If someone were to ask you, “What is the planet’s largest fan festival series celebrating Korean pop culture?” would you know the answer?
It’s KCON. The answer is KCON. And as it happens, the festival is coming to the NYC area for KCON 2017 NY this month, on June 23rd and 24th. This year, in addition to K-Pop (that is, Korean pop music, if you’ve never experienced its life-altering visual and aural spectacle), dancing, and beauty products, Korean food will be a focal point of the event, complete with a panel of food pros headlined by renowned celebrity chef Edward Lee (Top Chef, The Mind of a Chef).
At 2pm on Friday June 23rd, Chef Lee will participate in a panel discussion that will include reflections on how his Korean heritage has influenced his cooking, and explore the meteoric rise of gochujang sauce —which has seen a 39% uptick in internet searches since 2012—including what it is, how to cook with it, and the prediction that its destined to be the next Sriracha.
The AT Center at KCON 2017 NY is operating the K-Food Zone throughout the event. In keeping with the celebration of Korean food, the space will feature samples of edibles and potables assembled into four categories, or “zones”: Hot, Cool, Sweet, and Power. The “Hot Zone,” for example, will serve up spicy Korean fare such as Dukbokki and utilize ingredients like Gochujang sauce, while the “Power Zone” will offer healthy options that use ingredients like ginseng. At the “Cool Zone,” guests can expect to find chilled treats like ice cream.
At 11:30am on Saturday June 24th, Chef Shin Kim, Korean celebrity Dae Yoon Do (Super Star K III: Tugaewol), and Rinal Oh (producer, Food Network) will comprise a panel at the K Food Show. The trio will introduce Korean ingredients and hold throw a ramen-cooking competition. The challenge, should participants choose to accept it, will be to cook cup ramen and make inventive use of Korean ingredients to dress their creation in a way that improves the quality of the meal. Event guests can also look forward to a village of food tents offering traditional and modern Korean cuisine as well as other options.
Peep the full schedule of all there is to see and do and eat: http://www.kconusa.com/kcon-ny-schedule/
Here are a few highlights from last year’s event, KCON 2016 LA:
This article first appeared on FlavorfulWorld.com.