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Chef Bento 2019 Grand Prize Winner + 10 Runner-up Finalists!

Grand Prize Winners

Thank you to everyone who sent their amazing bento photos to our annual international Chef Bento contest! We loved seeing everyone’s incredible international bentos!

We are super happy to announce our International Grand Prize Finalist Winner! Claudia, from Canada, wowed us with her amazing bibimbap bento, and has won a return flight to Japan! Congratulations, Claudia! 🇨🇦 🎉


This gorgeous bento box features a modern and aesthetic take on the classic South Korean dish filled with vibrant colours, textures, and flavours. 12 Individually seasoned and cooked mini vegetable dishes make a square border, in which a bed of rice topped with seasoned ground beef, bibimbap sauce, and a sunny side-up quail egg takes the center stage. Complete with spring florals, metal cutlery, and the ever present spicy kimchi, this bento is a celebration of spring 💐


We are also excited to announce our Japan Grand Prize Finalist Winner! Congratulations Tomoko-san, from Hyogo Prefecture! She has won an overnight stay at a luxury Kyoto hotel!  🇯🇵 🎉


Her bento centered around traditional Japanese themes, with one bento tier depicting a traditional circular window that can often be found in old houses or shrines. Gentle flowers bloom in the window, heralding the arrival of spring. The other tier features elaborate Japanese bento foods, such as narutomaki, a type of fish cake, and temari-fu, bright white dried wheat gluten threaded with delicate colors.


10 Runner-Up Finalists- Choose your Favorite

But hold on- the competition is still running! That’s right! 10 runner-up finalists have been chosen, and you get to vote and pick your favorite! Voting ends May 30th at 5pm, so hurry and get your votes in fast! Click here, or on the image below, to vote!

In a random order, here are the 10 finalists:

 

Pau created a vibrant green bentos featuring her ultimate Malaysian comfort food! A favorite Malay street food, satay ((marinated grilled meat skewers), takes the center piece, paired with onions, cucumber, lontong (compressed rice), and of course, the iconic and flavorful peanut dipping sauce!

 



Ilia created a stunning Russian smorgasboard inside her bento! Including traditional dishes such as buckwheat porridge with stewed meat, and Russian marshmallows and pancakes, this bento transports you to Russia in a heartbeat!




This bento by Annica takes us through a personal culinary map of Germany’s regional foods, with the radish compass showing the way. We start in western Germany, with waffles served alongside seasonal rhubarb and strawberry compote. Northern Germany sparkles with freshly-caught seafood and dark bread, while the pretzel takes center stage in Southern Germany. Eastern Germany rounds up the culinary delights, with the meat and potato ranking supreme.  

 

 

This super cute orangutan bento was created by Ng from @littlemissleng! She encapsulated the different flavours of Malaysia in one bento, using locally sourced ingredients. Based on Nasi Lemak, a traditional Malay rice dish, the bento contains rice cooked in fragrant coconut milk,  sambal, roasted peanuts, fried anchovies, and cucumber, along with serunding, a type of meat floss, that originates from the Malaysian state of Kelantan.

 



Get carried off to the streets of Barcelona with Jana’s Spanish bento! Her bento mimics Spain’s typical tapas dishes, starting with the famous spicy Chorizo-sausage, tuna filled mini-peppers, fried Piementos de Padrón with sea-salt flakes, baked feta cheese, grilled meat, and more! For dessert are bacon-wrapped dates with an almond-filling, and soft Medjool dates covered with mascarpone and topped with glorious pomegranate seeds.

 



Vietnamese is given a fresh and modern twist with Nancy’s bento! The main dish is Com Tam, also known as broken rice, served with grilled pork chops. Other delights include prawn rice paper rolls, Vietnamese egg meatloaf, and jelly made out of coconut, mango and fruit agar agar. A feast for the eyes and stomach!

 



Stefanie showcases a beautiful spread of Bavarian food! Traditional sausages and sauerkraut are accompanied by mustard, and delicious potato salad. Pretzels are next to some delicious berries, while radishes and green asparagus add vibrant pops of color.



Join Ching for a journey to Australia! Next to the indigenous boomerang are two iconic Australian foods; a meat pie, the perfect portable lunch, and a lamington, Australia’s national dessert. Lamingtons are small sponge cakes covered in a thin layer chocolate and desiccated coconut, with this decadent version also filled with cream and strawberries.




