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Marja Vongerichten

KAs@Work: Oghee Choe and Connie Choe-Harikul of Granny Choe Kimchi Co.

Posted on 16 February 2012 by Suzi Pratt

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KAs@Work is a new series that profiles Korean Americans and their jobs. Want to share what you do, or know of people with interesting jobs? Get in touch.

Granny Choe KimchiOghee (Granny) Choe and Connie Choe-Harikul

It’s no secret that Koreans love kimchi. There’s something about the spicy, tangy crunch of fermented cabbage that Koreans can’t resist. Granny Choe’s Kimchi Company is a California-based, award-winning online kimchi business that has honed in on the booming popularity of kimchi. Curious about this unique and popular business, Korean Beacon reached out to Oghee “Granny” Choe, the authentic halmoni (grandmother) behind the business, and Connie Choe-Harikul, the co-founder and granddaughter of Oghee.

Tell us the story of how Granny Choe’s business came to be.

Connie: A few years ago, my mom had the idea of selling her kimchi online… and, as it turns out, it was just wacky enough to work. She was still working full time as an R.N. and caring for my dad who had had a stroke a few years prior. She would make Granny Choe’s business calls during breaks at her real job. I was taking care of my 5-month-old daughter and doing freelance work and dealing with that identity crisis that a lot of new mothers go through… and working on the Granny Choe’s website. It gave us a sense of ownership and an outlet to be creative, which we loved and needed.

What goals or expectations did you have for Granny Choe’s when you first got started? Have your goals been realized or exceeded?

Connie: We knew our kimchi was great and wanted to A) have it be an award-winning product so that others would know it was great and B) sell our product in Whole Foods Markets because it is vegan, probiotic and all-natural. We met both of those goals within the first two years. In retrospect, things took of pretty quickly for us. But in the beginning (and heck, sometimes even now), it’s a lot of labor for few results… and a lot of uncertainty. We hope that comes as an encouragement to future entrepreneurs- doubt is a normal part of the process- press onward!

Granny Choe's Kimchi TrioGranny Choe’s Kimchi Trio Set

The LA Weekly review mentioned that Granny Choe grew up making kimchi the old fashioned way with earthenware pottery. What are your current kimchi production methods like?

Oghee: We started out having our kimchi made at a little shop in LA’s Koreatown, and when we outgrew that space, we started renting time at a vegetarian co-op kitchen. Our kimchi is mostly still prepared and packed by hand, but we do rely on a few machines like a blender (for the garlic and ginger) and a digital scale (if our fill weights aren’t right, the jars could overflow during fermentation). We make it in modern homemade style, but on a larger scale.

What is your customer base generally like? Are your loyal consumers Korean or of another ethnicity?

Oghee: We were surprised, but most of our customers are non-Korean!

Connie: We’re always interested in hearing how they fell in love with kimchi. Some are former servicemen (and women) who developed a kimchi addiction while stationed in Korea. Some enjoyed Korean food at friends’ houses while growing up. Some are just learning about kimchi now that it’s making its way into the mainstream.

Food critic Ruth Reichl predicted that “Kimchi may push Sriracha off its perch” this year. With the recent push to globalize Korean food, how and why do you think kimchi, and Korean food in general, is growing in popularity in American diets?

Connie: This may be hard for Korean-Americans to believe, but we still have plenty of people ask us, “What is kimchi?” Korean food is growing in popularity thanks to Korean American foodie stars like Marja Vongerichten (Kimchi Chronicles), Debbie Lee (The Next Food Network Star), and Roy Choi (Kogi BBQ). Honestly, I think part of its allure is that it’s notoriously stinky and hot. And it’s an easy way to spice up an otherwise plain meal.

Kimchi SalsaGranny Choe’s Kimchi Salsa

Your website lists a few creative kimchi recipes such as pancakes, salsa, and potstickers, whereas the news section mentions wild dishes such as the kimchi donut and kimchi grilled cheese sandwich. What are some of the most creative ways you have seen kimchi being used as an ingredient?

