After attending #Foodgasm4, snappy hashtags filled my head and I realize the #sugarrush was to blame. Imagine #foodporn #Ihave NeverEatenThisMuchFoodinmyLife #midnightmercato #EatLikeTheresNoTomorrow and of course #ohyeahJudgeforaNight grilling me throughout the evening.
Imagine the fear of never waking up thanks to #foodcoma, but luckily, I still did.
As a blogger-judge-attendee in Foodgasm IV last 08 March 2014 at Mercato Centrale, I realize the only thing missing was a gavel. To pummel my hand from too much eating. Kidding aside, it was a breakthrough experience for someone who has never eaten more than 10 courses in her life. This is so Game of Thrones and I swear, I think I saw Joffrey Barratheon smirk at me.
As the part vegetarian who has and will always be the inconvenience to hosts and fellow diners, I grievously report having failed to eat everything in the checklist, but was graciously assisted, the “meat” slots have been filled out.
So with our powers combined, we managed to eat majority in the list—except for 2 due too fortuitous circumstances. We tried though. #damnNotoriousUPlines
After listing my Top 4 (the perfect square – how erudite), lemme just go through the rest. The sugar rush has subsided but still, I am capable of the snappy one (or four) liners. I realize though that I failed to get the contestants’ calling cards and give out mine!
I was nearly rendered sleepless the evening before, grooming my accidentally scented lazy black cat calling card—and I ended up eating and clicking, so not networking. Priorities, priorities.
Ah well, here’s Lazy Black Cat’s Top 4:
1. Chef Francesca’s Cupcakes – Oreo Whoopie Cupcakes
Any dessert that combines Oreo + Cupcake is enough to make me swoon. Add in the Whoopie component and we’ve got a faint spell! The Oreo sandwich cupcake concept is not entirely new, but it’s strangely addictive. It goes well with milk and ice cream, and heck, why not water so long as you get one! This ode to Oreo may sound lame-o, but believe me, a bite of this and you’ll know what Foodgasm is all about! Oh. Yeah. #OreoRules
2. Niku Niku – Crabstick (People’s Choice Winner)
Best placement and lighting goes to Niku Niku, the crunchiest crabstick of the evening! Tasty especially with the Kewpie mayo and nori cover, it makes a crisp kani snack or siding. Would’ve made this my numero uno, if not for a little paper altercation. #mybad
3. Buenavi Food & Beverage – Pescado Gourmet Tuyo
Buenavi’s Tuyo Pasta was like finding a needle in a sweet haystack. Amidst the flurry of sugar and chocolate and all things fattening in Mercato, there it was, that sea-inspired pescatorian glory, sprinkled with cheese, with just the right amount of green. This seafood pesto variant has that tuyo crunch, sans the artificial saltiness and fishy aftertaste. Perfect for lent and my go-green diet; how I wish I was given a full plate to finish! #bitin
4. Team Johnny – CheeCups
The best way to lure me is to set that cheesecake trap—and what more with several cheesecake samplers… in cups? Turmoil. With tiramisu, blueberry and Oreo, amongst others, the CheeCup lineup is hard to resist. A sucker for cheesecake, this has to make it to my Top 4 because I can’t afford a cheesecake revolution. Hey, that just sounds like an awesome flavor. #TeamCheesecake
And here’s the rest of the pack and the rest of the comments. If it’s courteous and trite, it didn’t come from me-at!
Ruby Red Kitchen – Parmesan Herb and Original Cinnamon Monkey Bread (2 entries)
No monkeys were harmed in the process of making the Monkey Bread, I think. The bread is chewy and fabulously tasty. That Parmesan Herb just called out to me and with a dollop of cream cheese, transformed into perfect pasta companion—or on its own! The Cinnamon version is just as delectable and cinnamony, a sweeter (and SOFTER) alternative to the usual rolls.
Cuptain Cakes – Batak Sesame Cupcakes
Batak is the new matcha and the cupcake brings forth an aroma of sesame seeds. If you’re not keen on sesame, give this cupcake to me instead! Best with tea and a much bigger serving size.
