Hello, everybody!
It was a huge success! What am I talking about? The New York kimchi contest! Lol.

More than 100 people came and there were 21 entries for the kimchi contest. They were from everywhere. Someone from Maryland, someone from Canada, and some drove hours and hours to come to the event. I was overwhelmed by their passion!

Since 2 popular New York websites mentioned my kimchi contest (Serious Eats and Time Out), so many people came to register to join the event. There were 55 people on the waiting list, but unfortunately I could not invite them all. I had prepared for 80 people, so if I invited everyone it would not have been enjoyable.

I had to be tough. So if you were one of those on the waiting list, I have to say I am very sorry. Next time I may organize a bigger event, then you will be more than welcome! You will be my VIG! : ) (Very Important Guest)

One of the volunteers, Justine, came all the way from his house in Brooklyn to my house in Manhattan to pick me up to carry the prizes. The prizes were boxes of Korean ingredients: hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, soy bean paste, soy sauce, fish sauce… so you can imagine how heavy they were. Giving me a ride was big help to me! Thank you Justine!

I asked him in the car he was driving: “Justine, were you born here in USA?”

He said, “Yeah born and raised.” That day I met many born and raised Korean 2nd generation, just like Justine.

Kimchi contest started at about 11:20 am. I was surprised to see the effort the contestants put towards making their kimchi tasty and look cool. Most of them brought napa cabbage kimchi. I saw one kimchi contestant put ice bags under the kimchi bowl so that the kimchi would be kept at a good temperature!

Someone made non-spicy kimchi with cabbage and chunks of apple. Someone made very innovative kimchi – watermenlon kimchi! My grandmother used to make watermelon salads. After eating innards of watermelon, she peeled the skin and sliced it into bite size. Then she salted and added garlic, hot pepper flakes, and soy sauce.

There were more different types of kimchi: cucumber kimchi, yeolmu kimchi, and normal cabbage kimchi.

If I ever hold another kimchi contest, I should divide it into 2 categories: traditional kimchi and fusion or inventive kimchi.

Our 3 kimchi  judges tasted 21 different kinds of kimchi and gave each entry a score. And all people voted for The People’s Choice Award!

The grand prize went to Alan Kwon who is one of my devoted readers. If you want to know more about him check his blog and his about page. I put the crown on his head. Yes, he is The King of Kimchi! The second prize went to Kristi Sangster who cooks Korean food at home on a regular basis. She sometimes makes Korean food with her friends. Last time she said she made Korean mandu (dumplings) with her friends together and shared it when they went back home. The 3rd prize went to Mi Soon Burzlaff and Joanne Kim aka The Kimchi Sisters. Misoon is a Korean adoptee, and Joanne is 2nd generation Korean American. They said they made up the recipe by themselves after 2 years of experimenting. They would like to start a small, local, NYC based kimchi company The People’s Choice winner was Kayshinn! She brought a huge camera and took so many photos. I asked, “Hey, you look so professional” She said, “Yes, I am.” Her job is a photographer so she is professional. Her torn blue jeans and white shirt looked cool! I may wear torn blue jeans just like her. : )

Now it’s time for me to thank all of those who helped to make this event possible. I have been very thrilled while I organized this event from the beginning because so many people surrounding me were willing to help!  I had exchanged emails so many times with my sponsors and judges to organize this event. When I contacted them, I found  they didn’t have any commercial purpose for this. They trusted me and helped me to make this event possible. All of the representatives of the 3 sponsor companies came with food, and free Korean ingredient samples to give away to all of us.

To the judges:

Thank you very much for your hard work! I know it is not easy to give a score, especially when all entries are great. I owe you. When you need my help anytime, I will be here for you!

From left to right they are: Orianne Consentino (chef & culinary artist http://upchefcreek.com/),
Rudy Bednar (TV producer), and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (food & fashion writer http://www.atigerinthekitchen.com/)

To sponsors:

H&Y Marketplace brought the BBQ: marinated beef short ribs, beef, saury fish, and all vegetables (lettuce, perilla leaves, green chili pepper, sliced raw garlic, dipping sauce), & rice, as well as all the chopsticks & plates.

Mr. Han Taekseon, the president of the company, is very interested in globalizing Korean food. He couldn’t come but his wife and several employees came to cook for all of us.

How do I know Mr. Han is interested in boosting Korean food globalization? Soon after I was on Korean TV news, H&Y Marketplace gave me an award for contributing to the globalization of Korean food. I never mentioned this on my blog, but when I accepted the award I had a chance to meet with Mr. Han. He told me about his goal of spreading Korean food and culture to the world.

So when I organized this event I asked him if he wanted to be involved. I knew he would say yes. That’s right! He said yes without any hesitation. Everybody said the food was delicious and everybody thanked H&Y for their generosity.

Sempio sent me several boxes of Korean ingredients. Thanks to them I could give all participants a gift and huge, generous boxes of prizes for winners, judges, and volunteers. When I wrapped each gift, I was very happy that I could give good wishes and encouragement to everybody who come. And when they got their prizes, they were almost too heavy to carry home!

Sempio has a long history as a Korean ingredients production company, and their ingredients are top quality. I have been using their soy sauce for decades since I was very young!

Thank you very much for giving us chance to taste your unique beverage (baeknyeondongahn)! It was served in large dispensers with ice, so it was very refreshing and delicious treat for all of us especially on hot summer day. I love honey and citrus flavor, but my friends said they liked ginseng taste, too.