Connie: I’ve heard about molecular gastronomists incorporating kimchi into dishes like kimchi cracklings (Ideas in Food) and Rina Oh‘s albacore tuna carpaccio with kimchi gelee over wasabi shaved ice. Fun stuff! And on the less wild, but so delicious side, I love kimchi-topped kalbi sausages from Seoul Sausage Co.

Some say that you shouldn’t mix business with family. How do you make your grandmother-granddaughter business relationship work?

Oghee: It’s not hard to be considerate. You just have to take a little time to think about how you’d like people to act towards you, and treat other people that way—then it’s easy to work with most people. And it’s hard to work with friends or family when you’re fighting over money. It would be nice if our business could support us someday, but we’re really not focused on getting rich.

For more information on Granny Choe’s Kimchi Co, visit their site at http://www.grannychoe.com.

Granny Choe’s Kimchi Co
14077 Hargrove Court
Moorpark, CA
93021 805-750-0888
Follow on Facebook and Twitter.

[Photos: Granny Choe Kimchi Co website

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‘Kimchi Chronicles’ YouTube Cooking Challenge!

Posted on 31 October 2011 by Deborah J. Yoon

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Kimchi Chronicles—the hit show circling Korea’s rich culinary and cultural landscape—is giving you a chance to showcase your talent and abilities in Korean cooking through the Kimchi Chronicles Video Contest. Last week, the show launched an exciting cooking competition in order to give aspiring chefs a chance to be recognized and rewarded.

How do you enter? All you need to do is submit a video of yourself (must be under 5 minutes long) cooking one of the many dishes in the Kimchi Chronicles cookbook. These videos will be reviewed by a panel of judges, which include members from: DramaFever, H-mart, Bee Yinn Low of Rasa Malaysia, CJ Foods, and, of course, Marja Vongerichten and the entire Kimchi Chronicles team.

The winner of the contest will not only be given the honorable title of “Kimchi Chronicles Chef,” but they will also receive a year’s supply of H-mart Kimchi, a year’s subscription of DramaFever Premium, a year’s supply of CJ Bibigo Korean Pantry Set, and a $100 gift certificate to spend at Hmart.com. The contestants that come in second and third will also receive incredible prizes.

The contest runs from October 19th to December 9th, so hurry up and get your videos in! For more details about the concert, click here.

Watch Marja Vongerichten explain the contest details below:

Catch the Kimchi Chronicles on your local PBS station! For air times, click here.

[Photo KimchiChronicles]

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Recap: Kollaboration New York 6!

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Mink Choi

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Kollaboration NY6, the highly-anticipated annual talent competition show, kicked off at Irving Plaza with an adrenaline-pumping performance of “Bubba Kush” by rapper and co-host of the event, Dumbfoundead (Jonathan Park).

Dumbfoundead

Co-host Roy Choi, Executive Producer and CEO of Kollaboration, joined onstage to talk about Kollaboration’s mission statement—“Empowerment through Entertainment”—and to provide a platform for Asian American artists where there previously wasn’t one. He introduced the judges: Marja Vongerichten (Kimchi Chronicles), world-known executive music producer, !llmind, and music journalist Mikey Fresh, who commented that his top criteria for judging each group would be originality. Mikey also told us that in all fairness, he would remain non-biased towards any rap performances since he’s exposed to it on a daily basis.

Guest Judge Mikey Fresh, music journalist for VIBE.com and Missinfo.tv

There were six groups competing for the grand prize of $1,000, the opening slot for Clara C at her NYC concert in November, and the Kollaboration trophy, along with bragging rights of being the premiere Asian American musical performer in the tri-state area.

Elijah Park

The first act, singer/songwriter Elijah Park, got off to a nervous start, it being his biggest show yet. But after slight technical difficulties with the keyboard, Elijah’s ballad and smooth vocals had the crowd in a trance.

Next up was Rooftop Pursuit—Kollab veterans—singing a pop/rock/soul medley called “All I Need.” The band had driven 4 hours from D.C. just that morning, and although they had expressed their exhaustion earlier, their upbeat performance showed no traces of it. The band is originally a trio; however, they were accompanied by an old band-mate, Sam Lee, on the bass guitar. Their musical influences have roots in and across the spectrum, from jazz, R&B soul, to rock and alternative metal.