Country Fries – Okonomiyaki Fries (Innovative Winner)
The idea of okonomiyaki fries was enough to make me violate my No Fries rule. Country Fries was kind enough to remove the bacon (they actually shouted the order, so diner-style) and turn it into vegetarian Japanese fries. The fries were fat, fab, and oishii!
Mau’s Cupcake Café – Yema Filled Crinkle Sandwich
Two crinkles with a yema center. Love the crinkles but my weirdness dictates a ho-hum approach to yema and so I met this sandwich with a half and half heart.
Cooking Ina’s Kicthen – Gourmet Chocolate Rhum Balls
Catchy name makes for a real chocolate rum-ble. So many flavors including wasabi amongst others! The flavor of rhum lingers (for me) so eat sparingly and don’t be like me, eating one after the other until my world really rumbled. Or was it crumbled?
The Happy Monster – Elvis Pie
I absolutely adore bananas and peanut butter and chocolate. Add in a graham crust and whipped cream on top and that’s the Elvis Pie. It’s not as rocking as I thought it would be since I could whip this at home (or I think I could). But the pretty stripes are worth the wait and make a perfect gift.
Modern Desserts – Pastillas Flan
Pastillas and leche flan are my hometown products—my lola even makes them at home—so pardon another ho-hum approach on this godly offering. Still, love your own—and points for the packaging, the only dish served fit for my OCD! Never seen flan served so neatly, syrup stains begone!
Babci Kuchnia – Polish Pierogi
Some people are just—okay let’s hear it—not that into strange meat-topped feasts in an evening filled with mainstream treats. Still, it was fun watching Gambit dissect this. A for innovation!
Baking Bad – Bacon Cookies
Living up to its name, the presentation was purposely ‘bad’ and the signage in whiteboard marker—just wicked! Still people seemed to line up for the cookies with bacon, so Gambit had two (my share) but being used to bacon breakfasts, deemed it a cookie with a wee bit of bacon. Couldn’t tell if it should go with syrup?
Chorizo de Cebu Philippines
Another meaty mayhem with an umbrella, my only takeaway. Chorizo is chorizo, however way you cook it. Best served hot and oily, nothing fancy.
Chili Chili Bang Bang and Hunger Buster
The funny thing is, the chili and the burger were the most queued for and popular spots—and we avoided them at all costs! Having spent 4 years in UP circumventing lines and finding ways around them, being line-averse just stuck like gum on my shoe.
Also, seeing girls with 4 plates of that chili and guys dumping burgers in their mouths in ONE bite—life would go on without us getting our share. Give chance to the hungry. Charity counts. I’ll live.
The lines were probably the giveaway, especially the patience these people put up in the Hunger Buster line. I was so sure the burgers were the winner—and I am glad that others got to enjoy these meaty treats, on my gracious behalf!
Foodgasm IV: Everyone’s a winner
The experience being a blogger-judge for a food event was just otherworldly. I came to Mercato with no expectations, except to get filled and dragged along my hungry self for a night of tasting, judging, point, shoot and clicking.
So absorbed was I with the surroundings that I forgot to take a #selfie. Is this the abnegation talking—or was I in that food high? Perhaps.
Despite the crowds, standing room and table sharing (really how sweet), the overall atmosphere was engaging and reasonably memorable for a newbie. Everyone was so into their food, it was like hippie foodie heaven and everyone just gobbled and chewed and trolled like there was no tomorrow.
I admit the “networking” part for me failed but this was my first time; my christening in the world of food blogging events. I enjoyed it so much that should there be a next time (HINT, HINT), I promise to come more prepared, with a higher camera clicking dexterity, the flair for #selfie, a spare hand for shaking and card exchange and a higher high to talk to my table peers. And yes, to be early.
Still, it was an awesome initiation into this foodgasmic tradition and at least I succeeded in #nofilter.
I am hungry once again and cannot wait for the next food event. FEED. ME.