Assi donated kimchi kits: fresh and top quality of  hot pepper flakes, fish sauce, and sweet rice flour. I gave them to winners, judges, and some volunteers. I overheard someone in the video said, “OMG! holy sh*t, it’s huge!” The package is maybe 3 kilograms? : )

Kevin Rhee from Assi gave me money to rent tables and chairs and buy supplies. Thank you very much! He also brought cases of products and gave them to whoever wanted them: sesame oil, hot pepper paste, soy bean paste, and even aprons! I was happy to see that everyone who came went back home with at least a few items! He also donated bags of rice which we raffled off at the end of the day.

Thanks to all of these sponsors, the event could accommodate many more people, and be much more generous, than I could achieve by myself. Last year I had to pay all the expenses myself. This year I only spent $200.00 of my own money for the BBQ grill rental for this entire event!

To my volunteers!

Without your help, I could not do this event! Kina Pak and Kristi collected $5 from each registrant, so we gathered $345!  Joon and Chihiro calculated the judges’ scores, Elfreda helped with the table setting for the kimchi contest, Samuel helped to set up chairs and tables, and Michelle Im helped people register.

The money we collected, we can send to charity! Omg, it’s so cool! Actually, I forgot to pay my own money, so the real total we earned is $350 (some people who came didn’t pay). I will let you know how we’re going to donate for charity later.


Aug. 4, 2010 the money we collected was $350.00 and is donated to the Food Bank online, and here’s the receipt:

Here are the photos that we took on the day. I am posting these chronologically from 11;00 am to 2:00 pm until we finished.

Don’t forget to get this name tags everbody!

hoho! I came here to judge kimchi! I’m ready to taste it now!

What is the number of the kimchi just I tasted?

ooh, spicy but I love to taste them all!

Men in sunglasses!  Our mission is to grill this meat to the best taste! Nobody can stop us!

yes, we are being cooked happily for you guys!

yummy perilla leaves!

oops! fish face!

“I found your website through timeout just a couple of days ago, I love your website!”

The mat is mine! : )

“I can do anything for my lovely baby!”

” yes, I love this wrap and I can eat sliced raw garlic!”

They look similar! Don’t you think so?

cute people with cute puppies! Bo says, “I made your gamjatang recipe and it turned out really good!”

Thank you very much for the book! She is the author of the book “bravo your life”

My lovely readers!

HanYang man!

Samuel, Be red! lol

Su-Yun! You got lots of prizes in your green bag! Nice!

Check the background of the photo! The winner of people’s choice Kayshinn is biting something! Are they wooden chopsticks? : )

Who is the winners!

Winner is!

boxes of prizes

3rd place kimchi made by Misoon Burzlaff

The 2nd place kimchi made by Kristi

The people’s choice winning kimchi made by Kayshinn

The grand prize winning kimchi made by Alan Kwon!

“Yes, I am the kimchi king!”

hmm what is inside?

yeh yeh, I’m gonna drink tonight to use this dried pollack to make hangover soup!

“mom, I made it! You gotta pick me up because this box of prize is too heavy for me to carry”

Alan Kwon, Kayshinn, Joanne Kim O’Connor, Mi Soon Burzlaff, Kristi Sanster

“What is that, daddy?” “yeah, I won this bag of rice! We won’t be hungry anymore..” : )

“heh..as the king of kimchi, I’m picking raffle number. To be fair, I am digging and digging this box”

Hello everybody, do you know what is bachelor kimchi in Korean? If you know the answer, I will give you this bag, or a bottle of toasted sesame oil! Open sesame! lol


  1. BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10 & has 46 comments

    Dear Maangchi and friends, wish I could have been there with you :) but I ate mul neangmyun with kimchi and cooked a lot of banchan the same day here in Brussels to show support! It looks like it was a lot of fun. Alan, as kimchi king may I suggest your first decree is to show magnamity towards your people, and share your kimchi recipe or technique? How long do you suggest curing at room temperature before refrigeration, for example? Hope you are reading this :) or should I put it on your blog?

    • BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10 & has 46 comments

      Oops forgot to add: many thanks to the kind sponsors and volunteers!

      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

        I appreciate your nice comment. I am sure you would have been one of the volunteers and one of the kimchi contestants if you had lived in New York!
        I’m in Minneapolis now to help Korean cultural event host by http://nopak.org/

        mulnaengmyeon is my favorite summer food. haha so many favorite foods.
        Alan is a very creative person and artist. No wonder he won the contest. I hope he reveals his secret kimchi recipe. : ) He will be happy to hear your compliment!

        You can contact him, why not?

        Have a great day.

  2. suyun joined 5/10 & has 3 comments

    I had a great time, and the pictures look awesome. My friends in Berlin are so envious!! I’m glad that you could use some of my pics too! :-)

  3. JulieVeg MA joined 5/10 & has 12 comments

    What event! I wish I could have been there! Congrats to all the winners and to you too, Maangchi!

  4. paul joined 4/10 & has 4 comments

    WOW this looks like so much fun and the food looks delicious. i want to bite that fish’s face off!
    i can’t wait till i’m in new york again so i can visit you. reading about this event and watching this video made me so happy, ur the best!!

  5. NoRecipes NYC joined 6/10 & has 2 comments

    Thanks for throwing such an awesome event. Liz and I had a great time and all the kimchi’s were delicious!

  6. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09 & has 101 comments

    Oh wow, the whole event seemed to sparkle and shine! It all looks wonderfull and such good fun. Wished we could be there………
    Maangchi did a great job making this event and she is really a fantastic person!!
    And congratulations to Alan! What will be his first decree as king of Kimchi???

  7. estherjo NJ joined 6/10 & has 3 comments

    chonggak kimchi!!!

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