Rooftop Pursuit

After singer/songwriter/pianist Cheryl Chin performed her original song, “Flow it Along,” which was a perfect blend of indie and alternative sounds, Triangle Offense, the “electrohop” rap group, took to the stage.

Triangle Offense

Triangle Offense is originally a three-member group but since one of the members, Pwol, is currently studying in the Philippines, the pressure was on Sci and Bri to put on a great show – which they did, performing their song, “It’s All Good,” and engaging the audience with their wild dance moves.

Roy Choi (right) and Dumbfoundead (left)

In-between sets, hosts Roy Choi and Dumbfoundead entertained and amused the crowd with witty banter and tossed t-shirts across the venue because, “everyone loves free stuff!” They also shouted out Korean Beacon, and talked of how the site has come a long way in an effort to spread the Korean American movement. Thanks guys!!

Mitchell Grey

The quartet, Mitchell Grey, came on next who said that in preparation for the competition, they followed their normal rigorous 3-day practice routine before hitting the stage at KNY 6. Mitchell Grey’s sound is a unique one, incorporating pop, rock, and soul, with musical influences ranging from Bill Withers, Gorillaz, Justin Nozuka, and Coheed & Cambria. Their creative inspiration is pulled from all of their life experiences, interpreted in their own way through music and lyrics. We look forward to their very first full-length album coming out in January!

The last group of the night was the only non-singing act—the troupe of dancers, Wanted Ashiqz, crammed onto the stage in a tight formation and began their performance tutting to Eminem and Dr. Dre’s, “The Real Slim Shady.” Their dance style consisted of hip-hop elements infused with Bollywood moves perfectly set against a fluid mash-up of Beyonce songs—“Crazy” and “Halo,” with one of the members coming out in a “Beyonce” wig and cap. The group did a tribute to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” and then quickly morphed into full-fledged Bollywood-style dancing. They ended their act holding up signs that read, “THANK YOU FOR SHOWING US THE WAY.”

After a short intermission, the guest performers—IAMMEDIC, Smokey Robotic, and Dumbfoundead took to the stage and each performed a few of their songs, which were instant crowd pleasers, without a doubt.

And finally, they announced the winners – WANTED ASHIQZ! Congrats guys!!


Following the event, the bands all tweeted each other in a good show of sportsmanship and congratulatory remarks.

We also sat down with rapper, Rekstizzy, who shot his music video at Irving Plaza featuring Dumbfoundead just before the event – watch out for Rek’s newest single off his album, Fake it Till You Naked.

Kollaboration NY 6 was definitely a success with an amazing turn-out, and some of the best up-and-coming musical talents! Great work, KNY fam.

[Justin Ahn contributed to this post; Photos: Deborah Yoon]

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The Reign of Korean Cuisine is Coming!

Posted on 23 September 2011 by Deborah J. Yoon

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On Wednesday, South Korea’s First Lady, Kim Yoon-Ok, met with Korean and Korean American chefs, bloggers, and important figures leading the way for hansik (Korean cuisine) in the NYC food scene. Kim, who plays an active role in the Korean government’s effort to globalize Korean food, visited chef Hooni Kim‘s Danji, a restaurant serving modern Korean cuisine, and Social Eatz, a restaurant famous for its glorious Bibimbap Burger, to give tips on how Korean and Korean fusion restaurants can further promote Korean cuisine, reports The Korea Times.

Emily Kim, First Lady Kim Young-Ok, CIA student Joon-su Bae, Marja Vongerichten, and Ham Ji Bach’s Young-han Kim

Some of the people in attendance were Maangchi‘s Emily Kim (who blogged about her meeting with the First Lady), Social Eatz‘ owner Bobby Kwak and chef Angelo Sosa, Kimchi Chronicles Jean-Georges and Marja Vongerichten, and Peter Kang, founder of Korean Food Gallery. During the meeting, Kim commended them for their efforts in promoting Korean cuisine and culture in the U.S. and pointed out how Korean restaurants serving traditional Korean dishes were key in successfully introducing hansik to a wide range of people and palates.

