Bento Sushi Champion Competition

9:45 PM



I have a thing for sushi, and I #cantstopwontstop.



This year is Bento Sushi's 5th Annual Sushi Champion Competition, and I was invited to join in on the fun. Bento Sushi, Canada's largest sushi company, encourages all Bento chefs in North America to get creative and submit an original sushi recipe that they designed in hopes of winning the grand title of Bento Sushi Champion, $5,000 in prize money, and have their original sushi roll come to life in stores. From 1,5000 chefs across North America, 6 were picked and flown into Toronto to compete live.



Although we started by feasting on the sushi trays prepared by Bento Sushi (and sipping on some dranks), the main event quickly started. We got to watch the 6 picked sushi chefs in action as they made their sushi rolls. The theme this year is following one of the most popular book/movie series: Hunger Games. As there are 6 sushi chefs, there will be 6 'districts' competing. Here is the list of the Districts, the Chefs, and their original sushi creation rolls:

• District 1: Sukhe Lee from British Columbia -- BBQ Bulgogi Roll with Nuts
Roll highlights - bulgogi beef, shiitake mushroom, cabbage, pickles, mixed nuts

• District 2: Sarina Yoth, Quebec -- Maple Apple Crab Roll
Roll highlights - crab, apple, maple syrup, tobiko

• District 3: Haruo Oikawa, New York -- Haru Roll
Roll highlights - tuna, tempura shrimp, unagi, jalapeno peppers, tartar and unagi sauce

• District 4: Mei Zang, Ontario -- Prosciutto Roll
Roll highlights - prosciutto, basil, tomato, lettuce, balsamic vinegar, feta cheese

• District 5: Huang Yan Fang, Ontario -- Shrimp Roll
Roll highlights - tempura shrimp, ebi shrimp, avocado, fried onion

• District 6: Hao Mai Vu, Manitoba -- Torch Lobster Roll
Roll highlights - torched lobster, scallop, pineapple, chili, avocado, teriyaki sauce


After an hour of prep, low and behold, the 6 sushi creations all lined up. At this year's Bento Sushi Champion Competition, the four judges included:
• Marco Chita (Senior Category Manager for HMR, Discount Division, Loblaw Companies Limited)
• John Hashimoto (Director of Product Development, Bento Sushi)
• Liora Ipsum (Food Writer and Editor, BlogTO)
• Christopher Siu (MasterChef Canada Finalist and Baker, Daango Sweets)


While the judges tasted and deliberated, we also got to taste the rolls while also feasting on a couple other little bites. This also included beautifully decorated cupcakes and his signature macarons from Christopher Siu (@bakersiu). In addition, he also made a Bento Sushi cake. A CAKE! It looked so awesome, and t'was quite delicious as well.


After a solid 30 minutes of deliberating, they finally announced the winners!

People's Choice Roll:
(And also my favourite!)

District 6: Hao Mai Vu, Manitoba -- Torch Lobster Roll
Roll highlights - torched lobster, scallop, pineapple, chili, avocado, teriyaki sauce

2nd Runner Up: 
District 4: Mei Zang, Ontario -- Prosciutto Roll
Roll highlights - prosciutto, basil, tomato, lettuce, balsamic vinegar, feta cheese

1st Runner Up:
District 1: Sukhe Lee from British Columbia -- BBQ Bulgogi Roll with Nuts
Roll highlights - bulgogi beef, shiitake mushroom, cabbage, pickles, mixed nuts

Bento Sushi Champion WINNER:

District 3: Haruo Oikawa, New York -- Haru Roll
Roll highlights - tuna, tempura shrimp, unagi, jalapeno peppers, tartar and unagi sauce

- - -

What an amazing event!! Congratulations to Chef Haruo for winning this year's competition! I had so much fun eating sushi while watching the chefs in action. A big thanks to Bento Sushi (@bento_sushi) for hosting and to all my fellow foodies (@xiaoeats, @meetandeats, @pekopekolife, @dineandfash, @cj.noms, @feedmyphone, @travellinfoodie, & @tastesto) for joining me at Bento Sushi's 5th Annual Sushi Champion Competition! Until next year!

*This was a complimentary event hosted by Bento Sushi; however, all opinions made are my own.*

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