Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few personal favorites

The results of the Bento&co contest are in, and the winning entry is this beautiful bento from Shirley from Singapore.

It was in my top 10 too. The colors, the execution, and the content is impeccable. You can check out the rest of the top 10 as chosen by a group of judges (including myself) here.

Since there were more than 220 entries and most of them were of very high quality, a few of my favorites did not make the top 10. Here are some of them. I liked this one by Lydia from Austria a lot because of the coconut-curry flavored onigiri, the neat little cherry tomato roses, and because it looks so tasty and healthy.

I love the butterfly onigiri in this bento by Mandy from England. The colors are quite muted but it still looks delicious and very healthy too.

This bento by Cyntia from France also has muted colors.It just goes to show that you don’t always need bright reds and yellows to make a bento look pretty. I also like the neat little rows of food. There were a few bentos with straight rows of food like this - maybe it’s a trend? The detail is fantastic - check out the mischievous radish boy in the corner.

There were a number of panda themed bentos entered. This one by Marie from Hungry was my favorite. Look at those cute baby pandas!

Last but not least is this simple little bento by Motoko from Japan. It’s very plain compared to the more showy entries, but it looks delicious and makes me feel terribly nostalgic.

Congratulations to Shirley and all the winners, and kudos for the staff at Bento&co for pulling off yet another big bento contest. Above all, to everyone who entered the contest and allowed us to enjoy your work - thank you! I’m already looking forward to next year’s contest.

ETA: Bento&co made this great infographic about the contest. Check it out!

bentoandco2012infographic2.jpg

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

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Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

One thing that I noticed with most of the bentos in the competition (and other bento examples on other sites) is that they overflow the box . . . I mean, how do you put a lid on it when everything hangs out over the edge? I like the practical images that show the food fitting into the container where the lid can fit on.
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Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

I was actually thinking the same thing. As much as the winner's box was beyond breathtaking...I'm talking wallpaper/screensaver beautiful...it's not something I could actually take to work and eat. Not only is it overflowing and in no way can be contained in that small box, the bit of tofu in that beautiful ceramic cup is sitting in its poaching liquid and is in no way transportable.

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

Me too! I would like to see the competition focus on keeping it in the box. No offense to those who had the beautiful creations this time though :) They were fun to look it!

I agree about the lids. It

I agree about the lids. It vexes me to see pictures of bentos that overflow out of the box. There is no way a lid would go on without squashing things, rendering it unappetizing looking. I like simple lunches the best, though. No cut outs for me.

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

I wondered the same thing! How do you put the lid on the overflowing bentos. Lol.. That is why I just loved the one from Japan. the simple rice balls with umeboshi just made my mouth water!

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

I love the winner's bento - it's showy but with minimal effort and uses pretty healthy food! I especially love the rabbit onigiri and the fact that only a few decorations were used to enhance the bento - what makes it look tasty is the natural vibrancy of the food.

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

The bunnies and the pandas are just too cute for words. I love the showcase type runway style ideas these people used, even the super simple comfort food one. It looks like a perfect break from the daily toil.

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

Gorgeous! The pandas are just too cute for words.

But the last one, the simple bento, really appeals to me. It's beautiful too, but also so homey. My mother never made bentos, but it looks like the sort of thing a mother would make.

Yay!

I'm absolutely thrilled that I got a "honourable mention" here on your site despite not making it into the Top Ten. Thank you, Maki! \(^_^)/

There were so many awesome and creative entries, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you judges to pick only ten of them. I know I had a hard time just selecting one out of the ten to vote for!

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

Hello Maki. I like this bento contest very much. Lots of the bentos are so pretty and cute.
I was a participant, and now I feel bad. Not because I did not win -- I knew I never had a chance. You seee, my bento is in the contest (and on the Facebook page), but my country is not among the 22 listed in the infographics. And on the Facebook page my bento has another person's name and description on it - she must feel cheated as well. I'm sorry that I'm whining on your page, which I like so much, but I don't know where else to do it. Feel free to delete this comment if you like.

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

Hi Charlotte, you should send a message to Bento&co on their Facebook page, or on their blog http://bentoandco.tumblr.com/

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

Charlotte, we are very sorry for this oversight., we didn't copy/paste your bento description next to your bento picture on the facebook page and this led to our mistake.
We will try to modify our inforgraphics, at least to have accurate info for our record.

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

I recognized that little radish boy right away...it's Waldo! That is a "Where's Waldo?" bento...BRILLIANT!

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

Haha, you're right! So cute and appetizing, all of these bento boxes.

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

All really beautiful and inspiring. I do love Motoko's - I'm a sucker for simplicity and hers is so pretty and tidy. :)

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

This is really kool !! i like the ones from Cyndia from France which had muted colors....

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

They all look so awesome and delicious! Yum yum yum!

Re: Results of the 2012 Bento&co contest, plus a few ...

Heya, I can't see the images except for the winning one for some reason. Can you fix this please? Thank you!

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