52,000 people attended GRILLFEST

More than 5,000 of them tried the crocodile burger and steak.

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The second edition of the GRILLFEST festival took place on May 10-12 at Lagoo Snagov, where 52,000 participants enjoyed 3 days of gastronomic culture from around the world and fun for the whole family.

During the three days, over 200 tons of BBQ preparations were consumed at GRILLFEST, the organizers having to double the amount of products originally estimated. In the top of the participants’ preferences were pork dishes, then chicken products, beef and mutton products, and last but not least, there was an increased demand for fish and seafood.

Vegetables and salads also had an important role in defining the BBQ menus at GRILLFEST, being indispensable in the promotion and development of a healthy lifestyle. Tens of thousands of dishes cooked using different techniques with fire and smoke by the 200 chefs from 10 countries delighted the taste buds of the participants, and more than 5000 of them wanted to try the unique taste of GRILLFEEST – the burger and steak crocodile, while at Barbeque Carousel Chef Orlando Zaharia’s team prepared 36 suckling piglets.

“We are delighted and honored by the warmth with which the public received this new barbeque festival concept that we brought to Romania, and this year for the first time in Snagov. It was a massive effort, but the response received from both attendees and the industry proves once again that it was well worth it. On behalf of the entire GRILLFEST team I want to thank everyone present for the openness and joy with which they embraced the festival. Also, thank you is a little said for the sponsors and partners, representatives of the meat industry, catering and retail, barbeque chefs, artisans, manufacturers and distributors of professional equipment, lighting partners, recyclable packaging, sanitary products, cleaning, security, all those who participated in the deployment of forces that made GRILLFEST 2024 possible. Thank you all and we look forward to seeing you in 2025 with an even bigger, better, and more spectacular GRILLFEST!” said Eugen Capră, GRILLFEST organizer.

The two ambassadors of the festival, Chef Orlando Zaharia and Chef Paizao, a special guest from Brazil, competed in front of the audience in a taste competition with two culinary premieres. Chef Orlando Zaharia prepared for the first time a “pork knuckle smash” with an authentic Romanian taste, while Chef Paizao brought the taste of Brazil in a crocodile burger. The tasting public decided that both tastes were winners. After the GRILLFEST experience, Chef Paizao was so impressed by the Romanian culture and the warmth with which he was greeted, that he went home with a new tattoo that says “Thank you Romania!”.

“I felt extraordinary in Romania and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to share a bit of the taste of Brazil with you. We discovered at GRILLFEST all the ingredients of a world-renowned gastronomic culture event, a host of talented chefs and an amazing audience. I can’t wait to see you again next year! As I also wrote on my arm with the help of the tattoo artist – Thank you, Romania!” – said Chef Paizao, GRILLFEST ambassador, special guest from Brazil.

“GRILLFEST is the most complex barbeque event I’ve taken part in so far. I am glad that I could contribute to these three days of gastronomic culture, we had the opportunity to introduce everyone to the barbeque culture and show them that it means much more than a barbecue. Thank you to all the participants, the organizers who made this event possible and my team for the extraordinary involvement. See you next year, at GRILLFEST!” – said Chef Orlando Zaharia, GRILLFEST ambassador.

During the festival, the jury made up of members of ANBCT – the National Association of Chefs and Confectioners in Tourism from Romania tasted products from all 50 barbeque stands to choose the best dishes from Romania and designated three winners. The big winner of the edition is Casa Angus, closely followed by Cocorico, occupying the 2nd place and Păstramaria Zimbria in the 3rd place.

At the same time, the Blade Masters competition took place, for the first time in Romania, dedicated to knife artisans who competed in tests of finesse and endurance for two days, in front of the jury made up of specialist knife manufacturers and distributors, passionate artisans and renowned chefs. The winner of the competition, the craftsman Valentin Popescu, was appointed Blade Master GRILLFEST 2024.

The evenings were enlivened by the concerts performed by Loredana & Agurida, Diana Matei & Taraful Cleante, Puya, Connect-r, Damian Drăghici & Brothers and Viorica & Taraful Clejanilor, in the light of an impressive fireworks show.

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