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Food food food, as far as the eye can see or at least around Vågen the bay in the middle of Stavanger. Delicate seafood, savory tender meats, flavorful vegetarian dishes, spicy eastern dishes, New Nordic, traditional dishes,pastries, chocolates, drinks are represented at Gladmat Food Fesstival.
One of the big events in Stavanger during the summer is the Gladmat festival, a food festival where professionals and amateurs alike pride themselves to serve the festival goers the best culinary treats of the season. For the ones who are interrested there are also cooking classes and other demonstrations going on during the festival.
This year I was lucky enough to be invited back to be one of the Gladmat jury members. The Festival jury as it was last year consisted of only foodbloggers, a dedicated and a little nerdy group of foodies that enjoy making and tasting food.
From top left: Elin (aka Kjøkkenmagi), Olav Birkeland (aka Hobbykokken) as jury leader, Mari Hult (aka Vegetarbloggen), Me, Anne Cathrine (aka Enestående Mat) and Anders Husa, not in the picture since I made him my designated photographer during these days. Click HERE to read his post from the day.
One of the jury members the vegan Mari Hult held a few cooking demonstrations about vegan food while being on juryduty and that ment more tasting for the rest of us, not that I was against it but at the end of the festival there was a big dinner we were going to attend and I could not fit in either of the two dresses I brought with me. Click HERE to see what she made.
During the four days this festival lasted we had the lucky task to taste our way through all 88 stands at the festival and the difficult task to decide whom to nominate. We divided ourselves into two groups and each group was responsible for half of the Gladmat stands and then make a short list of 5 nominees in 4 different categories.
- Best Gladmat dish
- Best Gladmat stand
- Best experience
- Most innovative and creative dish
In order to be nominated for the Gladmat dish award each stand had to have a Gladmat dish, a dish that should not cost more than NOK 30,- so every festival goer could savor and enjoy dishes from professionals chef and amateur home cooks that are participating at the festival.
As mentioned we only had four days to taste, nominate and present the winners. Once the list of nominees were ready we handed out diplomas and some even got more than one. This is done so people would know where to find some of the best food experiences at the festival and gives the nominees a little extra attention. Hopefully this will give the others an extra drive for next years festival. As soon as the nominations are handed out we then had to go around again and test the food once more, but this time as a whole group.
The winners were:
Best Gladmat dish-Tango Bar & Kjøkken, for their crab croquet amuse bouche.
Best Gladmat stand- IKEA, for their idea to bring people together arround the table.
Best Gladmat experience Fisketorget, for their enthusiasm and knowledge of the food they served.
Best innovative and creative dish-Sjøhuset skagen, for the new way they combined the different ingredients.
IKEA was to everybody a big surprise at this food festival, what could they bring to the food festival except low-priced food a lot of people thought.
IKEAs concept was to bring people to the table and eat together. They had set up tables that would seat ten and if you came in smaller groups they would fill the table up so that you would sit with friends and strangers, enjoy a meal, talk and get to know eachother. I liked this idea, it reminded me of something I learnt when I lived in South Korea a few years ago. I learnt that the word for family in these prosperous times was people that lived together, but not so long ago the when the country struggled economically the word for family was people who ate together. The reasons IKEA got my vote was because of this, bringing people together, plus they did also have a nice stand. Since I was so enthusiastic about this category I got the honor of presenting this award on stage the final day of the festival.
If you are in the vicinity of Stavanger next time this festival is on, you should drop by and enjoy the food and atmosphere. As you can see from the pictures above, the dishes served had quite a high level of quality and most of them were theNOK 30,- dishes.