Ming’s Hong Kong bento is full of yellows and reds, auspicious colors in the Hong Kong community. Walk the streets of Hong Kong and sample some street favorites, such as curry fishball, dim sum, sweet and sour delights, fruits, and more~

 

 

Whei showcased a traditional Malaysian dish in her colorful bento. Ketupat, rice dumplings, are made from rice placed in a palm leaf pouch that is woven tightly, and then boiled. The flavor of the leaf seeps into the rice, making it more aromatic. Accompanying the rice dumplings are satay, seasoned and grilled skewered meat, paired with a peanut sambal gravy.

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Grand Prize Winners

Thank you to everyone who sent their amazing bento photos to our annual international Chef Bento contest! We loved seeing everyone’s incredible international bentos!

We are super happy to announce our International Grand Prize Finalist Winner! Claudia, from Canada, wowed us with her amazing bibimbap bento, and has won a return flight to Japan! Congratulations, Claudia! 🇨🇦 🎉


This gorgeous bento box features a modern and aesthetic take on the classic South Korean dish filled with vibrant colours, textures, and flavours. 12 Individually seasoned and cooked mini vegetable dishes make a square border, in which a bed of rice topped with seasoned ground beef, bibimbap sauce, and a sunny side-up quail egg takes the center stage. Complete with spring florals, metal cutlery, and the ever present spicy kimchi, this bento is a celebration of spring 💐


We are also excited to announce our Japan Grand Prize Finalist Winner! Congratulations Tomoko-san, from Hyogo Prefecture! She has won an overnight stay at a luxury Kyoto hotel!  🇯🇵 🎉


Her bento centered around traditional Japanese themes, with one bento tier depicting a traditional circular window that can often be found in old houses or shrines. Gentle flowers bloom in the window, heralding the arrival of spring. The other tier features elaborate Japanese bento foods, such as narutomaki, a type of fish cake, and temari-fu, bright white dried wheat gluten threaded with delicate colors.


10 Runner-Up Finalists- Choose your Favorite

But hold on- the competition is still running! That’s right! 10 runner-up finalists have been chosen, and you get to vote and pick your favorite! Voting ends May 30th at 5pm, so hurry and get your votes in fast! Click here, or on the image below, to vote!

In a random order, here are the 10 finalists:

 

Pau created a vibrant green bentos featuring her ultimate Malaysian comfort food! A favorite Malay street food, satay ((marinated grilled meat skewers), takes the center piece, paired with onions, cucumber, lontong (compressed rice), and of course, the iconic and flavorful peanut dipping sauce!

 



Ilia created a stunning Russian smorgasboard inside her bento! Including traditional dishes such as buckwheat porridge with stewed meat, and Russian marshmallows and pancakes, this bento transports you to Russia in a heartbeat!




This bento by Annica takes us through a personal culinary map of Germany’s regional foods, with the radish compass showing the way. We start in western Germany, with waffles served alongside seasonal rhubarb and strawberry compote. Northern Germany sparkles with freshly-caught seafood and dark bread, while the pretzel takes center stage in Southern Germany. Eastern Germany rounds up the culinary delights, with the meat and potato ranking supreme.  

 

 

This super cute orangutan bento was created by Ng from @littlemissleng! She encapsulated the different flavours of Malaysia in one bento, using locally sourced ingredients. Based on Nasi Lemak, a traditional Malay rice dish, the bento contains rice cooked in fragrant coconut milk,  sambal, roasted peanuts, fried anchovies, and cucumber, along with serunding, a type of meat floss, that originates from the Malaysian state of Kelantan.

 



Get carried off to the streets of Barcelona with Jana’s Spanish bento! Her bento mimics Spain’s typical tapas dishes, starting with the famous spicy Chorizo-sausage, tuna filled mini-peppers, fried Piementos de Padrón with sea-salt flakes, baked feta cheese, grilled meat, and more! For dessert are bacon-wrapped dates with an almond-filling, and soft Medjool dates covered with mascarpone and topped with glorious pomegranate seeds.

