipping rum, brings a nice flavor to mixed drinks, and, according to Basil, even works well in baking. The final product is something that Basil, his family, Travellers, and the entire country of Belize is proud of. It has surpassed every expectation, and more than likely will continue to do so.
ISLAND AND CAYES
Photo: Olivera Rusu Photography
The Belizean waters are sprinkled from North to South with well over 200 islands, cayes, and atolls. Some of the more popular islands such as San Pedro and Caye Caulker, home to hundreds of islanders, have made their way into mainstream media next to some of the world’s finest destinations. Many of these islands remain practically uninhabited or at most are home to a few families or 1 or 2 small hotels. Day trips are a fun option for those staying on the mainland; popular islands include Half Moon Caye, Goff’s Caye, Long Caye, Southwater Caye, Tobacco Caye, and of course, the awe-inspiring islands that lie within the Sapodilla Caye Range. There is no shortage of marine adventures to be entertained by. Choose from snorkeling relatively shallow waters as you take in the vast marine life our coral reef has fostered, diving the great Blue Hole, witnessing the majestic whale sharks that pass through annually, swimming with friendly sharks and sting rays, or opt for popular water sports – kite surfing, paddle boarding, jet-skiing, or parasailing. The main islands, Caye Caulker and San Pedro are easily accessible through daily boat transfers and commuter planes, allowing you to be on the beach feeling the sand between your toes in no time. Originally small fishing communities, the beauty of these islands, 1 or 2 miles away from the largest coral reef formation in this hemisphere, is undeniable and has captivated the hearts of countless tourists, a percentage of which end up staying indefinitely. Many of the families that inhabit these islands have been there for generations; however, due to the increase in development and the annual surge of visitors, the islands have recently become home to locally migrating Belizeans seeking a role in the country’s thriving tourism industry. Feel the pulsing energy of San Pedro or let your worries go on the easygoing backpacker-friendly island of Caye Caulker. Soak up the sun, feast on fresh seafood, and experience the unrivaled sub-aquatic world just off the shores.
Islands and Cayes
Jamal Galves The Antillean manatee is a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, as is the Florida manatee. Belize boasts the highest population of the Antillean manatees in the world! Manatees can be found along the entire coastline of Belize inhabiting rivers, lagoons, and cayes; in salt, brackish and fresh water systems. They are gentle and slow-moving animals that spend the majority of the day eating, resting, and traveling. Manatees are herbivorous mammals — they eat a large variety of submerged, emergent, and floating plants and can consume 9 to 10% of their body weight in vegetation daily. Their role as primary consumers make them very important to our ecosystem because their excretion is food for small fishes and crustaceans. Generally, manatees surface to breathe every 3 to 5 minutes; however, when resting manatees have been known to stay submerged for up to 20 minutes. Though slow moving, they can swim up to 20 miles per hour in short bursts. The Antillean manatees have no natural predators and a natural lifespan of approximately 60 years. However, in the wild, manatees tend to live only up to 30 years due to negative human impacts. Causes of human-related manatee mortality includes watercraft collision, hunting, pollution, destruction of coastal habitat and entanglement in fishing gears. Ultimately, watercraft collision and loss of habitat are the most serious threats to manatees in Belize. Considering a population of just about 1000 manatees, major increase in mortality, and very low reproductive rate, along with the already endangered status there is great concern for the survival of this species. In Belize, Manatees are protected by the Forest Department under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1981 and are listed as endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. This makes it illegal to harass, hunt, capture, or kill manatees. Violations of this Act can be met with civil or criminal convictions associated with monetary fines and/or imprisonment. Over the years, Sea to Shore Alliance has been working with the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, Belize Forest Department, Belize Port Authority and other key stakeholders to address the key threats to
manatees in Belize by developing boat speed zones and awareness campaigns to reduce the likelihood of watercraft collisions. Other conservation measures deemed important to saving manatees include: research addressing biology, mortality, population and distribution, behaviour, habitat; implementation of management plans; and the establishment of sanctuaries.
“The fight for the survival of our aquatic friends will require more than just efforts by conservationists and a few caring individuals, this fight is not one they can fight alone but one that requires a change in all human behaviours that negatively impact not only manatees but the entire marine ecosystem.” — Jamal Galves, Sea to Shore Manatee Project Manager, Belize
Photo: Gio Damiani
Islands and Cayes
A local girl opens a restaurant on the beach, where only awesome people eat. Her staff is great, so she pays for them to go the gym or do CrossFit. Many of the staff have kids. Education is important. So, she pays for her staff's kids to go to school. All the while, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. That includes sushi on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a live reggae band on Fridays. No Beard Awards but open since 2001. That's still what matters, right? Confession: We turned away a Yankees shortstop one night cause we were booked and didn't recognize him. Terrible, we know.
CUISINE Island Style RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 7:00 AM - 9:30 PM LOCATION Sunbreeze Hotel Coconut Drive San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye HIGHLIGHTS On the Beach Large Deck and Open-Air Dining
P: +501-226-3347 www.bluewatergrillbelize.com firstname.lastname@example.org
A fine wine and cheese shop in Belize with over 300 different wines from around the world and more than 50 imported cheeses and meats. Our main retail location is in San Pedro, but we ship our wine and gourmet foods to restaurants, resorts, and customers throughout Belize. We also do wine tastings, gift baskets, party platters, and more.
CUISINE Fine Wines & Cheese RESTAURANT HOURS Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 9AM - 6PM Tuesday 9AM - 7PM Friday (wine social) 9AM - 8PM LOCATION Coconut Drive San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye HIGHLIGHTS Delivery Bar/Lounge Area 300+ Wine Labels 60+ Cheese and Meat Varieties
P: +501-226-3430 email@example.com
Islands and Cayes
Islands and Cayes
The Black Orchid Restaurant & Lounge is located on the island of Ambergris Caye just outside of San Pedro Town. Serving breakfast, lunch & dinner, Tuesday through Saturday. We offer wines from around the world along with specialty cocktails and popular local rums. Come and dine with us in a unique island setting; just a quick golf cart ride south of town, after the Croc Lagoon and well before the Marco Gonzales Maya Ruin. CUISINE International - Seafood - Pasta RESTAURANT HOURS Tuesday - Saturday 11AM - 9PM Closed on Sundays & Mondays
LOCATION 2½ miles South of San Pedro Town Ambergris Caye, Belize HIGHLIGHTS Free Wi-fi TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 & 2015 Fine Dining in an Island Setting
P: +501-206-2441 www.blackorchidrestaurant.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Delight in dishes featuring the freshest ingredients with an array of flavors served in the most desirable of atmospheres. At O, you'll surround yourself with décor reminiscent of the cool colors of the ocean and the brilliant colors of the summer sky, for a truly unique dining experience. In addition to our delectable menu offerings, enjoy our nightly chef’s themed special including Friday Sushi night. Call us to arrange one of our private celebration dinners with a custom menu created uniquely for you. These dinners for couples, families or groups are our specialty and can be arranged under the stars on the beach, by the pool or roof top.
