Korea: Some Final Thoughts

Picture perfect Korean couple

During my last few hours in Korea I sat down to try to summarize what I’ve seen and experienced here. It’s difficult because I felt like I haven’t experienced anything, just what the tour has shown me: the kitschy tourist items, the tea fields, the fake traditional wedding, these all seem like things that have shown me what Korea was. I didn’t even touch on the things which have truly defined Korea throughout its history: colonialist rulers, the war, the division and desire for reunification, and the constant sabre rattling of its neighbour to the north.

As I write this, I’m sitting on a second floor looking down at more than a few very well-groomed, extremely thin young women with fairly heavy makeup wander down the high street looking at cheap leather boots and giggling, moving from stall to stall searching for what they want; who is to say what they want, I bet they don’t even know. Perhaps this is the best description for Korea.

Korea is a rapidly growing country, much like it’s people, it is always on the move, always looking for opportunities to cut in front and take the reins of its own destiny. It’s a country bent on moving forward, where the smartest, prettiest, most plentiful are waiting to be developed and turned into something… yet unknown. It’s a place where there’s one eye on the sordid past, but ultimately, they choose to face the future.

The place where I am now, surrounded by the young LA Dodgers ball cap, hammer jeans, vinyl leggings, slick suit and smart mini skirt wearing young adults is the real Korea, it’s the Korea I want to visit and get to know the next time around; this is the Korea of the now, and the Korea of the future.

Rocky Mountain Oysterfest 2014

On September 2, 2014, Calgary’s best shuckers competed for the title, “King of Bivalves”. Attending were special guests Bob Blumer and Ned Bell who were on their way through town on the Chefs for Oceans cycling tour!

This year’s best shuckers were were:

  • 1st – Jesse Papastavros, Rodney’s Oyster House
  • 2nd – Anthony Wing, National on 8th
  • 3rd – Joanna Notkin, Independent

Congrats to all who participated!

11th Annual Avenue Magazine’s Best Restaurants

Congrats to everyone on Avenue Magazine’s 11th Annual Best Restaurant list.

Even in my mind, it was a long and hard debate as the number of top quality chefs and restaurants in Calgary has grown to epic proportions and we wished we could recognize every chef that deserved it, but alas, we were limited to only 10 choices.

To view the best of list, go to Avenue’s site.

Here are a few (non-official) pictures of the awards night.

LVG’s Best Pictures of 2013

In 2013 I cut down a lot of my writing and focused on quickly developing food and event photography in order to become a more rounded media contributor.

These are some of my favourite shots this year:

Skills to Pay the Bills

SAIT culinary students now have something to brag about, 3 things actually: Gold, silver and bronze in the provincial skills competition. SAIT students have swept the annual competition proving that their students and program is among the best in the country.

Read “Skills to Pay the Bills” over on my TV & Print Publications section.