Nice, great, ok and not-so-ok are the very common terms on my food posts. I’ve been trying so hard to add new terms on my food vocabulary since food is becoming a big part on this personal space of mine. But then as I try harder, the experience dies out more and more that it feels like a food social climbing thing rather than a nice food encounter. So here I go again, keeping it as simple as it can be. Let’s do a food review my way eh?
And my food critiquing skills went a notch higher when I was invited to be a Foodie-Blogger Judge at the third instalment of the Foodgasm event last August 31, 2013 at the Mercato Centrale in Bonifacio Global City (near MC Depot). The call time was 6:00 p.m. and we were there on the dot. We got acquainted with some of the judges and were briefed by the very enthusiastic UP EconSoc guys on what to expect on the event. Food bloggers were everywhere and I felt out-of-place for a few seconds. But after I had this feeling of familiarity with everything that was happening then I went back on the groove.
We were given a sheet of paper with the name of all the 30 participants and their dishes. We should numerically rate them on the basis of our own taste buds - 4 being the highest. We will also choose an overall winner and some special awardees. At the end of the food tasting, a team will tabulate all the scores to identify the champion.
At around 6:30 p.m., the judges were given time to walk around the food stalls before the expected 1,000 foodies were expected to arrive. We were not allowed to try the dishes yet so we took that time to click those shutters on the participants and their dishes.
Food stalls were strategically grouped; appetizers on one side, main dishes on the other side, liquid drinks on the corner and sweet stuff were on every corner of every area. I guess they couldn’t fit them all in just one area. Drinking water jugs were easily located and were always replenished. A few cocktail tables were spread around too.
At around 7:00 p.m. everything's set and everyone's ready as the hosts started the countdown for the most awaited food tasting event that night. And then the crowd went on to the food stalls to experience foodgasm in their own pace.
Everyone started to run towards the main dishes leaving us in the middle of the organized chaos. The impatient side of me directed itself on the dessert section tagging along my food buddies. The area was deserted and we loved it. We wiped out four stalls/sweet stuff in just a few minutes and that’s an achievement for a no-sweet-tooth person like me. Leslie’s farmer John Potato chips was my savior for that moment. It cleansed our palate after every sweet stuff.
We opted to rate each dish on the score sheet as we get to taste it. In that way, we wouldn't be barged with opinions and comments from everyone. And to not forget the taste and the feeling afterwards. We were dead serious about it.
|Monster Butter Cookie Flavor|
I remembered it being sweet
|Marshmallow Spread by Shmallows|
I am so not digging this one
I didn't even finish the small serving
|Cupcakes by Shawie Bakes|
Not a fan
|Redamon by the Cupcake Dealer|
Just your typical frosted cupcake
|Belgian Chocolate Bites by Twisted Desserts|
One bite is enough for me though
|Sampaloc Sorbet by Pepito's Pinoy Sorbet|
I heard it was really nice
I didn't get to taste it :(
|our savior from sweet stuff|
One of my favorites from the sweet section was the Blueberry Cheesecake from Eve’s Cakes and Sweets. The shaved almond (or cashew?) nuts fused in the crust was very refreshing and new to me. It gave that unique texture on the cake. Hmm… Am I sounding a legit foodie to you now huh? Well, I loved it. Not that sweet and no umay factor after finishing the little serving which was great.
Another favorite was the Triple Dark Choco Tablea Fudge Bars from Choco ATBP. I love Dark chocolates and I am so biased on this one. What’s even great was that they served some fresh hot chocolates in three different flavors for the foodies who want to try it. I chose the chili hot choco and it was a nice. There’s this sweet kick of chili at the end of every gulp which was great.
There were two unique drinks on the spread; the Coco Royal – Aloe Vera and the Coco Royal – Basil Seed with Honey, both from the Conrad & Co., Inc. This is a great alternative to sodas and sugary sweet juices for it aids in digestion with its fibrous ingredients. But sadly, I didn’t like it. I want simpler drinks I guess.
And then the salty stuff. After spending so much time in munching cupcakes and fudge bars we went on to the appetizers and main dishes section. We chose not to line up on some food stalls that were seemed to be the crowd favorites and went on to the stalls with lesser queues.
|Chicken isaw by Gigabite|
Still, nothing beats Surigao's isaw
|Deep Fried Burrito by Little Donkey Burrito Fiesta|
|Organic Wagyu "Kobe" Beef Tapa by Tapsilog Centrale|
The tapa was very tender and flavorful
I wish there was fried rice though
|Pork Dinakdakan by DadsMoms Kitchen|
I've tasted some better versions of this dish
But this is a great contender
|Black Mamba by B.Wings|
served with beer or milk
very spicy but yummy!
And then my favorites. One of which was the Bagnet Paella of Flavor Ave. Imagine Paella topped with bagnet, salted eggs and tomatoes. The flavors really worked well and nothing was overpowering. We asked for another serving and they obliged. Galing!
Another one was the Wagamama of Schmidt’s Gourmet Hotdogs. The juicy sausage itself was flavorful and the toppings worked well with the rest of the ingredients. It was that great that my friend bought one from their stall in the Mercato Centrale. Need I say more?
|bumili agad agad|
My quick stint as a foodie judge was fun. At first, I was so skeptical if I could pull it off, but after forgetting that I was a judge and went on to enjoying the whole experience then I was cool and fine. Trying to be who you are not can be the most disservice thing you can do to yourself. So chill and be yourself in whatever situation you are in. I digress. And here are the winners for Foodgasm 3!
Foodgasm Champion - Black Mamba of B. Wings
Expert's Choice Award - Pinoy Sorbet's Sampaloc Sorbet of Pepito's
People's Choice Award - Wagamama of Schmidt's Gourmet Hotdogs
Most Innovative Award - Coco Royal Basil Seeds with Honey of Conrad & Co., Inc.
Congratulations guys and to the UP EconSoc kids. See you next time! :)