CUISINE International with a Caribbean Flair RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 7AM - 9PM LOCATION Las Terrazas Resort 3 miles North of San Pedro Town Ambergris Caye, Belize HIGHLIGHTS Poolside Juice Bar Rooftop Sky Bar
P: +501-226-4249 www.orestaurantbelize.com email@example.com
Islands and Cayes
Oceana Belize Traceability is perhaps the biggest thing to impact food and food production within the last decade. Around the world, consumers are demanding to know where their food comes from, how it was handled in transit and even how it was produced: were the mashed potatoes made using pesticide free potatoes? Is this milk sourced from free range cows? This reality is firmly rooted in terrestrial industries and now, attention is shifting to the seafood trade. Fishing — commercial, recreational and subsistence — is one of Belize’s first and oldest livelihoods. Local fishermen often come from multi-generational fishing families and carry on the proud tradition of providing high-quality fresh products to voracious consumers. Additionally, buying local, Belizean caught seafood strengthens our economy by supporting the many businesses that fishermen depend on, as well as seafood suppliers, retailers, and restaurants. Fresh, natural seafood is economically important, and culturally relevant. To the average Belizean, savoring seafood is a national pastime. And we’re not just talking about converging on coastal and island destinations to enjoy lobster at the start of the lobster season or conch fritters at the start of conch season. It’s also about paying homage to the hard work of the fishermen who brave the open seas every day to satisfy our hunger for the best seafood. Let’s face it, the Belizean dishes are special; there’s just something extra (a crunchy, tasty delectableness) in that whole fried snapper, Sere, Hudut, and panades that makes it finger-suckingly good. It’s important to know the source of your seafood because all seafood is not equal. As the world struggles to feed itself, globally, producers are hard pressed to supply growing demands. This means that fried fish fillet on your plate could have been caught in the wild or harvested from an aquaculture operation. Was it caught in the Caribbean Sea or imported from Vietnam or China? And because seafood fraud is real, it might not even be a salt water fish at all! Wild caught seafood is big business around the globe and accounts for roughly fourteen percent (14%) of the animal protein eaten around the world every day. It’s also big business in Belize’s small
open economy. In 2013, almost a million pounds of Queen Conch and more than half a million pounds of Spiny Lobster were harvested in Belize and exported to foreign markets. As officials continue to implement management structures to ensure the sustainability of Belizean seafood products, the fact that our fishermen are fishing further and deeper but catching smaller is a tough pill to swallow. So today, when buying fish, you’ve got decisions to make. Should you buy wild-caught or farm-raised fish? Local or imported? Because there are numerous factors to consider, it’s impossible to make a blanket recommendation. So choosing what to eat depends on what kind of fish you’re buying, as well as where and how it is fished or farmed. Wild-caught — establishing catch sized limits, especially for popular species such as snapper, mackerel and grouper, will be key to preventing a collapse of the fish stock. While “johnnycake” size may have been accepted in the past, we now know better. If we continue to consume juveniles, there will not be enough sexually mature specimens to reproduce. Catch size limits will mean less fish to take home in the immediate to short term but in the long term, the benefits will ensure fishermen will be able to fish forever. In the interim, the invasive lionfish is a healthy alternative. Aquaculture — also known as fish or shellfish farming — refers to the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of plants and animals in all types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes, as well as the sea. Belizean aquaculture producers are farming several kinds of freshwater and marine species of fish, shellfish, and even seaweed. As a complement to wild harvest fisheries, aquaculture can help meet the growing demand for seafood, reduce our dependence on imports, and help
Islands and Cayes rebuild wild fish stocks. Domestic aquaculture is also critical to maintaining an infrastructure in coastal communities to support both commercial fisheries as well as jobs associated with the seafood industry. It is important for seafood to be farmed under regulations that protect the health of the consumers as well as the health of the marine environment and the animals that live within it. Several countries continue to struggle to manage the use of antibiotics, hormones and addressing run-off. Concerns about environmental impact and sustainability aren’t limited to fish-farming, and are just as likely to apply to wild caught as to farmed fish. Wild-caught fish are sometimes harvested using practices that do a lot of collateral damage to the ecosystem and other fish. Case in point: gillnet fishing. Gillnets are one of the most destructive fishing gears still legal in Belize. They threaten keystone species such as sharks and parrotfish as well as commercially important snappers, mackerel, grouper and even economically important sportfish species such as bonefish, tarpon and permit. Gillnets also threaten several charismatic species, including dolphins, turtles and manatees, and are already credited with the regional extinction of sawfish and the disturbingly low sightings of hammerheads. The current law on gillnets means the gear is not permitted within marine reserves and conservation zones or at the mouths of rivers, and laws regulate mesh size as well as the number of nets fishermen can use simultaneously. However, the illegal use of gillnets is believed to be happening across territorial waters due to a lack of monitoring and enforcement. These deceptively low-key practices threaten the country’s fisheries, the livelihoods of small-scale fishermen as well as the food service and tourism industry.
low in saturated fat and high in those omega-3 fats we hear so much about. Another plug for lionfish — because they grow so fast, lionfish is one of the healthiest fish to eat since there’s been less time for mercury build up! Belize’s fisheries management is transitioning from ‘open access’ to ‘managed access’ and there’s been meaningful improvements made in education, compliance and improved stewardship at the micro level. However, enforcement still remains a tremendous challenge. Illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing is many times imperceptible and has become a major contributor to local seafood fraud, i.e. Snook instead of grouper fillets, gill netted fish instead of line caught fish or bone fish hash instead of snapper hash for fish balls. You are what you eat, and you can help make a difference. With your support, those fishermen who are helping Belize’s fisheries to reach or be on a trajectory towards sustainable levels can adapt to the new realties. By investing in local fishermen, you help to strengthen our local community, help create a stable marketplace for the fishermen, and help them feel more comfortable in making adjustments to improve the long-term sustainability of the fishery for generations to come instead of focusing on shortterm survival. It’s not about stopping fishermen from fishing; it’s about making sure fishermen can fish forever. Photo: Oceana
There’s “no one size fits all” recommendation to deciding what type of seafood to buy, it is important to know what you are buying, where it was caught and how it was caught. It is worth the effort. Your informed actions will help support local fishermen, producers, and communities and the long-term health and sustainability of domestic fisheries and aquaculture production. Not to mention … your own health. Just about everyone is trying to eat more fish these days. Eating at least two servings of fish or shellfish per week is said to reduce the risk of heart disease and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. Although meat, poultry, and fish are all good sources of protein, seafood boasts the healthiest fatty acid profile: it’s
Islands and Cayes
PAN SEARED LION FISH FILLET WITH HONEY SESAME ‘WANGLA’ BUTTER PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATO PUREE AND CALLALOO INGREDIENTS: Lion fish fillet 1 pound Black sesame seeds 2 tablespoons White sesame seeds 2 tablespoons Honey 4 tablespoons Butter 12 ounces Cilantro, chopped 1 small bunch Callaloo leaves 8 ounces Onion, julienne 1 large Pumpkin, dried 1 large Sweet potato 2 pounds Evaporated milk 1 can Garlic 4 cloves Salt to taste Pepper to taste Cayenne pepper to taste Nutmeg to taste Coconut oil 4 ounces DIRECTIONS: For the wangla butter: In a skillet over low heat, gently toast the black and white sesame seeds. Let cool and combine with the honey, 6 ounces of butter and chopped cilantro. Refrigerate. For the Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Puree: Peel and boil the sweet potato until soft. Oil the pumpkin skin and roast whole in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove pumpkin from the oven, cut in half and scoop out the cooked meat. In a saucepot, heat the evaporated milk and 6 ounces butter. Add the salt, black pepper, 2 cloves chopped garlic and nutmeg. Using a potato masher, combine and mash the pumpkin meat and boiled sweet potato. Stir in the warm butter and milk until smooth. Season to taste. Pan Seared Lionfish Season the prepared fillet of lionfish with black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper. Heat 4 tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet and sear the fish for 4 minutes on each side until golden brown then remove from skillet. In the same skillet, add the julienne onions, garlic and the callaloo. Cook for one minute then add half cup of chicken broth or water and cook until soft and tender. Season with salt and pepper To Plate, Spoon the sweet potato and pumpkin puree in the center of the plate. Next add the sautéed callaloo and the pan seared lionfish. While the fish is hot, scoop a heaping spoon of the chilled Wangla butter on top letting it melt, coating the fish with sweet honey and toasted sesame.
