September is definitely the most festive time to be in Belize, and Belizeans certainly know how to celebrate BIG! It’s the time when work slows down and everyone looks forward to the different patriotic events and colorful festivals celebrated countrywide. The entire country shows off their national colors – red,white and blue, and those living abroad come home as visitors flood the country join the month long festivities.
Archive for the ‘Local’ Category
If you’ve ever wanted to go back in time to see the way people once lived, get ready for the journey of a lifetime at Belize’s Barton Creek Cave! The scenic 60-minute drive to reach the cave is half the adventure: the trip allows you to experience two completely different cultures in one day.
Your first cultural experience starts as soon as you enter the Mennonite Community of Upper Barton Creek. A slow moving and ultra traditional group of people, the Mennonites still opt for horse-drawn buggies over motorized vehicles. This hardworking group of people are also credited with providing the local markets with much of its produce, grain and dairy.
We’re pretty famous for our attention to detail in our handcrafted cocktails. We create unforgettable drinks by infusing local spirits with fresh flavors from our organic garden. But you don’t have to fly down to the Frieze Lounge tonight to enjoy a taste of Belize!
We asked our head mixologist to share the recipe for one of our house favorites, a refreshing cooler known as “Edward the Cucumber”!
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
- 4 ounces ginger root, grated
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Mango Season is in full bloom right now in Belize, so we’re giving you the recipe for one of our favorite Ka’ana cocktails: the Mango-Jalapeño Margarita! Have a little taste of Belize at home!
Every culture has their own unusual ‘delicacies’ and Belizeans are no exception. Maybe due to the mix of cultures that settled here; the escaped Africans slaves as well as the German Mennonites, Maya (and more) over the years who brought their own customs and traditions. Mash that into one melting pot and you have a plethora of bizarre!
1. Meet the Gibnut or Paca, also affectionately known as the Royal Rat (since served to Queen Elizabeth II on her Belize visit some years ago). Many Belizeans will tell you its a must-try delicacy. Check out Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern gibnut feast here.
Carlota, Candy and Mirsa are our most pleasant (not to mention the loveliest) of our servers here at Ka’ana. I dodged them while they took a well-deserved break out by the fire deck. They were as always, happy to speak with me and definitely willing to pose for the camera
Do you have any specials you personally prefer from our menu?
Carlota: I love the glazed pork chops – the way these guys prepare it so juicy and tender makes your mouth water – its really good!
Candy: I love lobster – when its in season I will definitely always have it and recommend it.
Mirsa: I definitely love the shrimp-chorizo wrap, when I eat here this has always been a favorite and I always recommend to guests as well.
What do you guys love most about your job here at Ka’ana and what inspires you?
Carlota: well to tell the truth, I honestly love the natural beauty of the place. I love going about my work and hearing the birds singing early in the morning, the trees and nature in general; knowing that guests are enjoying it.
Candy: I love interacting with guests. I love serving them new things and seeing them enjoy it and knowing that I contribute to their happiness.
Mirsa: I love seeing guests happy as well,showing them what I can about my country and helping them to get the best experience ever really makes me happy.
Armando Cocom is an up-and-coming young chef in our kitchen. A local “boy” from the nearby Maya village of Succotz, only a couple miles down the road – he has been with Ka’ana almost from the onset. I caught up with him as he was preparing one of the new in-house specials and asked him a bit about what makes him tick.
How long have you been here at Ka’ana and how did you come about to your current position?
Well, I started out as a dishwasher when Ka’ana just opened in 2007, left for a short while, then returned and have been here ever since. To tell the truth I was just a regular kid that lived to play football in my village, I never really thought about what I wanted to do in life, but I realized I was growing up and had to find a job; this was actually my first job.
So how did you come about cooking?
Well, being here for a bit, I started observing what was going on around me – I noticed the other chefs and the preparation going on and I thought it was like “art” to see the food plated the way it was using all the ingredients grown right here in our organic garden – something that is not common at other resorts. Hearing the feedback from our guests was also very exciting and inspirational to me, so I started paying more attention. Pretty soon I was assisting and getting more involved.
What’s the most exciting part about your job?
The most exciting part about my job, honestly, (smiling shyly) is that I love what I do 101%! I never knew that I would find my life’s calling; I love being in the kitchen and being creative even when I am learning a new skill or technique. I am constantly training and learning – these days with Chef Jeff and its really great to work with him.
Is there anything that you personally helped to create that’s on our menu?
Actually I helped to come up with the concept of the layered tortillas recipe that I know is a crowd favorite.
Any advice to others who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Well of course, I would tell that if they find out that they really like to do what I do then to show their interest and go the extra mile to learn for themselves and train whenever possible and not to let anyone distract them from their dream. A special thanks to my bosses for taking an interest in this “village boy” and giving him an opportunity to excel!