For weeks I’ve been excited about this year’s Foodgasm. The event’s been a bi-annual affair for two years now, so it’s just common for people to expect better and bigger things from something that’s been around several times already, even more so when the event’s tied up with a popular weekend market like Mercato Centrale.
I was overwhelmed by the craziness when I dropped by to taste and judge the food, and since it was my first Foodgasm event, I had high expectations! None of the blog posts I found online could have prepared me for the experience I had that night.
Just so UP Ecosoc gets to iron out the kinks for next year (if there’s going to be one), I’m taking this opportunity to raise a few concerns. I totally understand that if I were a 20-year-old student gunning for honors from UP I wouldn’t be able to help my org ensure the smoothest possible event ever, but here goes.
I love you, but you have issues.
1. Safety hazard – Straight up, I’m sure nobody has the b*lls to say this, but the venue could’ve been made a bit safer. Sure, you guys are marketing to the students-whose-standards-are-not-that-high crowd, so you decided to just let the electrical wires run wild, but a little bit more concern on people’s safety would have been nice.
2. Communication issues - Things would have been slightly better if there were no communication issues. As in, the MoAs are properly sent out, organized, the works. But this needs to be improved.
3. Judging criteria - I may be the only person to complain about this. I just wish the criteria and awards were different for entrees and desserts.
Rating’s from 1 to 5, just the way I do it on my blog~!
Not sure if the awards have been accurately explained during the event, but at around 11 PM the scores were tallied and the winners were finally announced. The winners of this year’s Foodgasm are:
Champion: Hunger Buster
Experts’ Choice: Ruby Red Kitchen
Most Innovative: Country Fries
People’s Choice: Niku Niku
I’m assuming that the declared champion had the highest score (although the scores weren’t announced). The Experts’ Choice was probably based on who had the most recommendation from judges, and the Most Innovative I’m assuming is the one perceived by everyone (including judges and visitors) as the one with the most unique or most out-there food ever. For People’s Choice, I guess the award goes to the most popular food or most popular concessionaire. Judges had no say about the People’s Choice by the way.
Despite the fact that there were more desserts vying for these awards, only the savory offerings won. I find that amusing.
Despite the small issues I had with the event, I had a great time tasting a few dishes. My favorites below!
Unlike Asian dumplings and Spanish empanadas, pierogis are Polish dumplings that are boiled first, then baked or fried. I’m trying to control my weight so I chose the boiled variety. The pierogi I had had beef and cheese, and I really enjoyed the unusual taste, even though the unleavened dough was a bit too chewy. I especially enjoyed the delicious sour cream, bacon and sauerkraut toppings.
Too bad I missed the fried variety!
Or is it by Fatü?
I just love cheesecakes, and I love that the cheecups are fun-sized desserts whose sweetness are a huge contrast to the other ones at the event. The texture was decent, and the flavor was there. The cheecup flavors were great, though none were savory enough to compete and win.
This concessionaire threw in two of its best to try and become this year’s Foodgasm champion. Unfortunately neither one made the cut. I did give them a fairly high score, though.
Any chili con carne dish is delicious, IMO. And my mom makes a great chili herself. I just wish the Bite the Bullet–the spicy variety–had a lot more chili and contained the sweet corn kernels that the original variant has.
I loved the Elvis Pie. I really did. It was my first time to try it, it reminded me of banoffee pie, and since I love anything banoffee, I gave The Happy Monster an awesome score. The Elvis Pie shot had layers of chocolate and crushed graham crackers and a slice of sweetened banana. For the food presentation and taste I gave Happy Monster high marks, most especially because the concessionaire station was simple and neat-o-rama.
Who doesn’t like hamburgers?! The lone burger concessionaire won the coveted championship prize when it served bite-size pieces of its Dying Burger. Like the true boys that they are, the group behind Hunger Buster chose to name their burger offerings somewhat distastefully.
Don’t let the name fool you, though. The burger patties are cooked through, and the bacon bits are delicious. My only issues? The burgers weren’t juicy during the event, and the cheese wasn’t the real thing.
Call me old-fashioned, but I like traditional flan. I grew up with it. My mom used to love making it every year. And after tasting some soft, melt-in-your-mouth flan when I was around 10, I started having a love-hate relationship with my mom’s flan. I mean, I prefer the soft texture of other people’s leche flan!
The Pastillas Flan, er, flan at Foodgasm was terrific. It had the soft, smooth texture I liked, and the syrup wasn’t Sonja’s Cupcakes sweet.
Red Ruby Kitchen joined the Foodgasm competition by offering two monkey bread variants: the original cinnamon monkey bread and the savory one with parmesan and herbs. I love that the savory variant was perfect with sour cream or salsa, and that the original one had the right amount of cinnamon. I wasn’t a big fan of cinnamon when I was a kid because my mom often bought Red Ribbon’s cinnamon rolls, and the cinnamon was just too much for me. After a quick ice cream fix at Blue Pumpkin and Mad Mark’s–as well as a taste of Red Ruby Kitchen’s monkey bread–I can now say I like cinnamon a lot! I’m so happy Red Ruby Kitchen got the Expert’s Award!
Mini Monkey Bread at Php200 apiece.
Congratulations to the Foodgasm 2014 organizers and winners! Had a blast, and thank you for having me! Overall, the event felt like it was organized by a lot of confused kids, but in the end, the event satisfied a LOT of people, and everyone who participated enjoyed their time. And oh, the live band was a nice touch.
[Updated the first paragraph according to Anonymous' comment. 3/23/2014]