Hi everyone! Maangchi was gracious enough to allow me some space here to upload some photos and comments about my culinary tour to Korea. I leave in two days so thought I would quickly introduce myself and the trip.
I started cooking Korean food in February this year. I wanted to try some recipes because I had lost a lot of weight on a diet and was finally allowed normal food again. Because I visited Korea years ago (for 4 days) I wanted to try cooking something Korean - that is when I found maangchi.com.
The first thing I cooked was jajangmyun (blackbean noodles). I loved it so much that I wanted to try something else. Before you know it a few months had passed and I had cooked virtually every recipe Maangchi has given us all.
After that I started buying as many Korean cookbooks as I could, reading as many sites about Korean food and culture, and started watching KDrama and listening to KPop. Usually people discover Korean food after falling in love with Korean music or dramas - in my case it went in reverse. So now all I do is watch Korean dramas (my favorite is, of course, Dae Jang Geum), listen to Korean music (my favorites are f(x), Shinee, and 2ne1), and cook and eat Korean food. I am also now taking Korean language lessons.
I was browsing around the TasteKorea site for more articles and learnt about their competition - it required writing blog articles on Korean food and the prize was a culinary tour of Korea! I entered and ultimately won (my articles are linked in the introduction to the forum above). As an added bonus, because of the articles I wrote I have now been commissioned to write an article on Korean food for New Zealand's leading food and home decor magazine.
The culinary tour I have won involves staying 3 nights in Seoul (though I have extended this to eight at my own cost), taking a culinary night tour of the city, a cooking class (in which I will be learning to make the royal hot pot dish sinseollo), a "develop Korean tastebuds" class, and a private tour of gochujang and doenjang factories.
I will try to post as much as I can here so that everyone else can get to be part of the wonderful experience.