Monday, May 26, 2014

CHOWZTER 2014 Global Awards

It's not often that teachers take time off during the school year for a vacation. Planning for a substitute is hard enough when it's just one day out of the classroom, let alone three. But when the invitation came to spend a weekend in London with foodbloggers from all over the globe, we couldn't say no. We packed our bags, hopped the red eye to New York, and made our way "across the pond" to the city of London.

It was there that Chowzter hosted the second annual Fast Feast Global Awards. We missed out on the first annual show but joined the group as Portland's Chief Chowzters just before the North American Awards in San Francisco last fall. Fast Feasts might share the same alliteration as fast food, but they are far from it. Instead, Fast Feasts are those that are made with locally-sourced ingredients in smaller establishments (think food carts, locally-owned restaurants, and the like). Fast Feasts are those food items that we are willing to wait in line for--if need be--and that we recognize as the best bites in our city. They're the foods we want to share when friends and family are in town. They are the foods that make Portland proud.

Chowzter is looking for those local favorites in every major city in the world and they've decided that the best way to find them is to trust the local foodbloggers. There are over one hundred and fifty cities represented--from Beirut to Glasgow, Bangkok to Bogota, Boston, Dallas, Phoenix, Philly, Vancouver and so many more--making an outstanding resource, especially when traveling somewhere new.

The awards--dubbed, most fittingly, the Tastiest Fast Feasts on Earth--were presented at L'Anima Cafe. We were happy to have one of our own Portland favorites among the list of nominations. With the decision being based partly on the uniqueness of the dish, we though for sure our favorite Beet Sliders from The Huckleberry Pub had a chance. But, nope...they were beat out by a falafel from Paris. (Falafel, I unique!) The awards event was pretty stellar, but the weekend was so much more than just a show.

We loved the food, the activities planned, and the chance to visit a city neither of us had seen, but it was the opportunity to meet and collaborate with foodbloggers from across the world that made our weekend away so worthwhile.

We plan to continue blogging about our weekend in London as the school year wraps up and summer break begins. Look for more posts about our field trip to the Burough Market, Story Deli's Pizza, and the Steak Symposium in the weeks to come.