Bento Contest Submission

This was my submission for the 2015 Bento&Co contest, the theme was sandwiches that can fit in a bento. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the 10 finalists out of 153 people! I rarely try my hand in contests like these since I tend to get self-conscious of my work and get cold feet. But I’m glad I pushed myself and entered the contest.

I originally found out about this from YouTube cooking channel Cooking with Dog, on their new show Go! Francis! The episode I saw was about a bento company that started in France, and has started a new store in Kyoto. Annually they host contests and asks contestants to post pictures of bento with different themes, the lucky grand prize winners gets a trip to Kyoto. Which is pretty sweet if you ask me.

I’m extremely interested in the Japanese culture, and try to take every opportunity to go to Japan. So the potential of getting a free trip to Kyoto was enough to get me off my butt and start messing around with some bread. I initially had no idea what to do, my mind was a complete blank. I couldn’t think of anything that would make my entry stand out, after discussing it with my brother he gave me the suggestion of using the bread to “wrap” instead. Following with that train of thought, I got the idea of using bread as a substitute nori and make “maki” sandwiches with them.

What I ended up with was a three courses “maki” sandwich meal. Going counter clockwise. The bottom one has pickled daikon, pickled carrots, kale and seaweed; served as the appetizer. The main course is a steak, avocado, tomato, and lettuce sandwich. The last one is the dessert filled with whipped cream, strawberries, kiwi, and peaches.

Initially I was a little bummed out when I found out I wasn’t one of the grand prize winners, but after seeing everyone else’s submissions I was extremely happy just to be a finalist! The only Canadian as well! I was pretty glad that I was able to represent my home country. But going back to the other entries, I seriously thought they were extremely amazing! Looking at how so many of the bento entries were intricate and detailed made my simple round container look a bit out of place. But hey, maybe it was the simple shapes, colours and the use of negative space allowed me to stand out. At least that’s what I’d like the think how it happened.

Either way, I had a lot of fun participating in this contest. It gave me a confidence boost in my crafting skills as well as a little nudge of approval on the photography, which is a plus.


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