 



Vietnamese is given a fresh and modern twist with Nancy’s bento! The main dish is Com Tam, also known as broken rice, served with grilled pork chops. Other delights include prawn rice paper rolls, Vietnamese egg meatloaf, and jelly made out of coconut, mango and fruit agar agar. A feast for the eyes and stomach!

 



Stefanie showcases a beautiful spread of Bavarian food! Traditional sausages and sauerkraut are accompanied by mustard, and delicious potato salad. Pretzels are next to some delicious berries, while radishes and green asparagus add vibrant pops of color.



Join Ching for a journey to Australia! Next to the indigenous boomerang are two iconic Australian foods; a meat pie, the perfect portable lunch, and a lamington, Australia’s national dessert. Lamingtons are small sponge cakes covered in a thin layer chocolate and desiccated coconut, with this decadent version also filled with cream and strawberries.




Ming’s Hong Kong bento is full of yellows and reds, auspicious colors in the Hong Kong community. Walk the streets of Hong Kong and sample some street favorites, such as curry fishball, dim sum, sweet and sour delights, fruits, and more~

 

 

Whei showcased a traditional Malaysian dish in her colorful bento. Ketupat, rice dumplings, are made from rice placed in a palm leaf pouch that is woven tightly, and then boiled. The flavor of the leaf seeps into the rice, making it more aromatic. Accompanying the rice dumplings are satay, seasoned and grilled skewered meat, paired with a peanut sambal gravy.

Read more


Fridgeezoo Talking Fridge Pet Pals!

 

Fridgeezoo Talking Fridge Pet Pals are small carton shaped animals that live in your fridge and chat with you whenever you open the door. But beware: get ready to hear complaints if you leave the fridge door open too long! ‘It’s getting warm in here!’ ‘Quickly shut the door!’ Your new friends are sensitive to the temperature outside their fridge home!

 

With Fridgeezoo entering the market in 2010, over 600, 000 have been sold in Japan alone. However, behind the cheerful grins and bright colors of the adorable animals, there lies an unexpected message. Many of the original Fridgeezoo animals have a backstory:

Lion lost his grassland home due to agricultural expansion and now he has moved to your fridge! However, his personality remains frivolous and Lion often gets carried away!

Sloth, your new three-toed friend lived in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America! She lost her house due to deforestation, so she came to live in the fridge ^^ Since there are no enemies here, her favorite things to do are swim, sing, and relax!

These animals ran away from global warming, deforestation, agricultural expansion, and other environmental issues, and found a safe home in your fridge. They are homeless little animals searching for a new home, and for someone to talk to; how can you not take them in?

In a world where global warming awareness is rising, Fridgeezoo shows a unique and gentle way to embed the issues surrounding global warming into mainstream Japan; via adorable mascots, of course. Japan has long embraced mascots beyond the standard sports mascot that dances on the sidelines overseas; they embody a wide range of roles, from the ever popular Pikachu, to Kumamon, the official mascot of Kumamoto, a prefecture in southern Japan. Kumamon was originally created to draw tourists to the area. However when a big earthquake struck Kumamoto in 2016, the revenue from Kumamon products dramatically increased; people associated the cute character with the prefecture, and brought products to support those affected by the earthquake. The cute bear was described as ‘driving the reconstruction efforts’, showing the effect of popular mascots in Japan.

 

The Fridgeezoo series is expanding steadily, yet stays true to its original message; conserving energy to save the planet.

Fridgeezoo is now available in three series: the original Fridgeezoo, Fridgeezoo Q, and Fridgeezoo Hogen.

The Fridgeezoo Q Series features a new exclusive function: three different modes to adjust perfectly to your lifestyle. You can change the frequency of your new friend’s interactions with you simply by pressing the button on the bottom of the Fridgeezoo!

The new Fridgeezoo Hogen Series showcases cute animals from prefectures around Japan, each one displaying the trademark speech and phrases from their hometown ^^

 

Get your Fridgeezoo today!

 

Read more

 

Fridgeezoo Talking Fridge Pet Pals are small carton shaped animals that live in your fridge and chat with you whenever you open the door. But beware: get ready to hear complaints if you leave the fridge door open too long! ‘It’s getting warm in here!’ ‘Quickly shut the door!’ Your new friends are sensitive to the temperature outside their fridge home!

