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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesBanco Popular’s Celebrity Chef Events Begin Thursday

Banco Popular’s Celebrity Chef Events Begin Thursday

Banco Popular wants to save you time and money every day except Thursday and Friday. On those days take as much time as you want.

Banco Popular promoted its second annual "Ultimate Flavors of the Islands" Wednesday afternoon at a press conference in its main branch in Frenchtown. The two-day event will feature several celebrity chefs who will cook for local residents on Thursday, donate their time to high school students Friday afternoon and then cook again Friday evening. The bank also spoke about its campaign to promote newly implemented or old services to remind its consumers how checking on your finances doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

The two-day cooking event starts Thursday and ends Friday. All proceeds from the event will go to the U.S.V.I. Department of Education Culinary Arts Program, said Antolín Velasco, Senior Vice President of Banco Popular’s Virgin Islands Region.

“(It’s) more than a dinner with delicious food, it is an experience,” Velasco said. “It offers a unique culinary experience and showcases the amazing talent of the chefs.”

The event starts on Thursday evening with "Dining With The Chefs." The chefs that are scheduled to make an appearance include Eric Greenspan, Mitch Copper, Roberto Treviño, David Benjamin, George Duran, Mario Pagán, Mathayom Vacharat, Miguel Michel, Roberto Hernández, Augusto Schreiner and Eric Burrell. A tasting event will take place Friday along with a "Chefs Challenge," where the winner will receive $1,000 in cash with second and third place receiving $500 and $250 respectively.

All events will take place at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. The purpose of the event is to showcase talent and lend a hand to the development of future culinary professionals, according to a Banco Popular press release. Tickets for the event are sold out, said Gabriela Maldonado, Banco Popular spokeswoman.

The bank decided to turn the one-day event into a two-day event after the reception it received last year, Velasco said. Maldonado said the process to prepare for the two-day event took six to seven months. The bank contacts all the chefs, signs contracts with them for their services, arranges their arrivals and accommodations.

Maldonado said the chefs will mentor local high school students on culinary tips Friday before the event starts. Maldonado said the event raised $10,000 in donations last year and she hopes to exceed that amount this year. State Director of the Office of Special Nutrition Programs Angela Frett supports the event and its impact on the area.

"I think this is something that will be extremely beneficial to the (culinary) program and the students," Frett said. "There’s a true profession behind it. Students need to know you’re not just a ‘cook.’ You can go really far with a culinary degree."

Banco Popular is emphasizing saving its clients time on a daily basis so consumers can spend the rest of their day doing other things. The bank recently announced same-day transaction services for all its clients, with withdrawals and deposits reflected immediately on physical or online bank statements.

Oran Bowry, Senior Vice President of Operations and Administration, said Banco Popular’s biggest change is the bank now offers ATMs specially equipped for the visually impaired where customers can use a voice prompt to pay bills, make deposits, transfer money or withdraw funds.

"The key is to simplify their lives," Bowry said.

The bank opened a branch in St. Croix last year and plans to expand to St. John soon, Velasco said. Velasco said the bank is considering offering image check deposits in the Virgin Islands, where clients can scan their checks and then deposit the amount. This service is already offered in Puerto Rico where Banco Popular is headquartered, he said.

"The functionality of our services should give our customers much needed flexibility," Velasco said. "If you’re on vacation sometimes you don’t have time to stand in line."

Banco Popular showed a new 30-second commercial titled "Create, Evolve and Build Something Special," which emphasized services such as Mi Banco Online, Mi Banco Mobile and TeleBanco. TeleBanco, or TeleBank, is the bank’s 24 hour automated phone service where clients can access their checking, savings and credit card accounts. Mi Banco Online is the bank’s interactive online banking service where clients can check their balances, make payments and see images of checks and deposits. Mi Banco Mobile is an interactive mobile application that mirrors Mi Banco Online. The app download is available for iPhones, Androids and iPods.

Maldonado said more than 250,000 iPhones and more than 190,000 Androids have downloaded Banco Popular’s mobile application. The apps are available in both English and Spanish.

Maldonado said most of the TV spot was filmed on location in the Virgin Islands, including footage of Bolongo Bay and Tickle’s Dockside Pub.

The commercial implores clients to utilize bank services for efficient time-management. Bowry said this theme will continue in June when Banco Popular will partner with the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority at the 2013 Housing Expo in St. Croix to give workshops on how to stay out of the foreclosure process. Popular Banco has five branches on St. Thomas, three branches on St. Croix, 20 ATMs and 20,000 clients in the Virgin Islands, Maldonado said.

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