Kim’s trip to NYC’s Korean food scene is another step in the Korean government’s billion-dollar-plus campaign to promote Korean cuisine and ultimately be ranked in the world’s top 5 cuisines by 2017. Though it takes time and persistence, we hope bibimbap and kimchi jjigae will become well known as dishes from other Asian countries like sushi and Pad Thai.

[Photos: (first photo) Wall Street Journal; (2nd photo) Emily Kim/Maanchi.com]

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Concept Korea IV Fashion Collective at New York Fashion Week

Posted on 12 September 2011 by Mink Choi

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The designers posing with Vanessa Hudgens (middle)

As part of New York Fashion Week, Concept Korea, sponsored by The Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the Korean Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), the South Korean city of Daegu, and the Korea Research Institute for Fashion Industry, showcased five top designers from Seoul, Korea and their Spring 2012 lines. The designers were chosen to present during New York Fashion Week after competing against one another, and the winners were selected based on their design skills and ability to develop a sustainable business model.

Concept Korea Fashion Collective held their presentation at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, and attracted crowds of people, among them were Kimchi ChroniclesMarja Vongerichten, Ms. Jay Alexander (America’s Next Top Model), and actress Vanessa Hudgens. Each designer presented their unique styles: clean-cut lines and blue hues from Son Jung WanDoHo’s ethereal colors and feminine embellishments, Resurrection by JuYoung worn by all male models in well-structured blazers and a kilt or two, Lie Sang Bong’s retro-70’s looks, and Steve J & Yoni P’s bright floral print dresses and relaxed denim jackets.


Designer Son Jung Wan

Collection by DoHo

Resurrection designer JuYoung (right)

Resurrection collection by JuYoung

Ms. Jay Alexander and designer JuYoung

Collection by Lie Sang Bong

Designer Lie Sang Bong (left) and friend

Collection by Steve J & Yoni P

[Photos: Mink Choi]

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Top 5 Most Korean-American Cities: New York City

Posted on 02 September 2011 by Korean Beacon

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In a weekly series of posts, we will present the Top 5 Most Korean-American cities, selected not only for their numbers, but also for their visibility in mainstream America. Our research was guided by the following criteria: population, famous and/or influential locals, programs, and hotspots.

#2 New York, NY

New York City proudly boasts the second largest population of Korean Americans in the United States. Bustling Koreatowns have sprouted in Manhattan’s 32nd Street (a.k.a. “Korea Way”) and Flushing, a neighborhood in Queens where the streets are lined with Korean shops, restaurants, and churches. Walking through both areas is like being transported to Korea itself—minus the grueling 13-hour flight. NYC is also home to your favorite go-to place for KA news: Korean Beacon!

Numbers

  • 132,371 – New York metro area (population data compiled using the 2010 Census; excludes counties in Jersey and PA)

Visibility

  • Dai Sil Kim-Gibson is an award-winning filmmaker, whose films include Sa-I-Gu: Korean Women’s Perspectives, Wet Sand: Voices from LA, and Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women.  The latter film inspired her to create the Silence Broken Foundation, a non-profit organization that is “dedicated to exploring gender discrimination, racism, poverty and class struggle around the world.”
  • Pauline Park is a tireless fighter for transgender rights. Based in Queens, Park co-founded the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), the first statewide transgender advocacy organization in New York, and Queens Pride House, the borough’s only LGBT community center. Pauline recently gave the commencement speech at Columbia University’s Lavender Graduation this past May.

