Mango Mania Winners 2 Years in a Row! (PI Eagle)
Local restaurants take home top prizes at MangoMania
By MARIANNE PATON, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sweeping the professional category during this year’s MangoMania food contest were two Pine Island restaurants, Miceli’s Italian Restaurant in Matlacha and Island Grill in the Winn-Dixie shopping center. Taking first prize in the entree competition, Miceli’s presented the judges with a dish they call Bada Bing Shrimp with Mango Slaw. According to co-owner, Vinny Miceli, this was the first time his establishment had entered the competition at MangoMania.
“Last year we were unable to participate in MangoMania because we had just opened the restaurant, but we will definitely be back again next year,” said Miceli. “MangoMania was good exposure for us and not only was it a great event, but it was very well orchestrated and ran well.”
Bada Bing Shrimp and Mango Slaw instantly became a big draw to the Miceli booth once the winners were announced.
“Right after we hung out our winning banner we became so busy we even ran out of mangos for the slaw and purchased more mangos from the vendors at the event to keep up with the demand.”
According to Miceli, Bada Bing Shrimp is a regular menu item and he plans to add the mango slaw to the menu in the near future.
Taking first place in both the appetizer and dessert categories as well as finishing second in the entree category, Ron Mattia of Island Grill was very pleased with his wins.
“We were very pleased to have our mango cream pie win again this year. We are also very happy to have won in the appetizer category and take second for entree since this is the first time we had entered in those categories,” said Mattia. “We plan to enter again next year and will be spending the coming months trying out new mango recipes just for MangoMania. I am also grateful to the support from island residents. It is because of them that we continue to be successful.”
The appetizer prepared by Mattia for the contest was Mango Gazpacho and his dessert, Mango Cream Pie is a regularly featured item on the Island Grill’s specials menu. The Island Grill second place entree was Mango Chicken Salad.
The amateurs registered in the food contest were eligible for prizes in several categories. The following are the winners of this year’s contest:
— Mango bread - Judy Covert of Cape Coral with Mango/banana bread with cream cheese frosting
— Mango Salsa - Omaida Hernandez of Florida City with Surfside Mango Salsa
— Mango Cookies/dessert - Deb Amrine of Fort Myers with Tropical Paradise — Mango Preserves/jellies - Tied were Robin, Heather, and Ellie Ramming of Bokeelia with Rammin’ Jam and Cynthia Welch of Paradise Gardens, St. James City with Mango Strawberry Preserves
— Mango Dressing/marinade - Cynthia Welch of Paradise Gardens, St. James City with Mango Mustard
Another well received contest is the competition for the World’s Largest Mango. This year’s winners were Gary and Donna Schneider who weighed in a Lancetilla mango that tipped the scales at 4.2 pounds.
Among the sponsors of MangoMania 2010 was Around the Clock Fitness Center who, during the two-day event, held a fund raiser to benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank.
“I would like to thank all of the supporters of MangoMania for their help in raising money for the Harry Chapin Food Bank,” John Phipps with the fitness center. “We raised enough for them to purchase over $1,500 worth of food for the local chapters.”
The fund raiser also included a raffle and the winner of the Grand Prize of a one-year free membership to Around the Clock Fitness Center was Sam Encleass of Cocoa Beach, second prize, a 6-month membership went to John Covert of Cape Coral and claiming the third place prize of a 3-month free membership was Elaine Williams of Lee County.
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