Photo: Oceana HERE ARE OTHER TIPS FOR BUYING LOCAL, BELIZEAN SEAFOOD GET TO KNOW YOUR LOCAL FISHERMEN Strike up a conversation with your local fishermen to find out what the catch of the day is and take home a healthy seafood dinner. When purchasing fillet, look for the skin on one side, so you can tell which species of fish you are receiving. BUY FROM REPUTABLE VENDORS Just because someone is selling seafood out of a cooler at a road side stand, doesn’t mean they are local or legitimate. TALK TO YOUR FISHMONGERS/ SUPERMARKET If you have questions about the seafood you are buying, talk to your vendors. They should know the details about the product and can suggest alternatives if you can’t find what you are looking for. TRY A VARIETY OF SEAFOOD Don’t just stick with the same seafood you’ve always been eating. There may be some local seafood items that you have never tried before. By choosing different types of seafood, you also help reduce pressure on highly targeted species. And you may discover some new favorites. Lionfish is a great alternative in terms of taste and price. KNOW YOUR SEASONS Like fruits and vegetables that have peak seasons, some seafood items can only be harvested at certain times of the year. If you know what is in season, you can select local seafood at its peak, and help ensure the sustainability of that species for generations to come.
Islands and Cayes
Islands and Cayes
Located in the first established resort in San Pedro, Caprice Bar & Grill boasts one of the most spectacular views on the island. Sample our fine cuisine of locally infused flavors. Our Belizean Chef Anel Cano creates and converts home cooked favorites into her own unique and exotic dishes.
CUISINE New Traditional and Local Cuisine RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 11AM - 9PM LOCATION Holiday Hotel Barrier Reef Drive San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye HIGHLIGHTS Beachfront Open-Air Dining Centrally Located 150+ Capacity for a large Event P:+501-226-2014
Pineapples is, without question, the best place to eat on the island of Ambergris Caye. Pineapples is right on the beach so your view of the Caribbean Sea is in full focus. Don't want to eat inside? Then make yourself at home under one of our outdoor, thatched-roof palapas. The wide variety of cuisine will captivate your fancy whether it's our signature "Steak on a Stone," one of the daily specials or the boss's favorite, the "Pineapple Boat." You can't beat the wonderful atmosphere and genuine hospitality of our all Belizean staff.
CUISINE International RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 6AM - 9PM LOCATION Ramon’s Village Resort Coconut Drive San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye HIGHLIGHTS Maya Inspired Decor “On a Stone” Menu
P: P: +501-226-2071 +501-226-2071 www.ramons.com www.ramons.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Islands and Cayes
Islands and Cayes
The Phoenix is the only upscale resort located in the town of San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye, just steps away from the best shopping, dining, and nightlife that the island has to offer. Our on-site restaurant’s menu offers many Caribbean seafood dishes and locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as more traditional North American menu selections. Red Ginger provides breakfast, lunch, dinner, room service, and pool bar food service.
www.thephoenixbelize.com www.redgingerbelize.com | P: +501-226-4623
MENU ITEMS Garlic and onion sautéed beef empanadas with a spicy pickled onion, habanero, and cabbage salsa topped with a cilantro crème fraiche Crispy chicken Bahn Mi – Broiled chicken, pickled vegetables, cilantro, fresh jalapenos, honey hoisin glaze, and house-made French bread
Smoked turkey bacon wrap served with dried cranberries, cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, avocado, and a light ranch dressing
RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 7:30 AM to 9:30 PM
Crab stuffed grouper served with a white wine buerre blanc, coconut rice, and tomato stuffed zucchini rounds
LOCATION The Phoenix Resort San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye
Imported New York strip served with bacon mac and cheese, gingered broccoli, and a cabernet reduction
HIGHLIGHTS Saturday & Sunday Brunch Live Music & Tapas (Wednesday/Sunday) 5 Course Chef Tasting Menu ½ Priced Martini Nights (Saturday) ½ Priced Wine Night (Monday) 49
Islands and Cayes
Islands and Cayes
Islands and Cayes
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS NEITHER PARTY PREVIOUSLY MARRIED 1. Completed Marriage License Application (notarized by Justice of the Peace) 2. One of the parties must be in the country 4 days prior to submitting of the marriage license application 3. Photocopy of the first 2 pages of passport AND the page showing arrival date into Belize EITHER/BOTH HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY MARRIED 1. Fully completed Marriage License Application (notarized by Justice of the Peace) 2. One of the parties must be in the country 4 days prior to submitting of the marriage license application 3. Photocopy of the first 2 pages of passport AND the page showing arrival date into Belize 4. Original Ceritified divorce decree EITHER/BOTH IS A WIDOW/WIDOWER 1. Fully completed Marriage License Application (notarized by Justice of the Peace) 2. One of the parties must be in the country 4 days prior to submitting of the marriage license application 3. Photocopy of the first 2 pages of passport AND the page showing arrival date into Belize 4. Original Death Certificate OTHER REQUIREMENTS 1. Two witnesses are required to be present at the ceremony 2. Any party under the 18 years may need parental consent
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS LOCATION DATE/TIME MUSIC FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER RECEPTION CEREMONY Food / Catering Officiant Cake Bouquet DĂŠcor Wedding Party Drinks Seating Chart Seating Chart
Islands and Cayes
Mar & Ted McElroy did. Since I was a little girl, I had imagined that my dream wedding would take place on the sandy shores of some unknown tropical island. When my husband, Ted, knelt down on bended knee and proposed to me on a charming beach in Cinque Terre, Italy, it served as a reminder of those childhood dreams of a beach wedding. It was then that I decided that my wedding destination would be a tropical gem; I would find a secret hideaway where my toes could touch the sand and the sun would be smiling on my loved ones. With so many beautifully diverse beaches across the globe, it seemed an intimidating task to decide where exactly we would tie the knot. Not to say I’m indecisive or anything, but how could I possibly choose the perfect destination wedding location? At some point amidst endless hours of google-ing and reading through wedding and travel magazines, a small voice in my head echoed the words of a friend from college. “Belize”, she had said wistfully, “is the most beautiful place in the world”. I vividly remembered how my friend’s visit had left her with ardent memories of the people, the jungle and primarily, the beaches of Belize. Although our discussion on the topic was brief, my friend’s steadfast insistence of Belize’s charm had a compelling yet subliminal impression on me. In fact, that conversation had remained dormant in my mind until almost 15 years later! Fast forward to five months before the wedding, I took a quick trip to Ambergris Caye to visit “La Isla Bonita” and do a bit of research for myself. I visited Victoria House and was awestruck by the property’s elegance and dedication to exceptional customer service. I also recognized that guests from resorts all over the island made regular reservations for dinner and always seemed to leave with big smiles and happy taste buds. So during my stay, my event manager Javier arranged a food tasting with Victoria House’s talented chef, and honestly I was not only blown away by the seafood and meat options for my friends and family, but I was pleasantly surprised with the inventive and tasty vegetarian options made especially for me! I left confidently knowing that Victoria House and Belize was the perfect fit for our wedding. I considered it an auspicious sign when I shared my taxi to the airport with a couple that had returned to Victoria House for their 10-year wedding anniversary.
