Blog, Events

Korean food photo contest

Sponsored by:

Assi Sempio

By Maangchi

Hi, everybody,
Today I’m announcing an exciting event: Korean food photo contest!

Since my kimchi contest last June, I received so many messages from my readers living in different cities, states, and countries, wishing they had been able to participate! It made me come up with this idea for a photo contest.

This event will be sponsored by the 2 Korean food ingredients companies that sponsored my New York Kimchi contest this year: Sempio and Assi. I’m very proud to get sponsorship from the companies like these.

This is going to be a terrific event that all Korean food lovers from around the world can participate in. Around the world! Yes, I’m serious!  : )

A total of 20 winners will be selected and the winners will get prizes from Sempio and Assi. 10 winners will be selected by our esteemed judges and 10 will be chosen by your votes!  To enter, all you have to do is to upload a photo of Korean food made with my recipes.


1st category – People’s Choice: The prizes will be sent to the winner’s house by Sempio
This category opens today!
Submit a photo here. Submissions will be open until Sep 25 (12:00 midnight EST), and then I’ll open the gallery to voting on Sep 27. The winners will be determined by popular vote.

2nd category – Judges’ Selection: The prizes will be sent to the winner’s house by Assi
This category is already closed!
I’m going to choose 50 photos from my photos page and submit them to a panel of judges. They’ll choose 10 winners. I’m going to choose the 50 photos from the most active cooks, photos that really lingered in my head for a couple of days and the most favored by my flickr readers.

An important message regarding winners

The purpose of this event is to encourage all people who love Korean food to cook at home and share their food with their friends and family.

I wish I could give all participants a prize, but I can’t! I want to pick the winners as fairly as I can but some points are impossible. We can never know if the winners’ food is really delicious or not. Maybe someone who didn’t win made the most delicious food. And maybe your camera is not great, so your photo is not great.

I know that there are limitations to this kind of contest. What I’m saying is that please please don’t get discouraged even if you are not a winner. Promise me! : ) You should always be proud of your food, and enjoy it with the people at your table.

If you’re interested in learning how to take better food photos, our judge Andrew Scrivani has some great articles on The New York Times Diner’s Journal about food photography including How to Take Photos of Food and Four Manual Settings You Need to Know for Shooting Food. His Q&A sessions (#1 & #2) also have lots of tips.


Soo-Jeong KangSoo-Jeong Kang
was born in Seoul, Korea before moving to the US at age nine. She has her degree in photography from Parson’s School of Design and has been working in publishing as a photo editor for 20 years. She was a photo editor for New York Magazine, US News and World Report, and Newsweek and was the Director of Photography at Ladies’ Home Journal producing major food shoots before coming to The New York Times to become the editor of the Dining In, Dining Out section in 2002. She is currently photo editing, as well as producing multimedia pieces, for the Science and Health sections of the Times.
Soo-Jeong lives in Manhattan.

Pichet OngPichet Ong
has been named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Arts & Design and Chocolatier. His desserts, including those from Spice Market, RM, and 66, have garnered numerous “Best of” awards and he is a multiple nominee for the James Beard Award in several national categories. His work frequently appears in Bon Appétit, Food Arts, The New Yorker, Elle, New York Magazine, Time Out, People, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Out, Harper’s Bazaar, W, and O, The Oprah Magazine. He has been on Iron Chef America, Martha Stewart Live, CBS News, Emeril’s Live, and LX TV. Pichet’s cookbook, The Sweet Spot, has been hailed by The New York Times as “a standout and one of the most original dessert cookbooks in years.”

Andrew ScrivaniAndrew Scrivani
is a freelance photographer and blogger who makes regular contributions to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek magazine. He is also the featured photographer in the new cookbook The Very Best of Recipes for Health by Martha Rose Shulman. Andrew writes about food and photography for The New York Times Diner’s Journal superblog and his own blog, Making Sunday Sauce.

Jeremy ZilarJeremy Zilar
is the Blog Specialist at The New York Times. Over the last four years, Jeremy has started over 160 blogs on He works with writers and editors to shape and grow their blogs and assess the media and technical landscape they are a part of. He has also helped the Times embrace the culture of the web and adopt the tools and ethics of online publishing.


Each category will have a grand prize, as well as a gold, a silver, 2 bronzes, and 5 runners-up.

Judges’ Selection category prizes from Assi:

1 Grand prize winner
“Assi’s Korean Kitchen” Prize Pack
Includes a large selection of Assi products to stock your kitchen (more than in this photo), and a Zojirushi electric rice cooker delivered to your home.
Grand prize

1 Gold prize winner
“Kimchi Kit”
All the materials you need to make your own kimchi, and a Myunga samgak gimbap set delivered to your home.
Gold prize

1 Silver prize winner
A selection of Assi products (as well as a Myunga samgak gimbap set) delivered to your home.
Silver prize

2 Bronze prize winners and 5 Runners-up
A package of Assi products, delivered to your home.

Viewers’ Choice category prizes from Sempio:

1 Grand prize winner
Sempio Prize Pack + $300 Gift Card
Includes a generous selection of Sempio products: sauces, oils, pastes, and drinking vinegars, plus a $300 gift card delivered to your home.
Sempio Grand & Gold Prize
1 Gold prize winner
Sempio Prize Pack + $200 Gift Card
Includes a selection of Sempio products plus a $200 gift card delivered to your home.

1 Silver prize winner
Sempio Prize Pack + $100 Gift Card
Includes a selection of Sempio products plus a $100 gift card delivered to your home.
Sempio Silver Prize Package
2 Bronze prize winners
Sempio Prize Pack + $50 Gift Card
Includes a selection of Sempio products plus a $50 gift card delivered to your home.
Sempio bronze & 5 runner up prizes
5 Runners-up
Sempio Prize Pack
A package of Sempio products delivered to your home.

Contest Rules

Are you interested in entering the contest?

Photos will be moderated, so please follow these 3 rules!

  1. Your entry must be a photo of a dish made from a recipe on
    This is so that people looking at the photos can easily learn how to cook the item in the photo. Making modifications to recipes is ok, but please explain any substitutions in the photo comments, so we all can learn.
  2. It must be your own photo
    Please don’t use someone else’s photo! : )
  3. 2 photos per person
    Submit one or two of your best Korean food photos and make them good!

Photographers retain all copyrights, but allow the photos to be displayed on
You will always own your own picture, but I want to show it to people on my website.

Legal Disclaimer
The judge’s decisions concerning all matters related to this contest are final. Void where prohibited by law. assumes no responsibility for late entries due to technichal issues. Shipping and postage will be paid for by with sponsors’ help. Any tax, international or otherwise, related to the prizes is the sole responsibility of the winners.



Loading comments...