Adrian Hong (left) and Pauline Park (right)

  • Adrian Hong is a TED fellow, and the co-founder and former Director of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), a global NGO whose mission is to “redefin[e] the North Korea crisis through creative storytelling, while providing emergency relief to North Korean refugees and pursuing an end to the human rights crisis.” Devoted to defending human rights, Adrian recently founded The Pegasus Press—a new initiative that uses innovative technology to keep the internet open and “safe for political dissidents and citizen journalists.”
  • An advocate for women’s and children’s rights, Kyung B. Yoon is the Executive Director of the Korean American Community Foundation (KACF), a non-profit organization that “provides grants and capacity-building assistance to organizations working to address the most pressing needs in the Korean American community and beyond.” Last year we interviewed Kyung about her inspiring work with KACF and her goal to foster philanthropy in the KA community.
  • A former candidate for New York City Council, Jin “PJ” Kim, a first-generation Korean American, is now the Executive Director at New York Needs You (NYNY), a career and leadership training program that empowers first-generation college students to achieve and realize their full potential. Notably, PJ also served as the Executive Director to the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy (DMI), a non-partisan progressive “urban think tank” founded during the Civil Rights Movement.

Programs

MinKwon’s Executive Director Steven Choi at rally on immigration issues

  • MinKwon Center for Community Action fights for marginalized community members such as the youth, the elderly, recent immigrants, low-income residents, and limited English proficient residents who lack access to vital resources. MinKwon and its executive director, Steven Choi, were featured in a New York Times article that discussed the recent influx of Asians in New York and the fight to get fair representation for all Asians living in the city.
  • The Korea Society was founded in 1957 with the purpose of facilitating a friendly relationship between the US through programs that allow for exchanges on topics such as public policy, business, education, and the arts. Next week, the organization will host an event with Wesley Yang, author of the New York Magazine article “Paper Tigers“—a response to Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
  • Fighting on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning people of Korean descent, the Dari Project aims to increase awareness and acceptance in Korean American communities. Dari provides resources such as personal testimonials about the experiences of LGBTQ people that are dispersed through a website that is available in both English and Korean.
  • The Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC) fights to prevent and end domestic violence and abuse for adults, youths, and children. KAFSC’s Board Chair Sarah BJ Sung was featured in the documentary series “NYC Women: Make it Here, Make it Happen” as a woman who is making a significant difference in New York City.
  • The Korean Cultural Service New York (KCSNY) promotes Korean culture and aesthetics in New York through gallery exhibitions, performing arts concerts, film festivals, and educational programs. KCSNY also manages a library that contains more than 18,000 books magazines, and AV materials so that information on Korean films and Korean culture are easily accessible.

 

Hotspots

Buddae jjigae at Pocha 32

  • NYC is home to Korilla BBQthe Korean-style taco food truck founded by Ed Song. Since there are three trucks now, it’s impossible to miss out on a delicious taco lunch or dinner!
  • Pocha 32 on W. 32nd street is a near-perfect replica of pojangmacha-style eateries littering the streets of South Korea—except it’s indoors. It’s known for its strong garlic odor, and delicious bubbling jjigaes (stews). Pocha 32 is also one of Kimchi ChroniclesMarja Vongerichten’s favorite spots in NYC.
  • Circle is the premier attraction for newcomers to Manhattan looking for a fun, dance-filled night out. Owned by Bobby Kwak, one of NYC’s most savviest entrepreneurs, the nightclub is best known for hosting mini-concerts by top K-pop stars like Brown Eyed Girls and rapper Crown-J. It’s also been confirmed that this Labor Day weekend, T.O.P. from Big Bang will make a special guest appearance on both Friday and Saturday night! Other popular club spots in K-town are Maru Lounge on 32nd St, and Third Floor Cafe on 5th Avenue.

  • Boka, in the heart of St. Mark’s, serves up plates of Korean fried chicken from Bonchon in all of the flavors you love. Make sure to top it off with an order of watermelon soju!
  • U2 Karaoke is one of the bigger noraebangs in Manhattan—located in St. Mark’s rather than K-town. It’s a great spot for large birthday parties, or even just hanging out with a group of friends on a Friday night. The bar spans three floors with private karaoke rooms, and boasts a fully stocked bar on the second floor with seating.
  • Kimganae, on Union Street in Flushing, has amazingly decent prices and is the best place to go for a fast meal that tastes just like a home-cooked Korean dish. The restaurant serves a variety of “comfort” foods like kimbap, tonkatsu and deokbokki.