Islands and Cayes
The day of our wedding was an absolute dream. In the morning, I watched friends and family from my suite as they laughed and caroused in the pool. Seeing everyone together relaxed and enjoying themselves, I realized that my special day was actually the perfect excuse to plan an unofficial family reunion in the form of a wedding! In fact, many of our friends and family who traveled from Los Angeles and New York City extended their vacations to explore the ancient Maya Ruins scattered throughout Belize. The day went off without a single hitch. Fresh tropical flowers peppered the beach path, and tables were set with the utmost care and precision. The ceremony had many of us in tears and the reception left many of us with laughs and memories the following day. Needless to say, it was an absolute success. One of my favorite memories was when my husband and I got to share in a quiet moment together. We sought shelter during a brief rain shower and danced under the sweet gazebo located at the end of Victoria Houseâ€™s dock. The excitement by no means ended after the wedding! Our honeymoon was spent exploring the ATM caves, marveling at birds and butterflies at the Crooked Tree National Park, and dipping in waterfalls within the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.
Photos: Leonardo Melendez
Islands and Cayes
Photo: © Benedict Kim, All rights reserved
Cayo, geographically the largest district in Belize, encompasses an approximate 2,000 square miles of rolling hills, sweeping farmland, lush river valleys, and rugged mountain ridges covered in a sub-tropical jungle. Thanks to Mother Nature’s 20 million years of sculpting landscapes you can witness spectacular waterfalls, winding rivers, explore limestone caves, learn about our diverse collection of flora and fauna, and experience wonders such as our inland blue hole. Cayo is also home to two of Belize’s largest Maya sites, Xunantunich and Caracol, as well as smaller sites such as Cahal Pech and El Pilar. Over 60% of Cayo has been declared either a wildlife sanctuary, national park or natural reserve. The remainder, which includes the new capital – Belmopan, the sister towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio, and the Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout – is considered productive cultivated farmland and why the west is locally referred to as the ‘breadbasket’ of the country. Dairy, livestock, and organic produce for both export and local consumption emerge primarily from the farming communities in the west. Whether you decide to visit the local farmer’s market on a Saturday morning or dine out at some of Cayo’s hotspots, you’re sure to be exposed to truly fresh ingredients and enjoy meals of unmatched quality.
The art of cheesemaking born in ancient Egyptian civilizations almost 5,000 years ago, has since worked its way into countries across the globe; becoming a multi million-dollar industry in the U.S. and flourishing in many European countries. Belize has been no exception, as numerous local dairy and cheese producers have found success in the industry. Artisan cheesemaking, a sort of niche extension of the craft, however, is much more recent. It involves producing small batches of cheese by hand using traditional craft methods, which result in a product more complex in taste, that starkly contrasts the mild flavors of mass-produced cheeses. Although an art form that has seen growth within the past 10 years, in Belize, artisan cheesemaking was practically unheard of until 2012, when Mr. Ian Anderson decided to make it his new hobby. Anderson, a respected pioneer in the tourism industry, credited as being the first tour operator to establish cave tubing in the country, has always been driven by his untamed sense of adventure and a limitless supply of enthusiasm as he relentlessly undertakes various projects and hobbies: the latest of which is making fine artisan cheeses. Outside of work at his adventure jungle lodge, Ian is somewhat of a professional hobbyist. He delights in exploring various pursuits that tend to pop up quite sporadically, whether it’s producing his own line of soaps (which, by the way, now retails to hotels across the country), probiotic drinks or butter. Unsurprisingly, when his staff learnt of his new plan to venture into the world of cheese, they were more than excited to see where this novel idea would lead. So Ian packed his bags, traveled to Vermont and attended a beginner’s class and thereafter
an advanced level course in cheesemaking. Upon returning to Belize, Ian met with Claribel to relay his recently acquired knowledge. Claribel, who I had the pleasure of meeting during my tasting has been Ian’s right hand for many years enthusiastically working with him on his various projects. She regaled stories of the cheese tour across Belize and of her travels to New York, where she got first hand experience in cheese on an international level. Two months after their formal introduction to cheesemaking, Ian and Claribel were putting their newfound knowledge to the test. Six months into production, unsure of exactly how things were going, Ian invited Dr. Larry Faillace, lead artisan cheesemaker and instructor from ‘Three Shepherds Cheese’ in Vermont to come down and offer assistance in quality control. Now, Larry visits Belize twice a year to teach cheesemaking courses to cheese fans and enthusiasts from countries all over the world. Guests travel to Belize from Bolivia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Barbados, the U.S., and the U.K. to combine a vacation in the tropics with learning this unique trade. The Cheese House also offers complimentary cheese tastings for lodge guests and as a day trip for visitors (at a small fee), can then enjoy the facilities at the lodge for the rest of
the day. With assistance from Dr. Faillace, Ian, Claribel, and the rest of the team have been able to consistently produce 12 different types of cheeses. Cheesemaking, while a labor and time intensive trade, consists of four basic ingredients - milk, rennet (the enzyme that curdles the milk), an organic culture, and salt. In The Cheese House, a typical day starts with fresh milk at 6:00 AM and by 7:30 the production of their various cheeses is fully underway. After production, the cheese is stored in an air-conditioned room and aged for periods ranging from three months to two years, and even during this aging period, the cheeses are tended to almost on a daily basis. Cheese wheels must be flipped periodically, and some are hand polished with a salt brine at least twice a week, which adds to the rich flavor. The production line has global influence: Italian Spressa (a relative of parmesan), Old Braybander (a Germanic cheese), Trappis (created by Trappists monks), Greek Feta, and of course, the famous bleu cheese - Mr. Stinky. During a typical cheese tasting session, one tries six types of cheese, some of which are of the same variety at different stages in the aging process; for example, you may get to try a Spressa that has been aged for three months in comparison with one that has been aged for 12 months. Cheese tasting may not be a travel itinerary option as popular as the Blue Hole or Caye Caulker – Belize is not, by any means, known for its dairy and cheese industry. However, it is one of the newest additions to the list of hidden gems and offbeat experiences that Belize offers its visitors. These course offerings and tastings, combined with the participation of Ian’s cheese in international competitions, mark very real progress in both the culinary and tourism industries in our little country.
Looking for a friendly, laid back place to grab a bite to eat while in Belmopan? Look no further than Pasquale’s Pizzeria! We are constantly testing new products to make sure we are serving you only the best pizza, pasta, subs, salads, burgers and wings around.
