Gladmat Food Festival 2015 My Favorite Bites From the Jury Work

Gladmat Food Festival is held every year in Stavanger. It is the biggest food festival in the Nordics! It was established in 1998, and I remember it well from when I was a kid growing up in this area of Norway. It was a fun event back then, but I also have memories of a festival that needed improvents. Thus, it was exciting to be asked to be part of the Gladmat jury this year.

The L'Unico BBQ grill, aka the Rescue Juice wagon, was the only proper food truck at the festival
The L’Unico BBQ grill, aka the Rescue Juice wagon, was the only proper food truck at the festival

The jury consisted of only food bloggers, which I found to be a great idea. This way the Gladmat team made sure that it was truely dedicated people who tasted and rated the food, and not just some random journalists. It was Olav Birkeland (aka Hobbykokken) as jury leader, Mari Hult (aka Vegetarbloggen), Anne Cathrine (aka Enestående Mat), Analiza Gonzales, Elin (aka Kjøkkenmagi) and me. Our task was to taste the food from every single one of the 88 food stands at the festival. Based on that we had to make a short list of 5 nominees in 4 different categories.

Big boats, small boats and untradtional "boats" in the Stavanger harbour
Big boats, small boats and untradtional “boats” in the Stavanger harbour
"Vågen" in Stavanger
“Vågen” in Stavanger

The four categories were 1) the best “Gladmat” dish. Every stand represented had to offer a 30 kroner dish to take part in the competition. 2) The best experience overall, 3) The best stand, and finally 4) The most creative dish. We decided early to split up into two teams, to make sure we would be able to cover all food vendors. One team covered the eastside and one the westside. After day 1, each team would recommend the other on where to try food the next day from their side. You can read Analiza’s report from the day here – we were in different tasting teams.

Chili Klaus was represented at the festival! With chili tastings and book signing
Chili Klaus was represented at the festival! With chili tastings and book signing
For those who dared, and did not have to judge a food festival, Chili Klaus offered some of the hottest chilis in the world to taste
For those who dared, and did not have to judge a food festival, Chili Klaus offered some of the hottest chilis in the world to taste

Once the list of nominees was ready on the second day, they all got a diploma to signalize to people where to find some of the best food experiences at the festival. Everyone on the jury had to try the nominated food once more, and the final day we announced the winners on stage. Mari Hult was the only one in the jury who also took part in the festival at another level, by holding several vegetarian cooking classes each day. You can read her recipes here. The rest of us just had to focus on not overeating, because we had a lot of dishes to test out…

Mari Hult, aka Vegetarbloggen, held classes in falafel making
Mari Hult, aka Vegetarbloggen, held classes in falafel making

The most important change I saw in the festival, compared to earlier years, is the great possibility participants now have to try a lot of different dishes at a low cost. This is really what a food festival should be all about. Testing different food and flavors and sharing the food with your friends! By far not all dishes were of exceptional quality, but the level was quite high and much better than I remember from earlier yes. In the end, we ended up with very different winners in the four categories, from IKEA winning the best stand to Tango with the best dish. The following are my best experiences from Gladmat food festival 2015.

L’Unico

Pork skewer from L'Unico. Perfectly juicy and tasty
Pork skewer from L’Unico. Perfectly juicy and tasty
Grant Allen from L'Unico served pork skewers, pulled pork burger & Cuban sandwich. He also sold Rescue Juice to recharge your phone.
Grant Allen from L’Unico served pork skewers, pulled pork burger & Cuban sandwich. He also sold Rescue Juice to recharge your phone.
Pulled pork sandwich from L'Unico. Superb quality and flavors
Pulled pork sandwich from L’Unico. Superb quality and flavors
L'Unico was nominated in the category "Best stand"
L’Unico was nominated in the category “Best stand”

