Renowned ASEAN region chefs were in Korea to offer their mouth-watering delights at the ASEAN Culinary Festival at COEX in southern Seoul on June 1-4.
The ASEAN-Korea Centre-organized event was part of the Korea World Travel Fair (KOTFA), the nation's largest international travel event.
Food is a universal language that brings people and cultures together, ASEAN-Korea Centre Secretary General Kim Young-sun said at an opening ceremony on June 2.
Held for the first time last year, the ASEAN Culinary Festival connected the hearts and minds of the people of ASEAN and Korea by introducing 30 ASEAN dishes to about 3,500 visitors during the four-day event.
This year's event featured the region's finest coffee and tea and dishes ASEAN country embassies and tourism organizations in Korea recommended, the organization said.
Furthermore, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and the Visit ASEAN Year, ASEAN developed special travel packages entitled ‘Southeast Asia's 50 Golden Trails' that will be launched at the ASEAN Tourism Pavilion, Kim said.
The event featured over 50 culinary experiences and the celebrity chefs prepared 20 distinct dishes _ two from each member state.
The dishes included nasi goreng from Indonesia, bun cha from Vietnam and rendang and pulut kuning from Malaysia,
The organization also held promotions such as the ASEAN Map event, the Photo Wall for social networking service uploads and the ASEAN Travel Mobile Application download event.
The ASEAN-Korea Centre, an intergovernmental organization established in 2009 to promote exchanges between Korea and the 10 ASEAN member states, has been participating in the KOTFA since 2013.
It designated May and June as "ASEAN Month" to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and the ASEAN-ROK Cultural Exchange Year.
During the two months, several events will be held ― including the ASEAN Lecture Series, the ASEAN-Korea Investment Promotion Seminar on ICT, the ASEAN Quiz, and the ASEAN School Tour Program.
Last month, the organization hosted a photography contest to celebrate the anniversary. There were 1,034 entries from the 10 ASEAN member states and 1,055 from Korea for the contest from March 7 to April 23.
The judging committee comprised four photography experts and representatives from embassies and tourism organizations of seven ASEAN countries that offer Special Country Awards.
There was one winner of the first prize, two runners-up and eight winners of the Special Country Awards.
Prizes included 12 round-trip flight tickets, four iPad Minis and 44 gift cards, the organization said.
The organization also introduced the food and culinary culture of the region at COEX in Seoul last year, at the ASEAN Fair: Touch & Taste ASEAN. It featured 100 companies, 70 delegations and performers from 10 ASEAN member states.
A wide range of products ― including packaged and processed foods and beverages ― was promoted, followed by business-matching meetings between exhibitors and Korean buyers.