CUISINE Italian RESTAURANT HOURS Monday - Saturday 11AM - 9PM Sunday 12PM - 9PM LOCATION Cor. Forest Drive and Slim Lane Belmopan HIGHLIGHTS Complimentary Wifi P: +501-822-4663 www.pasqualesbelize.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Revitalizing her father’s beloved cultural landmark on Eve Street in Belize City that was established in 1984, Molly Doley continues to scoop out long time favourites and tantalizing new flavours at The Ice Cream Shoppe. Our additional location just parallel to the bustling Burns Avenue in San Ignacio Town, offers a high quality, delectable selection of craft ice cream. CUISINE Craft Ice Cream HOURS Monday to Thursday 11AM-8PM Friday to Sunday 11AM-10PM
LOCATION #24 West Street San Ignacio Town, Cayo HIGHLIGHTS Over 60 Rich Flavors Free Wi-Fi Refreshing Sorbets Alcohol Infused, Spirited Flavors Low-Fat & Reduced Sugar Options P: +501-634-6160 email@example.com
Ruins of Maya civilization Museum of Belize The Belize Zoo Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve The Inland Blue Hole Waterfall Exploration Hiking Trails Horseback Riding River Tours Zip-lining Caving Cave Tubing Bird Watching Jungle Survival Adventures Art and History Museums Local Markets ISLAND The Great Blue Hole The Barrier Reef The Hol Chan Marine Reserve Shark Ray Alley Mexico Rocks Whale Shark Sitings (seasonal) Scuba Diving Snorkeling Fishing Kayaking Sailing Parasailing Paddle boarding Jet Skiing Wind Surfing
GREEN PAPAYA AND JICAMA SALAD WITH SHRIMP, PEANUTS AND GINGER-LIME DRESSING
Placencia, Belize The Limilita beachside pop up
This South East Asian inspired salad features Belizean grown ingredients and is really like a slaw, julienne cut, light, crisp and refreshing. Perfect for a beach side day in Belize! Spice it up as much as you like with Marie Sharps! INGREDIENTS 2 cup julienne cut green or under-ripe papaya 1 cup julienne cut jicama 1 cup julienne carrots 24 medium poached shrimp, or 40 small ones 1/2 cup of freshly shelled, toasted, unsalted peanuts 1/2 cup of fresh chopped cilantro or a combination of mint, cilantro and holy basil 1 tsp sesame seeds
restaurant at Itz'ana Belize An incubator for fresh, new, Belizean culinary ideas. A taste of life to come at Itz'ana Resort and Residences (Opening late 2016) 4 Course Tasting Menu November 2015 to April 2016 By reservation only www.limilita.com
Dressing: 1/4 cup of lime juice 1 tbsp. fish sauce 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger 2 green onions, all of the white and the light green center coarsely chopped 1/2 cup of vegetable oil 1 tsp salt DIRECTIONS Dressing: Combine ginger and green onion in a bowl and cover with the salt. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan until almost smoking and then pour over the ginger and green onion. Scoop out the ginger and green onion and combine all ingredients except the warm oil in a blender. Puree the ingredients in the blender and add the oil in a slow stream to emulsify the dressing. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. In a bowl, combine the papaya, carrot, jicama, herbs, sesame seeds, shrimp, half of the peanuts and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Mix well. Chill for at least 10 minutes after dressing the salad. Place in chilled serving bowls and top with the remaining peanuts. Makes 4 portions
BUILDING A NEW BELIZEAN CUISINE
Photos Courtesy: Limilita Pop-up Restaurant
What is Belizean cuisine? While the country of Belize is tucked into a corner of Latin America, it’s British colonial history and low population make it feel distinctly different, even from it’s lively and populous Latin neighbors Guatemala and Mexico. The influence of The Caribbean undoubtedly affects the way all Belizean’s eat, with staples such as rice and beans found on restaurant and family tables throughout the country, yet, Belize is not exactly Caribbean either. Perhaps the best way to describe Belizean cuisine is a “mash up.” It is a combination of Belizean cultures, traditions, flavors, local ingredients and taste preferences shaped by it’s rich and diverse history. A small local marketplace without major grocers or fast food chains, a local population that grows, fishes, gleans and purchases from these small local shops and restaurants almost daily, along with the influence of dried, tinned and processed convenience foods which do not require refrigeration have all played a role in shaping the way the country eats. As tourism has grown, so too has Belize’s awareness of international ingredients and along with it a desire to serve these dishes to guests. Availability of imported products have given visitors access to typical choices which can be found anywhere in the world, from main courses served with imported potatoes, broccoli and
carrots to the ubiquitous balsamic vinegar reduction and cheesecake with squeezeable chocolate sauce made in the U.S. from Ivory Coast cacao. However, scratch beneath the surface and you will find a treasure of exotic local ingredients to color the palate of an emerging Belizean cuisine. With culinary tourism on the rise, today’s travelers are seeking an authentic experience that gives a taste of the destination. Escaping from colder climes and heavy winter foods to a country brimming with fresh tropical flavors appeals to locavores and health conscious eco-travelers. Discovering a new flavor or food in it’s place of origin is very exciting for today’s “foodie”. Historically, the arrival of new cultures brought culinary influences which can be seen throughout the country. The Garifuna people, descendants of African slaves from the island of St. Vincent, settled in coastal fishing communities such as Dangriga, Hopkins and Punta Gorda. Here you will find traditional dishes such as Serre, a delicious fish soup made with coconut milk and served with what the Garifuna call “ground foods”, root vegetables such as cassava, sweet potato and yams, and hudut, a mixture of ripe and green plantain that is pounded and combined in a method which can be traced back its to African roots.
The bulk of Belizean produce comes from the productive district of Cayo. With a distinctly Hispanic feel this district has the best produce market in the country, in the colorful bustling little town of San Ignacio. This is Belize’s cowboy country, where the rolling hills are dotted with heat tolerant cattle breeds such as Brahman as well as the now popular Angus. Belize is more or less self sufficient in meat that is lean and healthy, although usually a little tougher. Surprisingly to visitors, it is the Mennonites who are the largest and most productive farmers in Belize, producing roughly 90% of the country’s poultry and eggs and most of the corn used for animal feed. The Mennonite presence is seen throughout Belize and while many have embraced modern equipment and production methods the image of a traditional Mennonite with a horse-drawn buggy brimming with watermelon is iconically Belizean. Further south, the Toledo District still remains fairly isolated but is without a doubt one of the most interesting regions for culinary ingredients. Toledo boasts the largest population of Maya in Belize, dispersed mainly in small, authentic Maya villages where local language, culture and agricultural methods are still practiced. Fire hearth cooking with local breeds of chicken and pigs, indigenous flavorings such as achiote, habanero and culantro are central to the traditional dishes of caldo, pibil and tamales. The indigenous cacao tree with it’s football shaped fruit which yields dark brown seeds used to make chocolate is widely grown in Toledo. With a growing artisan bean to bar chocolate industry in the U.S. and Europe and increased attention in Belize to drying and fermenting techniques, organic Belizean chocolate is making a name for itself internationally, giving Toledo a much needed economic boost using a highly sustainable, locally owned agro-forestry model. From cacao farm tours to chocolate making classes it is possible for the visitor to Belize to participate in a variety of bean to bar chocolate experiences.
East Indians are also well represented in Toledo. Their descendants arrived as indentured workers in the mid-late 1800s and when yellow fever scared and killed off many U.S. confederate settlers the East Indians took over much of their farm land, growing rice, cane and other crops. Here you will find dishes seasoned with turmeric, which they call “yellow ginger”, dal roti made with beans and a whole wheat flour tortilla dough, and uniquely flavored East Indian tamales, a true cultural hybrid. At the Spice Farm in Golden Stream, guests can see vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper growing. The largest concentration of dining experiences can be found in the busy oceanfront resorts of Placencia and San Pedro. This healthy competition finds the best chefs pushing the boundaries of what the cuisine can be. Belizean classics can be deconstructed and reworked with the greatest respect for quality local ingredients and attention to techniques. Increasing agricultural capacity and supporting smaller farms, willing to experiment with different seeds and varieties mean easy to grow ingredients like arugula can find it’s way onto the Belizean table. Belize is equatorial, and looking to see what is grown and cooked in other equatorial places in the world will give us an expanded repertoire without sacrificing regionality. Perhaps the most necessary ingredient to help develop Belizean cuisine to it’s full potential is pride and respect for what is grown right here. It is important to remember a Belizean’s local ingredient is a visitor’s exotic one. Developing a narrative for Belizean ingredients that draws on the local knowledge of farmers and hospitality industry staff and celebrates the arrival of seasonal specialties with festivals such as Crooked Tree’s Cashew Festival, Punta Gorda’s Cacao Festival and the Mango Fest in Hopkins builds both demand and capacity for local ingredients. Wherever your travels in Belize may take you, be curious and seek out the unique local flavors, you won’t be disappointed!