 

Locals

Momofuku’s David Chang (left) and KC’s Marja Vongeritchen (right)

  • Born to a Korean mother and an African American father, and adopted by an American family at the age of 3, Kimchi Chronicles Marja Vongeritchen is the new ambassador for Korean cuisine and culture, as well as a refreshing new face and voice in Korean America. A passionate noraebang-er, you’ll most likely bump into Marja and her “karaoke crew” (which usually includes her birth mother) in K-town.
  • After moving to New York for a job as the host of an Oxygen show, SuChin Pak was quickly spotted as a rising star by MTV and promptly began her career as an MTV VJ in 2001. SuChin was recently featured in an interview with V Magazine about her role as the founder of Hester Street Fair.
  • Kelly Choi is an Emmy-award winning television personality on NYC TV, former host of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, and co-producer and host of the documentary series Secrets of New York. She also created and produced Eat Out NY, a show that is a guide to the city’s most popular and most hidden restaurants.
  • Other locals include Alexander Chee, the author of Edinburgh (one of our Summer Reading picks!), and Emily Kim, the Korean food blogger pioneer better known as “Maangchi.”

The #1 Most KA city probably won’t be a big surprise, but still check back next week! We have some awesome hotspots and people lined up!

UPDATE: Check out our Top 5 Most Korean-American Cities Map!

Melissah Yang and Mink Choi contributed to this post.

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KB at L.A. Premiere of ‘Kimchi Chronicles’

Posted on 08 July 2011 by Korean Beacon

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This past Wednesday, Korean Beacon stopped by CGV Theaters in L.A.’s Koreatown to watch the L.A. premiere of Kimchi Chronicles. The first episode transported us from host Marja Vongerichten‘s own kitchen (the setting of a couple of cooking demos that poked fun at Hugh Jackman‘s wariness of spicy foods) to the streets and smells of Seoul.

During the Q&A session, Marja and KC’s producer Eric Rhee shared their passions and hopes for their project. When asked how the Korean/Korean American community could help support spread the word out about the series, Eric answered:

“Talk to your friends. Find out what they like and try to figure out a way to share Korean food and culture so that you can customize it for them. Our show is not for everybody, but at least it can be a tool for everybody to say, ‘Oh, check out Kimchi Chronicles.’ “

Following the premiere, guests were led to the lower level courtyard where there was an open Hite/Jinro bar as well as kimbab from Seoul Food restaurant to munch on. As Marja and Eric made their rounds, music by DJ Choimatic from New York City kept the party alive all night long. The night was a huge success with lots of press and good vibes flowing all around. CJ Food also provided gift bags for guests that contained samples of Annie Chun‘s “goes on everything” gochujang sauce, along with a bottle of Jinro and cosmetics from Amore Pacific. Congratulations to the entire KC team, and cheers to a successful show!

Kimchi Chronicles airs in L.A. every Thursday at 7pm on KLCS CH 58 and also gets broadcast by KCET CH 28 on Fridays at 2pm and Saturdays at Noon.

Visit the Kimchi Chronicles website for the full airing schedule, recipes, episode summaries and clips: http://www.kimchichronicles.tv/

Audrey Yun-Suong and Melissah Yang contributed to this post.

[Photo: Phil Shin/Hite & Jinro]

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Win Tickets to the L.A. Premiere of ‘Kimchi Chronicles’!

Posted on 01 July 2011 by Melissah Yang

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We all know how amazing a great plate of kimchi can be, but did you ever think that Korean food would get the credit that it deserves? That’s what Kimchi Chronicles hopes to achieve. As we mentioned back in May, the thirteen-episode journey follows Marja Vongerichten and her star chef husband, Jean-Georges, as they travel all over South Korea’s culinary and cultural landscape. The show even boasts some celebrity support with appearances by Heather Graham and Hugh Jackman.

Kimchi Chronicles is making its nationwide debut on July 7th*, but Korean Beacon is giving away VIP tickets to the L.A. premiere on July 6th. We really want our beloved readers to get an early experience of the show’s whirlwind tour of Korean cuisine. That’s why TWO lucky winners will each receive a pair of tickets to the premiere and VIP screening and reception in L.A.’s Koreatown!

