Gladmat Food Festival 2015My 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 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.
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.
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…
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.
Komla & Cava
Others Worth a Mention
“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.
Did you attend the Gladmat Food Festival? How did you find it compared to other years? Feel free to comment below.