Mara Jernigan is a Canadian born chef, farmer and environmentalist who has spent 4 years managing and developing local cuisine in Belize. 65
Photo: © Benedict Kim, All rights reserved
Geographically, the south is almost an extension of the western region of the country as it similarly boasts magnificent landscapes, natural wonders, and untouched national parks and reserves. In the south, similarly to the west, you can bear witness to rolling mountain ranges, visit caves, waterfalls and historical Maya sites. The great disparity, however, lies in that in addition to it’s breathtaking interior world, the south is bordered to the east by the Caribbean Sea. This one element is responsible for much of the character that you will find in the south. It has facilitated laid-back fishing communities perfect for backpackers, fostered high-end beach resorts and developments, and has welcomed a wide cross-section of immigrants. The towns and villages in the south are home to the Maya (Ke’etchi & Mopan), the Garifuna (who sailed here from St. Vincent in 1802), East Indians, Creole, and many internationals from across the world who made their home here in Belize. Some of the more visited tourist areas in the south include the Placencia Peninsula, Dangriga, Hopkins and Punta Gorda. This unique blend of people and cultures in combination with the fact that the south has lived for many years in quiet isolation preserving their heritage is enough to justify why the south is referred to as the country’s “culture capital.” The south makes for the perfect hub from which to explore all the many facets of Belize – mainland, marine, and most importantly people and culture.
CRISP SKIN YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER FILLET WITH ROASTED TOMATO CASSAVA ROOT, COCONUT BASIL & YELLOW GINGER BROTH INGREDIENTS:
Yellowtail snapper fillet, skin on 2 whole, large Cassava 3 pounds Coconut milk, canned 1 can Fresh turmeric, peeled, grated 1 root Tomato 1 pound Basil 6 leaves Coconut oil 6 tablespoons Olive oil 4 tablespoons Salt to taste Pepper to taste Habanero, whole 2 each Cilantro 1 small bunch Onion 1 large Water 2 cups Bay leaf 2 each Carrot 1 large Celery 2 stalks
DIRECTIONS: 1. Remove the scales from the fish, fillet and debone leaving the skin intact. Reserve the head and bones for the broth. 2. Cut the tomato in quarters, arrange on a baking sheet and season with olive oil, black pepper, salt and 3 basil leaves. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. 3. Peel cassava, cut into 1â€? pieces and boil in salted water until soft. 4. For the coconut and yellow ginger broth, bring 2 cups of water to a gentle simmer; add the fish head and bones, bay leaf, carrot, celery and half of the onion. Cook for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid and discard the bones. To this flavored liquid, add the coconut milk, onion, cilantro, fresh basil, habanero peppers and grated yellow ginger. Season with salt and pepper and keep on low heat. 5. In a cast iron skillet, heat the coconut oil until very hot. Season the fish fillet with salt and black pepper and sear skin side down for 5 minutes. Do not turn the fish until the skin is crisp and golden brown. Turn over the fish and reduce the heat to low. 6. In the same skillet with the fish, add the boiled cassava, coconut and yellow ginger broth. Let everyone introduce themselves. 7. To plate, place three pieces of cassava and roasted tomato in a large soup bowl, ladle the coconut and yellow ginger broth and place the yellowtail skin side up.
RESTAURANT HOURS The Mare Restaurant Breakfast 7AM - 10AM Lunch Noon - 3PM Dinner 6PM - 9:30PM Auntie Lubas and Gauguin Grill require reservations, please call ahead. Ph: 011-501-523-3244 Toll Free: 800-746-3743 E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org Attire: Barefoot Elegant LOCATION Main Road, Placencia Peninsula, Stann Creek District
With its friendly, attentive staff, three restaurants, a rejuvenating spa and idyllic seafront setting, Turtle Inn is a perfect refuge for those seeking a stress-relieving getaway.
The Mare Restaurant
Fresh seafood and traditional Italian cooking come together at Turtle Inn's flagship restaurant.Our changing daily menu offers such dishes as ceviche and gazpacho, fish cooked in a sea-salt crust and a selection of pizzas made to order in our wood-burning oven. The Mare offers a relaxed dining experience beneath the towering vaulted thatch roof, with incredible views out to sea.
The Gauguin Grill
Our beachfront restaurant features fresh, charcoal - grilled seafood including lobster, jumbo shrimp and snapper all served on woven plates. Tables are set just a few feet from the sea giving fantastic views of the offshore cayes and starry night sky.
Other Restaurants and Bars include: Auntie Luba's Kitchen The Laughing Fish Bar Skip White Bar
This beachfront bistro provides a casual setting for creative, thoughtfully prepared contemporary dishes derived from Belizean and other Caribbean cuisines. Chefs John Lee, Mary Kay Bader and their team have built a seafood-focused menu that creatively incorporates Belizeâ€™s other delightful raw ingredients, including meats, fruits and vegetables -- not shying away from spice and inventive flavor combinations. While the dinner menu is the main attraction, the Bistro is also open for breakfast and lunch.
P: +501-533-8040 www.mayabeachhotel.com email@example.com
MENU ITEMS PUMPKIN-COCONUT-GREEN CHILI SOUP LOBSTER BREAD PUDDING SHRIMP-STUFFED SQUID HONEY-COCONUT RIBS LOBSTER GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH CACAO PORK CHOP GRILLED SHRIMP WITH COUSCOUS SALAD NUT-ENCRUSTED FISH FILET, WATERMELON CURRY SAUCE COCONUT-BANANA CREAM PIE
CUISINE Contemporary Caribbean RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 7AM - 9PM LOCATION Maya Beach Placencia, Stann Creek HIGHLIGHTS Beachfront Property Casual Atmosphere Vegetarian Options Extensive Wine List Easily Accessible from Placencia Village
CURRY AND COCONUT SOUP WITH POACHED SNAPPER INGREDIENTS: 8 ounces red snapper filet 1 small onion 4 cloves garlic 1 inch section of ginger 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder 1 teaspoon curcuma 1 teaspoon cumin 2 tablespoons flour 1/2 cup fresh orange juice 1/2 cup coconut milk 1/2 cup coconut cream 2 quarts chicken stock 1 stalk lemon grass 1 stick cinnamon 2 pieces star anise 1 tablespoon crushed cilantro seed 1 piece orange “nailed” with 8 cloves Coconut Oil: for sautéing Habanero Pepper: to taste (be careful)
DIRECTIONS 1. Dice and Sauté the vegetables in a stock pot and let them simmer for about 10 minutes. They should become slightly browned. Add the curry spices and continue to simmer for 5 more minutes, then add the flour and cook for 5 more minutes. Pour in the liquids while stirring with a whisk; make sure all the lumps from the flour are gone. 2. Tie a bunch of the lemon grass and hang it in the soup then add the cinnamon stick, star anise and crushed cilantro seeds. This is the time to add your habanero pepper if you prefer a spicy version of the soup. 3. Take one orange and stick 8 cloves in it, then place it in the soup. Allow to boil for at least half hour and then strain the broth. 4. Slice the fish filet in very thin slices and place them uncooked in 6 heated soup plates, pour the very hot soup on the fish and serve immediately.