Fisketorget

Chili king crab at Fisketorget
Chili king crab at Fisketorget
Oysters, Fine de Claire, at Fisketorget with an asian sauce. Their 30 kr "Gladmat" dish. Very tasty, but not super creative of course.
Oysters, Fine de Claire, at Fisketorget with an asian sauce. Their 30 kr “Gladmat” dish
Snow crab as seen on "Deadliest Catch"
Snow crab as seen on “Deadliest Catch”
Karl Erik Pallesen having fun at work
Karl Erik Pallesen having fun at work
Lobsters being prepared for the shellfish plateau at Fisketorget
Lobsters being prepared for the shellfish plateau at Fisketorget
Mari got a vegetarian dish that looked stunning. A celeriac cream with vegetables
Mari got a vegetarian dish that looked stunning. A celeriac cream with vegetables
Karl Erik Pallesen celebrates winning the category "Best experience"
Karl Erik Pallesen celebrates winning the category “Best experience”

Tango

Fried crab cake, nouc-cham and acidic cabbage, mayo and coriander
Fried crab cake, nouc-cham and acidic cabbage, mayo and coriander
Tango won the best "Gladmat" dish. From left to right; Kjartan Skjelde, Børge Strøm and Gunnar Hvarnes
Tango won the best “Gladmat” dish. From left to right; Kjartan Skjelde, Børge Strøm and Gunnar Hvarnes
The rooftop menu at Tango
The rooftop menu at Tango
Steambun with caramelized pork belly, chili mayo, spring onion and coriander
Steambun with caramelized pork belly, chili mayo, spring onion and coriander
Knut Espen at Tango gave us great advice for bubbles to go in our glasses. Anne Cathrine listens all ears
Knut Espen at Tango gave us great advice for bubbles to go in our glasses. Anne Cathrine listens all ears
Olav Birkeland and his Fanta. The Hobbykokken porn look that no women (or men) can resist
Olav Birkeland and his Fanta. The Hobbykokken porn look that no women (or men) can resist

Sjøhuset Skagen

"Komleburger". Traditional Norwegian komle made from potatoes, and here made into a vegetarian burger version.
“Komleburger”. Traditional Norwegian komle made from potatoes, and here made into a vegetarian burger version.
The Gangsta wrap! By Sjøhuset Skagen. Pork cheek braised in beer, in a potato wrap with shallot mayo, smoked apple and gooseberrychutney.
The Gangsta wrap! By Sjøhuset Skagen. Pork cheek braised in beer, in a potato wrap with shallot mayo, smoked apple and gooseberrychutney.
KCC by Sjøhuset Skagen. Krekling Crackling Crunch. Blackcurrant and vanilla ice cream. Dipped in dark chocolate with "krekling". Crunchy hazelnuts and a crackling surprise inside (popping candy).
KCC by Sjøhuset Skagen. Krekling Crackling Crunch. Blackcurrant and vanilla ice cream. Dipped in dark chocolate with “krekling”. Crunchy hazelnuts and crackling surprise inside (popping candy).
Robert Ottesen, the man behind all the innovations at Sjøhuset Skagen, here showing the popping candy used for the KCC
Robert Ottesen, the man behind all the innovations at Sjøhuset Skagen, here showing the popping candy used for the KCC
"Den Andre" - The Other. Chocolate meringue, hazelnut cream with plum chutney and Kraftkar blue cheese
“Den Andre” – The Other. Chocolate meringue, hazelnut cream with plum chutney and Kraftkar blue cheese
I congratulate Robert Ottesen and Sjøhuset Skagen with the price for creativity
I congratulate Robert Ottesen and Sjøhuset Skagen with the price for creativity

Il Gelato

Il Gelato. Hazelnut and lemon
Il Gelato. Hazelnut and lemon
Geir Tengs and Il Gelato make people happy with their locally produced and always fresh Italian gelato
Geir Tengs and Il Gelato make people happy with their locally produced and always fresh Italian gelato
Il Gelato was nominated in the category "Best experience"
Il Gelato was nominated in the category “Best experience”
Analiza was happy with her gelato. Check lizasmatverden.blogspot.no
Analiza was happy with her gelato. Check lizasmatverden.blogspot.no

Skeie Gård

Nothing in the burger from Skeie Gård was left to chance.
Nothing in the burger from Skeie Gård was left to chance.
Olav, aka Hobbykokken, discussing burger
Olav, aka Hobbykokken, discussing burger
The burger meat was smashed straight onto the sizzling hot griddle
The burger meat was smashed straight onto the sizzling hot griddle
Skeie Gård had double cooked fries. A compromise for triple cooked, admittedly, but it worked pretty good as a British style vinegary type of fries.
Skeie Gård had double cooked fries. A compromise for triple cooked, admittedly, but it worked pretty good as a British style vinegary type of fries.

