The K-Food Junior Chef Event was held August 19, 2016 at the Gourmandise School, where seven junior finalists went head-to-head to produce their original cuisine by utilizing Korean ingredients.
The call for contest entries began on June 20, 2016 and around a hundred hopeful candidates submitted their recipes via the Tasty K-Food website.
The contestants were required to use Korean ingredients to create an original recipe for an entrée using the following; Yuja cha, barley tea, roasted seaweed, Kimchi and Gochujang sauce which is a.k.a red pepper sauce.
Only seven of the talented young cooks were chosen to take part in the “Cook-Off” which took place on August 19, at the Gourmandise School in Santa Monica, California.
The contestants were all given 45 minutes to produce their work: 10 minutes to prep and 35 minutes to cook their meal. They were asked to list the ingredients they’ve utilized, along with the detailed preparation and plating method before presenting the final dishes to the judges.
The judges of K-Food Junior Chef Event consisted of World renowned Chef Gino Campagna, Racheal Ray’s Kids Cook-Off winner, Scarlett Smorynski and World Federation of Korean Food Globalization’s president Jong Taek Lim.
The winner of this K-Food contest was Dara Yu, who came up with a burger inspired from a Korean Bibimbap that “transformed into a hand-held dish.”
Dara Yu is not only an aspiring young chef in America - she was runner-up on the first season of MasterChef Junior back in 2013 when she was 12 years of age. For winning this K-Food Junior Chef Event, Dara was awarded $700.00 USD.
The second winner of the contest was Bowen Chen, who presented his dish “Nature Rurality Baked Noodle” which he described as being composed of Korean roasted seaweed, Korean Kimchi, Korean Gochujang Barbecue sauce, Korean Barley tea, cream and cheese. Bowen was awarded $400.00 USD.
The third place was given to Reyana Krich, who came up with a Korean-styled pizza with toppings of Kimchi and seasoned anchovy was awarded $200.00 USD for her dish.
The fourth place went to the following four of the gifted cooks, who were acclaimed for having done equally well; thus they were awarded Korean products, ranging from $50.00 ~ $100.00 USD.
Taylor Gamradt for her “Taylor’s sweet and spicy Korean tacos”
Ayelet Goldman’s “Corn Tassel glazed Salmon with Gochujang fry bread”
Kalyani Olive’s “Chickpea Kimchi Pancake”
Valentina Moraccini’s “Kimchi Risotto with Gim and Egg”
We would like to express our gratitude and take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners at the K-Food Junior Chef Event, in hope that this event has played a role in enhancing peoples’ interest in cooking and encourage them to utilize Korean ingredients.
We were very pleased with how the contestants and their supporters seemed to enjoy themselves by interacting and sharing their passion for cooking, in making this K-Food Junior Chef Event such a successful one.
A version of this article by Jc.Chung at TastyKFood. Photography Laphotohouse.com.