Korean Food Festival 2014

Article by Monica (Yimeng) Geng
Photography by Kenny (Pengyu) Cheng

This past weekend, the second annual “Korean Food Festival” hosted by Korea Agro Trade center took place at Time Square, NYC. The festival incorporated free sampling of Korean cultural food, Korean cultural costume and make up booths, K-pop performances, as well as interesting contests.

From ramen to seaweed, to Kimchi and tried fish, these free food samples at the festival represented some of the most authentic Korean cultural cuisines. A visitors’ favorite was the persimmon milk smoothie, which surprised everyone’s taste buds. The unexpected perfect blend of sweet and citrus plus a hint of milk made this smoothie especially tasty. A long line of enthusiastic tasters was immediately formed behind this booth.

Another interesting booth catered to the Korean clothing cultural fanatics and they provided the free service of dressing you up in Hanboks, the traditional Korean dress, to take pictures. They also drew traditional Korean patterns and icons on your face to finish the whole look. This was another busy spot, filled with passionate ancient Korean drama followers who wanted a taste of being a prince or a princess of the Joseon Dynasty.

One of the highlights of the festival was the “Oh Yes” Choco cake eating contest, which our cameraman, Kenny Chen, also participated in. The contest required contestants to come on stage and finish twenty “Oh Yes” Choco cakes in the shortest amount of time and the ultimate winning prize was a 300 dollar Macy’s gift card. There were eight contestants from all over the world who volunteered to be in the competition. As the timer went off, the crowd started cheering loudly and all of the contestants
began shoving Choco cakes down their throats as fast as they could. Five minutes in, Kenny and another New York City Native male contestant were by far in the lead and the competition between the two started heating up. Eventually this Native New Yorker finished all the Choco cakes within seven minutes and Kenny lost the race by only one cake. Although he was a little disappointed, as the runner-up, Kenny was rewarded with a facial product made in Korea, and the president of “Oh Yes” came on stage to present the 300 dollar gift card to the contest winner. An audience’s favorite prize was also given to the only female contestant in the competition.

Shortly after the contest, I interviewed Kenny on his experience, he told me: “ The Choco cakes were very delicious, but it’s hard to enjoy the flavor after shoving nineteen of them down his tummy.” Overall this intense but also hilarious contest hyped up the event atmosphere.

Without a double, this eventful festival was a huge success. It not only provided New York City a taste of Korea, but also promoted mutual understandings between individuals with different backgrounds in this multicultural community.

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