Barefoot Bar is known for stiff drinks, tasty food and good times! We have a large menu including specialty burgers, nachos, quesadillas and much more, all created with fresh ingredients using our original recipes.There's almost always something brewing up at Barefoot with live music several days a week and great drink features. Don't miss Barefootâ€™s after hours spot The Street Feet Lounge and Night Club - Placencia's only nightclub! Bringing in Belize's Best DJ's and throwing the best dance parties around!
CUISINE Caribbean, Latin American RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 11AM - Midnight LOCATION On the Beach Placencia, Stann Creek HIGHLIGHTS Centrally Located Beachside Live Music and Themed Parties
P: +501-523-3515 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chabil Mar Resort gives new meaning to "Table with a view, please!" Al Fresco Style Dining. Our entire property is your kingdom. You choose where you want to dine â€“ no walls, no roof, open-air-freedom to choose at ...
The Guest Exclusive Resort Placencia, Belize. of
Placencia Peninsula Road Placencia, Belize Central America 1-866-417-2377 www.chabilmarvillas.com
Welcome to our unique luxury resort catering to locals and visitors alike, who seek to enjoy the very best in life. Experience amazing sunrises, the Caribbean Sea breeze and breathtaking views. Our restaurant is Trip Advisor recognized for amazing ambiance and delicious dishes, which include eggs benedict, beef burgers, steaks, prime rib and our famous New York cheesecake. All our homemade sauces are made with fresh ingredients from our gardens at Mariposa.
CUISINE International RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 9AM - 9PM LOCATION Main Street Placencia, Stann Creek HIGHLIGHTS Unobstructed Ocean Views Open - Air & Indoor Dining
P: +501-523-4474 www.mariposabelizebeach.com email@example.com
We're located right on the beach and have the BEST view from our 2nd floor deck! Don't miss our New Year's Eve, Superbowl, Easter & Garifuna Settlement Day Parties! We are the perfect spot to host your company party, family day, teacher's day & school trip! For groups, please call or email for pricing. CUISINE Belizean, American and Caribbean RESTAURANT HOURS Sunday - Wednesday 11AM - Midnight Thursday - Saturday 11AM - 2AM LOCATION Beachside Placencia, Stann Creek HIGHLIGHTS Beachside Location Free Wi-Fi Beach Volleyball Gift Shop
P: +501-523-3089 www.tipsytunabelize.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Two words, that together are enough to entice almost anyone to escape their everyday routine, because it really doesn’t get much better than flowing through Vinyasa while embracing the natural beauty of Belize. Photo: Leonardo Melendez
As wellness travel is currently gaining popularity, you will find yoga vacations popping up all over the world. It’s never been easier to combine the experience of traveling through Belize with yoga sessions at various locations – on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, deep in the rainforests, or at an ancient Maya archaeological site. This combination of travel and yoga provides physical, mental, and spiritual exploration and growth while still allowing plenty of personal time for adventures and relaxation; the makings of a profound and possibly life changing experience. Yoga, which means to ‘unite’ and ‘connect’ describes a union between mind, body, and soul. It originated in India over 5,000 years ago, and although it is commonly thought of as a physical practice – Yoga is so much more – it’s a discipline, a philosophy, and a way of life that is believed to be the path to healing, spiritual growth, and enlightenment. Practicing yoga, in fact, has been linked to an endless list of health benefits such as stress and pain relief, improved breathing, strength, flexibility, weight loss, improved circulation, enhanced concentration, better posture, and more energy. There are many different studios throughout Belize that offer various types of yoga. Find one that resonates and connects with you, and you will be glad you did. The relationships and bonds that are created in yoga classes are beautiful and last a lifetime. We often hear expressions such as “living in the moment,” “being here and now,” “taking life as it comes’’ and ‘’the power of NOW.’’ That’s truly what yoga teaches us. To just be. To be present, aware, connected, and conscious. Through our breathing and our asanas, we remind ourselves we are Here and Now, and completely whole just as we are. The yoga path is a life-long journey that allows us to live a peaceful, healthy, and balanced life. It is my belief that Belize is the ideal place to eat right, feel good, breathe deep, and dive into the beautiful, life-transforming practice that is YOGA. I encourage anyone who has never tried it, to give themselves this incredible gift. Written by Aline Habib, Director and Yoga enthusiast, Wild Orchid Belize, Placencia, Belize email@example.com | www.wildorchidbelize.com
Stay true to yourself and all the answers will unfold, as all the answers are within you, not around us. Learn yogic tools for success. Remember your yogic tool belt is always with you, and it’s all in the practice. It takes time to cultivate each tool and then sharpen with dedication and devotion in all earnestness. - Kirsten Miglio - Owner & Certified yoga instructor of Ak’Bol, San Pedro 76
Experience the Caribbean the way nature intended. Hatchet Caye is a private island resort that offers an unspoiled environment for an unforgettable tropical experience. The Lionfish Grill offers unique menu items cooked with local produce (some of which are grown in our own organic island garden!) and the freshest seafood - Lionfish included!
CUISINE International Belizean RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 7AM - 9PM LOCATION Hatchet Caye Island 18 miles off the coast of Placencia, Stann Creek HIGHLIGHTS Extensive Aquamarine Wildlife Cozy Atmosphere Freshwater Pool P: +501-533-4446 / 523-3337 www.hatchetcaye.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick’s Café uses all high-end ingredients for its menu such as imported olive oils, Italian semolina pastas and imported cheeses. Their pizza dough is hand-kneaded daily and cold risen overnight, and all breads are baked on premise. All dressings, sauces and spice rubs are created in the kitchen and fish is always fresh – never frozen. Chef Rick uses imported USDA steaks and the highest quality local meats, and his lettuce mix is hydroponically grown in Belmopan. It all costs a bit more to make, but you will notice the difference.
The Sea Front Inn Come, rest, relax and be refreshed as you enjoy the gorgeous sea view from our verandas, peaceful atmosphere, comfortable clean rooms, garden courtyard and amazing food at Boneville Cafe with fresh pastries, coffee’s, burgers and more!