Weber

Pizza straight from the Weber oven!
Pizza straight from the Weber oven!
BBQ glazed pork, slow cooked in the Weber grill for 36 hours
BBQ glazed pork, slow cooked in the Weber grill for 36 hours
Jan Ivar Nykvist held classes in the art of grilling, and sold his new book "Glød"
Jan Ivar Nykvist held classes in the art of grilling, and sold his new book “Glød”

Komla & Cava

Komla & Cava
Komla & Cava
Komla & Cava. No doubt the best name of all contributors
Komla & Cava. No doubt the best name of all contributors
Komla & Cava. What better combination than a classy cava and potatoe balls smashed on a plate
Komla & Cava. What better combination than a classy cava and potatoe balls smashed on a plate

Gådjå

A vegan Ethiopian dish from restaurant Gådjå. The buckwheat pancake underneath is slighly acidic and full of air pockets which shows the quality of the cooking skills I learned from Mari Hult who runs vegetarbloggen.no
A vegan Ethiopian dish from restaurant Gådjå. The buckwheat pancake underneath is slighly acidic and full of air pockets which shows the quality of the cooking skills I learned from Mari Hult who runs vegetarbloggen.no

Ostehuset

Chorizo and potato croquette with artichoke cream, lemon cherry tomato, nettle foam and wild flowers. The most beautiful dish at the entire festival, by Ostehuset
Chorizo and potato croquette with artichoke cream, lemon cherry tomato, nettle foam and wild flowers. The most beautiful dish at the entire festival, by Ostehuset
A pasta dish by Ostehuset and yet another beautiful presentation. Just too bad they didn't serve this at the actual festival area
A pasta dish by Ostehuset and yet another beautiful presentation. Just too bad they didn’t serve this at the actual festival area

Others Worth a Mention

The tasting platter at Scandic Hotel. 2 of 5 dishes were quite ok, the rest were too bland
The tasting platter at Scandic Hotel. 2 of 5 dishes were quite ok, the rest were too bland
"Rømmebolle". A twist on the classic German quarkbällchen by the bakery Arne Johannesen. Made with Norwegian sour cream in stead of quark. Fried crust and airy inside.
“Rømmebolle”. A twist on the classic German quarkbällchen by the bakery Arne Johannesen. Made with Norwegian sour cream in stead of quark. Fried crust and airy inside.
Hobbykokken demonstrates how to eat sour cream balls
Hobbykokken demonstrates how to eat sour cream balls
Sucker lamb and coleslaw from Salza Steakhouse and Bar
Sucker lamb and coleslaw from Salza Steakhouse and Bar
Eat As Matjes You Can! Love this slogan
Eat As Matjes You Can! Love this slogan
A peculiar dish from Prima Jæren. Traditional Norwegian "ribbe" (pork belly), in a sausage bread with sauerkraut and puffed pork crisps.
A peculiar dish from Prima Jæren. Traditional Norwegian “ribbe” (pork belly), in a sausage bread with sauerkraut and puffed pork crisps.
The weather Gods in Stavanger were kind to us
The weather Gods in Stavanger were kind to us
So tempting to touch it...
So tempting to touch it…
Starfish!
Starfish!

“Gladmatmiddagen” – The Gladmat Dinner

I am not posting any pictures from this diner, because I don’t think the quality was good enough. I’ll only say that Gastronomisk Institutt really should up their game next year. Here are some pictures of the entertainment, though.

Heine Totland
Heine Totland
Chili Klaus was asked to contribute on stage and accepted the challenge
Chili Klaus was asked to contribute on stage and accepted the challenge
Heine Totland and Chili Klaus
Heine Totland and Chili Klaus
Vågen in the afternoon
Vågen in the afternoon

Did you attend the Gladmat Food Festival? How did you find it compared to other years? Feel free to comment below.

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