Above: Me, chilling in the kitchen space of Hansik with Chef Akira Back (far right)and his staff
Below: A Korean treat wonderland in the Korea Pavilion
I am, at long last, back from my self-imposed two week blogging respite/hiatus ... and I come bearing gifts! There, that got your attention. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Now, I certainly wouldn't want to bore you with every last excruciating detail of the past two weeks, so I'll skip to the good stuff: I went as a member of the press (both as a food journalist and as a blogger ... so many personas, so little time) to the Summer Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C., where I was faced with a dizzying array of foods from 2,400 exhibitors hailing from 80-plus countries. And I had to try to taste it all! The horror.
But you know no matter where I go, your Trix is always thinking of you, right? So, as I tasted my way through the jam-packed convention center, I made sure to get some extra awesome samples, grease a few palms (just kidding about that one), sniff out the best stuff, and set up some some really cool, unique, tasty, and very Trix giveaways to celebrate my two-year blogoversary and to thank all of you for reading and sticking around this long.
So over the next couple of months, look for some very yummy things coming your way! And the first one? To find that out, you'll have to read this entire post, or at the very least scroll through it and have a look at the photos along the way - I am putting some effort into this, you know!
I know a lot of the trendspotters and food press at the show were obsessed with chocolates and desserts and nibbly things. These have their place to be sure, but I was most excited about the chance to eat a three-course lunch at Hansik, a Korean pop-up restaurant located in the - where else? - Korea Pavilion. Best of all, the meal would be prepared by Akira Back, the chef at Yellowtail at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and a former competitor on Iron Chef.
But in order to gain a coveted spot at Hansik, conventioneers were asked to meet with at least one Korean exhibitor. No problem! I met with two. First, I had a meeting with Elliot Chung, senior brand manager of CJ Foods, Korea's largest food company and one of the sponsors of the PBS show The Kimchee Chronicles, featuring Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his Korean-born wife. He told me about the new line of Bibigo Korean Pantry products that will be available in mainstream U.S. supermarkets starting in September - so all of you who aren't lucky enough to live near a store like my beloved H-Mart will soon be able to get gochuchang at your local supermarket:
|CJ Foods senior brand manager Elliot Chung|
|Bibigo BBQ sauce, intended to appeal to Americans who are curious about Korean food but don't know where to start when it comes to cooking it|
And now, meetings complete, it was time to sit back and enjoy a gourmet lunch - in just 30 minutes! Somehow my meal didn't seem at all rushed, and sitting in the elegantly appointed space I felt as if I had entered an oasis of calm in the middle of the convention chaos:
For my cocktail, I chose the Ginger Gorgie, a ginger margarita with Makgeolli, created by Jean-Georges Vongerichten:
|Refreshing does not begin to do this drink justice.|
My main course was prime beef with aged black garlic, potato, quail egg, and micro carrot. If I had this in a private place, I would have shoved my face down into the plate and licked it until there was not one drop of that sauce left:
And now, since you have been so patient and indulgent, I will share my first Fancy Foods Show-inspired giveaway: A 350 gram bag of organic, sun-dried Korean pepper powder, unavailable in the U.S. until early 2012:
Okay, how to win? Here's what to do:
1. Leave a comment
2. Tweet the giveaway and come back and tell me that you did
3. You get an EXTRA CHANCE if you leave a comment that demonstrates you actually read this post and didn't just skip to the giveaway part.
There - three chances to win. It's open to anyone, anywhere , and I will announce the winner on Sunday, July 24, and use Random.org to choose.
Good luck, and let my second blogoversary festivities commence! (Cue trumpets, or maybe just bugles.)
***Addendum: This giveaway has now ended. *******