Saturday, May 3, 2014

Chowzter's 2014 Tastiest Fast Feast Awards, London

For those of you who read my blog but does not follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, I want to let you know that I'm still ALIVE and WELL :) I can't be 100% certain but I don't think there was ever a time, in the history of Food Junkie Chronicles, where I haven't blogged for an entire week :( Believe me I feel awfully guilty about it but I was in London, England, the past 8 first time ever in Europe!!!

As a Chief Chowzter representing Toronto, I attended Chowzter's 2014 Tastiest Fast Feast in the World Awards on Sunday, April 28th in London. Sponsored by Coca-Cola, the Chowzter (Twitter: @Chowzter7, Facebook: Chowzterawards aim to find the tastiest dishes around the globe. Although the tastiest dish concept may seem a bit ridiculous but it's a way of bringing chefs into the spotlight that wouldn't usually get recognition. The awards celebrate the quality and variety of authentic regional food around the globe, served at diners, street vendors rather than exclusive restaurants. 

And here are the Chief Chowzters at L'Amina Cafe where the 2014 Tastiest Fast Feast in the World Awards took place. Close to 50 of us from around the world flew to London to attend this awesome event (FYI there's close to 80 Chief Chowzters but unfortunately not all of us could make it to London).

Interested in finding out what the top 7 tastiest items in the world are? Click here for the full list of Chowzter award winners! Some press coverage on the awards:

Business Insider | The Wall Street Journal | The Daily Meal | The Guardian | Orlando Sentinel | BuzzFeed

Besides attending the Chowzter Awards, I also had a blast in London! From Friday night (April 25) to Sunday night (April 29), all the Chief Chowzters stayed at The Hoxton in Shoreditch (Twitter: @TheHoxtonHotel, Facebook: The Hoxton Hotel). This trendy new hotel is modern, comfortable and clean. The Hoxton's lobby is grand yet very cozy (note the fireplace). There were also lovely extras - free WiFi, an hour free calling to Canada/US, complimentary bottled water and milk in the fridge, and free breakfast drop outside our room with delicious yogurt/granola/berries, orange juice and a banana.

Before the awards ceremony on Sunday, some of the Chief Chowzters got to hit up Borough Market (Twitter: @boroughmarket, Facebook: Borough Market) on Saturday, London’s most renowned food market. Borough Market is a source of exceptional British and international produce and is a haven for anybody who cares about the quality and provenance of the food they eat. I have no doubt that I can spend an entire afternoon here. We only had 3.5 hours but I still made the best of it by sampling and eating a ton of food.

An later we ate again! All the Chief Chowzters were invited to global steak symposium at Flat Iron Steak in Soho (Twitter: @flatironsteak, Facebook: Flat Iron). Led by Mark Schatzer, author of "Steak", the steak symposium gave all of us an the opportunity to blind taste the following steaks: New Zealand Grassfed Wagyu, USDA Prime, Aussie 270 day Barley fed, Angus Mackay Highland Breed, Fattened 6 year old English cow, A5 Japanese Wagyu. 

After a gourmet weekend of feasting most of the Chief Chowzters flew home on Monday but there was no way I'm heading back home after only 3 days! Sooooo I extended my trip by an extra four days (I got back home last night). 

I had so many fantastic meals in London; actually I'm very happy to say that I didn't even have one bad meal during my entire stay. From Monday to Thursday I managed to 1) eat at an amazingly delicious yet very expensive pizza place, 2) dine at three Indian restaurants that blew my mind, 3) experience afternoon tea twice - one accompanied by a champagne flight and the other with chocolate caramel milk, 4) indulge in a lovely home-cooked meal, 5) have a pretty decent yet very expensive Sichuan dinner in Soho, and finally 6) stuff my face with delicious pastries and cakes in between all those meals.

I'm gonna write about all those incredible meals soon but for now, I gotta go pack 'cause I'm off to Royal Caribbean's 7-night Caribbean Cruise tomorrow morning! Don't miss me too much, k? ;)

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