 

With Fridgeezoo entering the market in 2010, over 600, 000 have been sold in Japan alone. However, behind the cheerful grins and bright colors of the adorable animals, there lies an unexpected message. Many of the original Fridgeezoo animals have a backstory:

Lion lost his grassland home due to agricultural expansion and now he has moved to your fridge! However, his personality remains frivolous and Lion often gets carried away!

Sloth, your new three-toed friend lived in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America! She lost her house due to deforestation, so she came to live in the fridge ^^ Since there are no enemies here, her favorite things to do are swim, sing, and relax!

These animals ran away from global warming, deforestation, agricultural expansion, and other environmental issues, and found a safe home in your fridge. They are homeless little animals searching for a new home, and for someone to talk to; how can you not take them in?

In a world where global warming awareness is rising, Fridgeezoo shows a unique and gentle way to embed the issues surrounding global warming into mainstream Japan; via adorable mascots, of course. Japan has long embraced mascots beyond the standard sports mascot that dances on the sidelines overseas; they embody a wide range of roles, from the ever popular Pikachu, to Kumamon, the official mascot of Kumamoto, a prefecture in southern Japan. Kumamon was originally created to draw tourists to the area. However when a big earthquake struck Kumamoto in 2016, the revenue from Kumamon products dramatically increased; people associated the cute character with the prefecture, and brought products to support those affected by the earthquake. The cute bear was described as ‘driving the reconstruction efforts’, showing the effect of popular mascots in Japan.

 

The Fridgeezoo series is expanding steadily, yet stays true to its original message; conserving energy to save the planet.

Fridgeezoo is now available in three series: the original Fridgeezoo, Fridgeezoo Q, and Fridgeezoo Hogen.

The Fridgeezoo Q Series features a new exclusive function: three different modes to adjust perfectly to your lifestyle. You can change the frequency of your new friend’s interactions with you simply by pressing the button on the bottom of the Fridgeezoo!

The new Fridgeezoo Hogen Series showcases cute animals from prefectures around Japan, each one displaying the trademark speech and phrases from their hometown ^^

 

Get your Fridgeezoo today!

 

Read more


Golden Week is going Platinum!

In Japan, Golden Week is a period of four public holidays clustered together during one week at the end of April to the start of May. Apart from the New Years and Obon (traditional holidays in August), Golden Week is one of the busiest holiday periods in Japan.


But this year, Golden Week is going Platinum! The current Emperor of Japan, Emperor Akihito, is resigning on April 30. His son, the Crown Prince Naruhito, will ascend to the throne on May 1, with the day becoming a national holiday. This day also heralds a new Imperial era name, Reiwa (令和), meaning beautiful harmony, so the Japanese calendar year will begin from year 1 once again, and the current Heisei (平成; achieving peace) era, which is now in its 31st year, will come to an end. Imperial era names are often used on official documents in Japan, although the Western calendar date system is generally used in daily life.

Due to the new once-off May 1 holiday, April 30 and May 2 will also become national holidays; according to Japanese law, a day between two national holidays also automatically becomes a holiday. This creates a once in a generation Platinum Week, with a 10-day consecutive holiday period from April 27 to May 6.


Golden Week is made up of four public holidays:

April 29: Showa Day (昭和の日; showa no hi)

This is the birthday of the Showa era Emperor Hirohito, who died in 1989. During this day, the Japanese people remember the Showa era, which was filled with war and hardships, but also contained the bubble economy.

May 3: Constitution Day (健保記念日; kenpo kinenbi)

On May 3, 1947, the new postwar Japanese constitution came into effect. This day is often used by the media to reflect on the current state of Japanese politics.

May 4: Greenery Day (緑の日; midori no hi)

This day celebrates the environment and nature. It was originally celebrated on April 29, the birthday of the Showa era Emperor Hirohito, due to his love of plants and greenery.

May 5: Children’s Day (こどもの日; kodomo no hi)

Boy’s Day (端午の節句; tango no sekku) is celebrated on this day, with Girl’s Day (ひな祭り; hina matsuri) celebrated on March 3. On Boy’s Day, koi carp streamers are flown in houses and communities, and families pray for the health and success of their sons. Samurai dolls are often displayed in houses, mirroring the Imperial Court dolls displayed during the start of March for Girl’s Day.


