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October 30, 2015

Neil Writes About Foodgasm Contest Entries! (Part 1 of 2)

I love cooking competitions. I always get hungry and I never seem to get enough of seeing the work, the passion, the creativity and the twists of the formula. When I was invited to be a food judge for 2015's Foodgasm goes to Maginhawa, you could say I was honoured to say the least.

So without further ado this is the first fifteen dishes at the event! (Some of the competitors failed to come on the day and were omitted.) Here is the link for Part 2 of 2!

1. Double Bagnet

The Double Bagnet was an interesting entry because essentially it was two well loved ways to cook pork, sisig and bagnet, combined into one. It didn't take a lot of creativity, but sometimes going the simpler route is the best one!

2. Pork and Tofu Sisig

I wanted to love this dish because I love sisig, but because it was soggy and could use better seasoning. A little more and they could have perfected it.

3. Bonnga Hangovurger

Longganisa burger patty with cheese omelette sandwiched by waffles that were topped by maple syrup! It was okay. I just wish the waffles were crunchier! The cheese omelette was an interesting choice, but I would loved it more if they used Bacon strips.

4. Iberian Chicken

It was raining the day of the event and the dishes that were affected most were made from chicken and fish. Even though the meat hardened because of the cold, you could still taste the spices and the flavors from this dish! It's one of those 'Sayang!' dishes. I hope next time to get this fresh!

5. ROAR Blue Raspberry and Fruit Punch 

These are similar to the Pocari sweat products but they taste a lot better. I particularly like the Raspberry than the Fruit Punch. I wish that it was more innovative though, it was imported.

6. Cheesecake in a Jar

They are okay. I don't find anything remarkable about their version of this classic dessert, although it is nice to have this on the go. I've had better in terms of flavor, consistency and texture.

7. Buffalo Wings

They offered two flavors: the sweet and the hot and spicy. Sadly the way they cooked it left it soggy which lost its crispiness.  This is just me, but I prefer my Wings fried at a constant temperature to give that wonderful texture and crunch! The hot and spicy flavor was the type of spiciness that numbs yours tastebuds. So Prepare yourself. The classic sweet sauce wasn't that sweet.

8. Chicken Topokki

The flavor that stood out was the red sauce where it was not quite as authentic as the one I've had in Korea but it was close enough. What I was looking for was the chicken flavor. I couldn't taste it anywhere.

9. Brown Brazo

What is interesting in this iteration of the classic Brazo is the use of Coconut sugar which is said to be healthier than sugar cane. Props for them to try and give us a healthier option. The Brazo itself was a decent make. You won't go wrong with this.

10. Cucumber Lemonade

Cucumber-infused water is gaining popularity, and it was just a matter of time till someone combined it with Lemonade. I am glad someone actually did it. The cucumber adds an interesting contrast to the sweetness of the sugars and sourness of the lemon that brings out each other flavors that is surprisingly refreshing! I love it.

11. Yakitori

Chicken Barbecue is something I hold dear to my heart, and I think it is a common sentiment. Yakitori is basically chicken barbecue on a stick and this iteration of the dish is okay. The chicken is okay but the all the flavors are being overpowered by the seaweed. The sauce needs to be able balance this.

12. Decorative Cakes

I got really excited when I saw these! There was a spaghetti and meatballs cake and a Lechon cake. The attention to detail, the passion and the hardwork on these are what I respect from Empire Cakes. I was just set back by the chiffon inside. It was a little dry and rough for my preference but it did taste chocolatey. The dish isn't bad, it was almost great!

13. Champorado Cupcake

This was an interesting idea but the execution could be refined. I found the rise to be only gripe in it. Probably due to the baking process, the rice hardened. Otherwise, the champorado flavor was good and the cake itself was soft and moist.

14. Yema Cupcake with Pastillas de Leche

Like the last one, it has promising idea but could be refined even further for it to be great. The Yema and pastillas recipes were the problem where they came in dry for my taste. I like my yema and pastillas moist. The cupcake itself is soft and moist as well.

15. Porkloin Ribs

This dish is noteworthy because the pig meat had barely any flavor and tasted and smelled like it was a couple of days old. The sauce that they cover the meat in is just sweet with hints of soy sauce and vinegar.

Click the Link Below to see the last fifteen contestants

Next (Part 2 of 2)


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