Travel Tales: Jake Bujayer, LG Life Tastes Good Championship Finalist

Earlier this year, Jake Bujayer flew to Seoul in South Korea to compete in the LG Life Tastes Good Championship, a competition where amateur Chefs from all over the world go head-to-head over the burners. We asked Jake to spill the beans on his adventure …

1. What was your favourite thing about Seoul? I was constantly impressed by both the cuisine and the friendly culture. There are so many hidden treasures as you explore the stunning city; you can always discover little alleyways that are home to restaurants full of live seafood. Rest assured that it won’t break the bank either as you can pay surprisingly little for it. I particularly loved the way you get about 10 small plates with every Korean meal such as salads, chilli peppers, coleslaws and of course kimchi.

2. What did you like about Korean food? While we were in Seoul we visited the Kimchi museum. ‘Kimchi’ is a Korean pickled vegetable and a bit of a staple in these parts. It is also very good for you. We saw many displays in the museum that depicted tools and apparatus that were used to make and store the kimchi, as well as kimchi ingredients.

3. Anything you didn’t like? The language barrier was a bit challenging. I would advise that you study your phrase book before visiting this amazing city.

4. What did you have to do for the competition? Talk us through it… We arrived in Seoul on the 27thSeptember, and that day I took a tour of Seoul to see all the sights. In particular I wanted to see the infamous Seafood Market. This was definitely an experience, I’ve never seen so much fish! The next few days were spent rehearsing for the final and meeting my fellow contestants with the final taking place on the 29th. We had 115 minutes to cook two dishes for the judges, one to be marked on presentation and one on taste. I chose to prepare my Seafood (Dragon) Soup; it is a simple dish that hits the spot every time. I was happy with the final result.

5. Who won? The very deserving LG Grand Master Chef Prize winner was from France – Caroline Boutoil. She prepared a stunning lamb dish that stood out amongst all competitors.

6. Would you go back to Korea? If so, why? If not, why? I absolutely loved my time in Seoul, South Korea. I would love to go back and see more of the stunning country.

7. Where is your favourite travel destination? My favourite place to travel is the South Pacific, I often gaze at a map and wonder of the endless possibilities and fishing spots that await.

8. Describe the best meal you’ve ever had overseas. The meal I love most is Greenshell mussels. Every time I go to New Zealand, I go straight to the south coast and pick mussels off the rocks. It is such a privilege and something I really look forward to before for before every trip. How can I forget… the lobsters, paua, scallops and pipis? Inhabitants of New Zealand are very lucky – they have endless cuisine on their door step. It is such a lucky country.

LG Life Tastes Good Championship (LTGC) is a unique international cooking competition for amateur chefs, recognizing innovative, nutritious and most of all, delicious recipes created by everyday people. 

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