The cute character bento contest wrapped up in February. The contest was co-hosted by The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles and BentoUSA. Bento enthusiasts were encouraged to make a generic cute character bento and enter it into the contest. I entered my Lunar New Year bento in the contest & I was very excited to come in 5th place!!
I was able to attend the contest reception held at The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles on March 13th. There I am posing with my giant bento photo hung in their gallery!
The Consulate General of Los Angeles personally presented the 1st place winner, Natsumi, and myself with our certificates.
Here we are again, this time photoed with Naomi Takasu from the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles.
I was asked to give a speech. In all of the photos I have seen of myself during the speech, it appears I laughed my way through it :D
I was also able to help during the live bento demonstration lead by Yoko Isassi of Foodstory. Jee Jee from BentoUSA (on the far right) also helped out. The hands on the big screen are mine!
See all 10 winners here.
It was so much fun to be able to meet and talk with other bento artists / enthusiasts in real life! All of the communication I have had with other "bentoists" thus far had been online. I met the owners of BentoUSA - Jee Jee & Mike. They are so nice and down to earth. It was such a pleasure to be able to meet them. Nice to know I am supporting an awesome business as a blogger & customer. A huge shout out to them for co-hosting this event and big thanks for taking all the reception pictures for me!
And if you are curious here are the prizes that I received:
1. Award certificate from the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles (pictured above)
2. A book from Kinokuniya books store ~ I received a sushi making book.
3. A huge box filled with bento boxes and accessories from BentoUSA & CuteZcute.
Other articles that I have seen about the contest:
Cute character bento competition results - written by Sheri Chen (Happy Little Bento), who won 2nd place.
If you have seen any other articles or blog posts online about the contest winners please let me know!