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(LA) Taste of Korea K-Cusine Contest

Taste of Korea K-Cusine Contest 

Los Angeles Preliminaries

The Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles, dedicated to providing insights into the rich cultural heritage of Korea, proudly presents Taste of Korea K-Cuisine Contest: Los Angeles Preliminaries. Chefs will be challenged to create a perfect pairing between entree and starter by using Korean condiments and kimchi to inspire and promote Korean cuisine to all food lovers.

Event Details

  1. Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2016
  2. Time: 2PM (Contestants have 1 hour to complete all dishes)
  3. Venue: The International Culinary School at The Art Institute 2900 31st St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
  4. Winners of this competition will be awarded as follows: 
    • 1st Place: 8 Day All-Expense Paid Trip to Korea and a chance to compete in the worldwide Korean Cooking Contest in Korea
    • 2nd Place: US $1,000
    • 3rd Place: US $500


  1. U.S. citizens of non-Korean ethnic background 
  2. Must be 18 years or older 
  3. Legally eligible to travel to Korea between July 13th - 20th for the semi-finals and finals. Win-ning contestants will be required to stay the entire duration of the trip to attend both the semi-finals and finals. 
  4. Must agree to be filmed by KBS (Korea Broadcasting System) in both Los Angeles and Korea
  5. Must have a passion for cooking and be creative 
  6. Must have an appreciation for Korean cuisine 

  • Note* In the event that the 1st place winner is unable to attend the semi-finals in Korea, the 2nd place winner will automatically become the replacement contestant.
Semi-Finals & Finals

The 1st place winner of Taste of Korea K-Cuisine Contest: Los Angeles Preliminaries, along with all other winning representatives from participating countries, will proceed to the semi-finals held in Korea between July 13th - 20th. The winner of this contest will receive an all-expense paid trip to Korea, which includes flight, hotel, and accommodations. The 20 winning contestants of each preliminary competition will be recognized as honorary representatives promoting the art of Korean Cuisine for their country. The top 5 contestants of the semi-finals (from 20 different countries) will compete in the final competition for a chance to win one of the following:

  • 1st Place : US $10,000
  • 2nd Place : US $3,000
  • 3rd Place : Exclusive Gift

Application Process

  1. Application
    Contestants will be required to submit an application along with recipes for their entree and starter dishes. A total of 8-12 applicants will be chosen to compete for a chance to proceed to the semi-finals in Korea. 
    Note* If applicants submit a video or picture of a Korean dish they have previously created, extra points will be awarded to that contestant during judging in the actual competition.
  2. Selection Process
    A thorough review of all applications will be conducted, and a total of 8 -12 applicants will be chosen to compete in the Los Angeles Preliminaries by May 25th. Further instructions will be provided to the selected contestants.
  3. Live Preliminaries
    Contestants will be required to create a main entrée, which includes at least one choice of meat and one Korean condiment. Contestants will also be required to create an appetizer which includes kimchi as one of the key ingredients. The dishes will be judged based on multiple factors, including but not limited to, creativity, originality, taste, and presentation. Winners will be announced on the day of the event. A 10-minute clip of this competition will air on KBS in Korea during prime time hours in June 2016.

Judging Criteria

  1. Taste & Execution (70 Points)
    1. Technique 
      Level of expertise in techniques used for each dish.
    2. Formulation
      A diversity of ingredients and an understanding of each ingredient’s role in the overall taste and texture of each dish.
    3. Originality
      Uniqueness and creativity of each dish. 
    4. Cohesion
      Balance amongst ingredients in each dish as well as between the entree and starter.
    5. Appeal
      Creating dishes to match universal palates and tastes.
  2. Presentation (30 points)
    1. Plating and visual appeal
      Use of color, creativity and design in the dish’s appearance.
    2. Neatness
      Cleanliness of presentation 
  3. Video and/or Picture Submission (5 Points)
    Submission of video or picture during application process.

Competition Requirements

  1. Main Entree
    1. Meat
      At least one choice of meat must be used in the contestant’s signature dish. This in-cludes beef, pork, poultry, and/or fish.
    2. Condiments
      At least one Korean condiment must be used in the contestant's signature dish. This includes gochujang, doenjang, and ganjang. A detailed explanation of each can be found below: 
      • Gochujang (Korean chile paste): A spicy, fermented paste made from red chiles, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. 
      • Doenjang (Korean soybean paste): A salty, fermented paste made from soy beans and rice. 
      • Ganjang (soy sauce): A common ingredient in many Korean dishes, this fermented sauce is made of soy beans, wheat, salt, and water. 
  2. Starter Dish
    • Kimchi : The contestant's starter dish must have kimchi as one of the key ingredients.
      • Kimchi (spicy fermented napa cabbage): Found in every Korean household, this dish is made with napa cabbage marinated in Korean seasonings, including chile powder, garlic, ginger, salt, salted seafood and fruits. 
  3. Materials
    1. Ingredients
      Contestants will be permitted to bring any special ingredients that will be used in each of their dishes. All other materials listed on the recipe during submission will be pro-vided by the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles.
    2. Tools
      Contestants may bring any special cooking tools that will be used in their recipe. Basic material, such as pots, pans and knives, will be provided but any special tools necessary for the completion of each dish should be brought to the competition by the contestant. 
    3. Display & Decoration
      Contestants will be permitted to bring any decorative bowls and/or decorations that they would like to use to present their dishes. 
  4. Attire
    • Chef's coat and hat : Contestants will be required to bring their own chef's coat and hat for this competition
  5. Presentation
    • Explanation of dishes : After the completion of both dishes, contestants will be required to present the details of both dishes in 1-3 minutes by describing the key concepts used for each as well as their interest in Korean cuisine. 

Important Dates

  • May 1 - May 24: Application submissions
  • May 25: Selected contestants will receive an application acceptance email
  • June 1: Los Angeles Preliminaries Live Event

Schedule for Semi-Finals & Finals

  • July 13 - July 20: 8 days K-Cuisine Training & Cultural Tour
  • July 18: Semi-Finals at Creative Culinary Institute of Korea in Jeonju, South Korea
  • July 20: Finals at The KBS Broadcasting & Media Production center in Seoul, South Korea


For any questions, comments or direct inquiries, please email

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