CUISINE Cafe & Bakery CUISINE International RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 11AM - 9:30PM LOCATION Placencia Village Sidewalk, Stann Creek HIGHLIGHTS Cool outdoor deck located along the famous Placencia Sidewalk overlooking the beach P: +501-666-8466 email@example.com
RESTAURANT HOURS Daily: 7AM - 9PM LOCATION #4 Front Street Punta Gorda Town, Toledo HIGHLIGHTS Seaside Location Themed Hotel Rooms Parking Available Hotel: +501-722-2300 Cafe: +501-669-3299 www.seafrontinn.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Growing up in close proximity to the ocean and having easy access to islands or aquatic adventures is more than enough to turn anyone into an avid lover of the sea ... or in my case, an aspiring mermaid. In Belize we know of this deep affinity for sandy beaches, salt water, and sunshine all too well, being afforded the incomparable luxury that is life in a country bordered by the Caribbean Sea. It’s quite normal for locals to spend free time occupied with various marine-related activities; sailing, fishing, diving, windsurfing to name a few. So when my mom told me she had booked a sailing trip for a group of friends and family to celebrate her birthday it seemed like a pretty run-of-the-mill plan. While I was more than happy to ask for a day off and eager to spend a weekend on the sea, I can honestly say that I was not expecting the unparalleled experience that the captain and crew of Ragga Empress gave me that weekend. I flew out to Caye Caulker at 7AM on a Friday, and by 10AM that morning Ragga Empress had set sail and we all had our first rum and coke of the weekend in hand. The catamaran, which was equipped with storage space for our luggage, bathroom facilities, tons of lounge space, and pantries full of snacks (and alcohol), was being operated by the entertaining Captain Jerry and his crew – Shane & Sherwin. Aboard the boat there were about 20 of us, which consisted of our group of rowdy local Belizeans, two couples from the UK, and a group of friends from Australia. Our three days were spent quietly sailing through waters that seemed to change its blue hues much like a chameleon – from azure to indigo to turquoise and back. Everyone spent their days occupied in their own way: reading, sun bathing, fishing or getting to know one another over a couple drinks, while reggae beats pumped from the sailboat’s speakers. Twice each day we would stop off at different locations and were given the option of hopping off to snorkel, spearfish, or enjoy a brief swim. Our daily stops included popular islands such as Goff’s Caye and Southwater Caye as we made our way towards Placencia. Each night we would dock (and camp) on a different island; Friday night was spent on the uninhabited Rendezvous Caye while Saturday night we made camp on Tobacco Caye, a small island about 10 miles
east of Dangriga. While it is by no means developed to the level of, for example, Caye Caulker, it is the location of at least three small hotels, (drumroll please) two bars and Wi-Fi. Safe to say, we all slept much better on the second night than we did on the first! The following day the party continued as we celebrated our final day aboard the sailboat right up until we docked at the marina in Placencia. It was only as we said goodbyes to newfound friends that any of us started to realize what was perhaps one of the most phenomenal adventures any of us had ever had was finally at an end. While it’s totally possible that alcohol is to blame for leaving us with overly sentimental memories feeding into our nostalgia, it’s also quite possible that James Jones, who along with his wife Charlie, established Raggamuffin Tours back in 2002, has found a formula for happiness. There is not a particular activity or moment that stands out more so than the others from that weekend, although almost drowning while trying to figure out how to speargun would make a better story than an afternoon sun tanning. Rather, it’s the merging of the many experiences you have over these 3 days, as a whole, that creates the mark left on those of us who have taken part in this voyage: it’s in meeting new people, relaxing as you sail the ocean, the time you spent in peaceful introspection, the thrill of fishing or diving into the extensive marine life that exists beneath the underbelly of the waves. It’s the happy balance of experiences that are both pushing you out of your comfort zone and forcing you to marvel at life around you. This voyage demands you enter a space of complete relaxation, freedom, and good vibes as you experience life as it is meant to be.
Wil Maheia Anett Zlotorzycki
Photo Courtesy: Belcampo Lodge
Southern Coast Belize has many valuable traditions in agriculture and self-sustenance in close connection with its fertile land. Over decades, for places like the Maya communities in Southern Belize, traditional agriculture has been a key component in community building and survival. Similarly, Belcampo Belize, a lodge located in the district of Toledo, has fostered a sense of community through its dedication to developing long-lasting economic stability in the south by way of agriculture and to adopting the most suitable practices for both the people and the land. Belcampo was built on lands that date back to the Classic Maya period -- around 600 AD -- when the Maya people used the Rio Grande river as an important transportation route to the sea. In 2005, Todd Robinson purchased a fishing lodge, previously named El Pescador and renamed it Machaca Hill Lodge. During this time, the simple rustic fishing lodge underwent extensive improvements, transforming the lodge into a luxury resort with a variety of river and inland adventures. As an avid marine conservationist, Todd became involved in the southern region and aided in the purchase of more than 45,000 acres of rainforest together with the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE). In 2009, Belcampo CEO Anya Fernald partnered with Robinson to establish Belcampoâ€™s on-site organic farm, currently producing cane, cacao, coffee and vanilla, and also provides lodge visitors with agri-tourism programs that allow them to immerse themselves in local agriculture â€“ crops native to the region and sustainable farming methods practiced in Belize. In just a few short years, Belcampo Belize has grown from pioneering ideas of sustainable food production and agri-tourism to an award-winning, world-class destination welcoming discerning travelers from around the globe. The Belcampo philosophy is based on traditional, natural agricultural practices, which are the most beneficial for Belize and its ecosystems mainly because they are intuitive and doable practices. Traditional agriculture represents the original method of farming that has developed over time through the relationships formed between people and their environment. It involves the use of local knowledge and natural resources supporting biological diversity using alternating practices. In Belize, one example is known as milpa or shifting cultivation. The method of crop rotation, which is key to sustain bountiful harvests, makes sure that the land remains fertile for future growing seasons and that the soil is not depleted of water
and nutrients. Similarly, terraces are a customary method in Maya communities where they use ridges to plant crops in layers on the edges of hills and mountains. Raised field farming is also another practice that supports better water retention and nutrient flow on crops. Traditional Belizean farmers have focused on practices that support soil fertility, prevent the loss of topsoil, use organic composting methods, hold water in the soil and produce consistent harvests. These farms typically rely on a community of farmers and residents all working together to tend to the food gardens completing tasks that include weeding, tilling the soil, mixing in organic compost made from food scraps and animal manure, and of course, harvesting. There is no reliance on technology and heavy machinery to do the work but instead only the use of simple tools and local creativity.
Belizean cuisine is culturally complex like the Belizeans themselves, with influences from the Maya, Mestizo, East Indian, Creole, Mexican and Garifuna Cultures. In order to provide an authentic experience of Belizean flavor to Belcampo guests, creative meals are based almost entirely on ingredients from their own farm. Also using only local, humanely raised meats and raising their own hogs and pastured poultry, the Lodge produces more than 70% of the food they serve to guests on-site; quite an accomplishment, especially since itâ€™s produced through the exclusive use of these sustainable farming practices. With extensive gardens, tropical fruit trees, and livestock, day-to-day food production is a hive of activity year round. At the Jungle Farm Restaurant, food is prepared fresh, light and vegetable driven with minimal cooking allowing the tropical flavors to shine and accentuate the taste of dishes with citrus, fresh herbs, locally pressed, unrefined coconut oil, and as much organic produce as can be harvested daily from the gardens.
Photo Courtesy: Belcampo Lodge
Organic farming, which has worked for centuries, can continue to work best for both the people and environment in Belize. While our country has no shortage of experiences with more modern farming practices that prefer to rely on technology and machinery, utilize pesticides and GMO’s that produce non-organic crops, this modernization of agriculture threatens the special traditional practices that for generations have been valued and practiced throughout Belize. It is important to become involved in protecting the health of this beautiful country through simple activities such as buying local livestock and produce instead of imported food products; supporting small businesses, and visiting local markets and organic farms such as Belcampo. Sustainability means making sure that the environmental, social, and economic factors are livable as well as efficient for both the short and long term of the people and other inhabitants in the area. The original practices that made Belize the incredible country it is today can be easily
sustained in the modern world. By doing our part, we can all find strength in good quality food grown locally and organically for years to come. To experience the culinary wonders of Belize first hand – Belcampo guests have the opportunity to be part of a “Belize Culinary Adventure,” offering a variety of options for travelers. For the chocolate enthusiast, explore the Flavor Garden to see, taste and smell the diverse range of tropical flavors that can be custom blended during a one day chocolate course. You can also engage in different farm to table cooking workshops; enjoy a snorkeling excursion while the crew dives for conch, lobster, crab and possibly lionfish; sip tropical cocktails and enjoy lunch on the river boat; learn the art of fish filleting as the fresh catch of the day is prepared, followed by a seafood-style BBQ; roast your own coffee, returning home with a custom coffee blend or delight in authentic Belizean meals featuring organic ingredients from the Belcampo Farm.
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Flavors of Belize's 5th anniversary edition is packed with all the information you would need when traveling to Belize - accommodations, res...
Published on Jul 17, 2015
Flavors of Belize's 5th anniversary edition is packed with all the information you would need when traveling to Belize - accommodations, res...