To win these tickets:

You must be an L.A. resident (unless you don’t mind trekking from wherever you may live)
- “Like” Korean Beacon on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/koreanbeacon).
- E-mail us at giveaways@koreanbeacon.com with a valid e-mail address and share your favorite Korean restaurant with us and tell us why you love it.

We might feature your favorite Korean eatery in our next Korean Food USA post, so give us details (photos would be awesome, but not required). And please put “KC Contest” in the subject line when you e-mail us. We will be reading all of your restaurant recommendations and announcing the two lucky winners with the most descriptive, mouth-watering homage to their favorite Korean restaurant on Tuesday (7/5 – check your e-mail inbox then!).

The contest ends Monday, July 4th @ 2pm PST, so act fast! You definitely don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. Also, follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@KoreanBeacon) — we’ll be giving away other exciting prizes in the future, so follow and be in the know!

About the ‘Kimchi Chronicles’ VIP Event:
Location: CGV Cinemas at 621 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA
Date & Time: Wednesday, July 6 at 6:30pm
(Marja Vongreichten and KC‘s producer Eric Rhee are going to be there!)

FYI – Kimchi Chronicles airs in L.A. every Thursday at 7pm starting July 7th on KLCS CH 58 and also gets broadcast by KCET CH 28 on Fridays at 2pm and Saturdays at Noon.

Check out Hugh Jackman’s promo of Kimchi Chronicles below:

[Photos: Kimchi Chronicles Facebook]

*Air dates vary for each region. Contact your local PBS station to find out when it will air in your ‘hood.

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D.C.’s Summer Fancy Food Show Features Hansik Pop-Up Restaurant

Posted on 20 June 2011 by Christine Y. Chung

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Korean food has become exponentially more popular in the past few years, and as a result, more accessible than ever. From July 10-12, D.C.’s Summer Fancy Food Show is home to a record 25 Korean food companies, most notably, the Hansik Pop-Up restaurant.

The “unique experimental 10-seat full-service restaurant” will serve a three-course, “prix-free” meal prepared by celebrity chef Akira Back of Yellowtail Restaurant. The menu features inventive takes on traditional Korean favorites, such as a Kogi taco with smoked tomato salsa, bibim tuna with strawberry and mini corn, and ssam prepared with free range chicken, ginseng air and ssamjang. There’s also a creative cocktail menu, recipes courtesy of Kimchi Chronicles‘ Jean-Georges and Marja Vongerichten.

Reservations are required, but sadly, are exclusive to buyers attending the show. Lucky attendees, schedule your tasting today!

[Photo: Hansik Pop-up Restaurant]

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Watch: Making of PBS’s ‘Kimchi Chronicles’ with Marja Vongerichten

Posted on 11 May 2011 by Korean Beacon

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You’ve probably already seen the promos for the new PBS show called Kimchi Chronicles, a thirteen-episode journey exploring Korean cuisine and culture. The show follows Marja Vongerichten, wife of world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, as she visits restaurants, pojanmachas (street stalls), markets, and popular tourist destinations all over South Korea.

However, the show is not only about Korea and its culinary landscape. Marja, who is half Korean, was adopted by an American family at a young age. And, while her father often took her to Korean-Chinese restaurants for jajangmyeon (blackbean noodles), she wasn’t properly introduced to Korean food—which she now calls “the soul food of Asia”—until she found her biological mother fifteen years ago. Thus, the show will also weave Marja’s personal history and take viewers on her journey of self-discovery as well.

Last week, The Korea Society arranged a Q&A with Marja and the show’s producer Eric Rhee where they discussed the creative process behind the show, memorable scenes, and some of the challenges they faced while filming.

Watch the full Q&A with Marja and producer Eric Rhee:

New Yorkers are getting an early taste of Kimchi Chronicles (second episode airs this Sunday!), but the show will broadcast nationally starting July. Marja also plans on publishing a Korean cookbook to accompany the TV series in August – you can pre-order the book here!

The Kimchi Chronicles website hasn’t launched yet, but check out their Facebook page for updates.

[photo: Kimchi Chronicles]

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