Although coming to Japan is not recommended during Golden Week due to the high numbers of locals travelling both domestically and internationally, you can enjoy good weather and various Golden Week festivals and events held locally.

Why not take advantage of the joyous holiday spirit and enjoy the good weather with a bento lunch? We have various picnic boxes available here that will ensure a good time is had by all!

Read more

In Japan, Golden Week is a period of four public holidays clustered together during one week at the end of April to the start of May. Apart from the New Years and Obon (traditional holidays in August), Golden Week is one of the busiest holiday periods in Japan.


But this year, Golden Week is going Platinum! The current Emperor of Japan, Emperor Akihito, is resigning on April 30. His son, the Crown Prince Naruhito, will ascend to the throne on May 1, with the day becoming a national holiday. This day also heralds a new Imperial era name, Reiwa (令和), meaning beautiful harmony, so the Japanese calendar year will begin from year 1 once again, and the current Heisei (平成; achieving peace) era, which is now in its 31st year, will come to an end. Imperial era names are often used on official documents in Japan, although the Western calendar date system is generally used in daily life.

Due to the new once-off May 1 holiday, April 30 and May 2 will also become national holidays; according to Japanese law, a day between two national holidays also automatically becomes a holiday. This creates a once in a generation Platinum Week, with a 10-day consecutive holiday period from April 27 to May 6.


Golden Week is made up of four public holidays:

April 29: Showa Day (昭和の日; showa no hi)

This is the birthday of the Showa era Emperor Hirohito, who died in 1989. During this day, the Japanese people remember the Showa era, which was filled with war and hardships, but also contained the bubble economy.

May 3: Constitution Day (健保記念日; kenpo kinenbi)

On May 3, 1947, the new postwar Japanese constitution came into effect. This day is often used by the media to reflect on the current state of Japanese politics.

May 4: Greenery Day (緑の日; midori no hi)

This day celebrates the environment and nature. It was originally celebrated on April 29, the birthday of the Showa era Emperor Hirohito, due to his love of plants and greenery.

May 5: Children’s Day (こどもの日; kodomo no hi)

Boy’s Day (端午の節句; tango no sekku) is celebrated on this day, with Girl’s Day (ひな祭り; hina matsuri) celebrated on March 3. On Boy’s Day, koi carp streamers are flown in houses and communities, and families pray for the health and success of their sons. Samurai dolls are often displayed in houses, mirroring the Imperial Court dolls displayed during the start of March for Girl’s Day.


Although coming to Japan is not recommended during Golden Week due to the high numbers of locals travelling both domestically and internationally, you can enjoy good weather and various Golden Week festivals and events held locally.

Why not take advantage of the joyous holiday spirit and enjoy the good weather with a bento lunch? We have various picnic boxes available here that will ensure a good time is had by all!

Read more


Adorable Rice Molds!

Want to enter the world of cute bentos? Or just looking to make your daily lunch unique? Enter the world of bento accessories with Rice Molds! Perfect for making onigiri rice balls, you can personalize your bento with ease.


With the included mold and nori cutter, you can create a super adorable cat or panda! All of the little details are included, even the cat’s tail and whiskers! Join the Bento Revolution today!



Panda Rice Balls


Neko Cat Rice Balls

Read more

Want to enter the world of cute bentos? Or just looking to make your daily lunch unique? Enter the world of bento accessories with Rice Molds! Perfect for making onigiri rice balls, you can personalize your bento with ease.


With the included mold and nori cutter, you can create a super adorable cat or panda! All of the little details are included, even the cat’s tail and whiskers! Join the Bento Revolution today!



Panda Rice Balls


Neko Cat Rice Balls

Read more


Bento&co Flagship Boutique in Kyoto, Japan

Ever wondered what Bento&co HQ looks like? Take a trip inside our flagship boutique here in beautiful downtown Kyoto. And if you're ever visiting Japan, don't forget to stop by and say hello!

 

Read more

Ever wondered what Bento&co HQ looks like? Take a trip inside our flagship boutique here in beautiful downtown Kyoto. And if you're ever visiting Japan, don't forget to stop by and say hello!

 

Read more