The Ewha Cooperative hosted a contest called Looking for Ewha’s Sikgaek (Master Chef) from September 29 to November 6 as part of Ewha Cooperative’s Hanmadang?festival. The theme of the competition was to create convenience food that could be sold as a substitute for meals. The first prize winner, who received one million won, was the team of Park Ah-reum and Choe Ja-young (Graduate School of Nutritional Science & Food Management) who suggested making burritos stuffed with mixed kimchi rice.
Youn Sung-hee, the planning director of the Ewha Cooperative, said, “We decided to hold this contest since convenience food such as kimbab (rice wrapped in seaweed), sandwiches and ddeok (rice cake) are the most popular items among students, based on our daily consumption data. This can be an opportunity for students to voice their opinion on the diverse kinds of food they want to see at the Ewha Coop stores.”
The competition was open to all Ewha students, staff and faculty members, who could apply either as a team or individually. Forty teams (six teams and 34 individuals), most of whom were students, participated in the contest and 46 different food recipes were submitted to the Ewha Cooperative Web site (www.coop.ewha.ac.kr). The applicants submitted their recipes and slides online from September 29 to October 31.
The first round was held from November 3 to 4. Photos of the submitted food were posted in front of the Centennial Library and the Student Union Building so students could vote for their favorites. Among the 46 products, nine were selected to compete for the final round.
The nine items were brought for sampling was held on November 6 in room 303 of Student Union Building. Students made the food at home and brought it to the judges, who evaluated the food on taste and appearance. Judges included professors from the Department of Nutritional Science & Food Management, staff from the Ewha Cooperative and representatives from the convenience food companies.
The criteria for evaluating the food were level of nutrition, taste and creativity (20 percent each). Another 30 percent was for the commercial potential of the product and lastly, 10 percent was for the product’s popularity with students. Among the nine products, the mixed kimchi rice in burritos got first prize with 129 points out of a possible 160, followed by sweet potato (109 points) and a rice bowl topped with green onion and soft tofu (ma-pa tubu), with 108 points. The creators of these two items won third-place, and six other participants got the honorable mention.
Park, said, “We thought of the mixed kimchi rice in burritos because rice is a much better substitute for a meal than bread. Also, they reduce the burden on students to eat them they are handy and easy to carry.” Choe, Park’s teammate, said, “Aside from getting the award, what makes me happiest is that ae product I made and suggested will be sold at our own school.”
“If the products are adopted and developed by the convenience food companies, students will be able to buy them on the Ewha Cooperative stores as early as March,” said Youn. The awarding ceremony will be held during the Ewha Cooperative Workshop at the last week of November where certificate and prize will be given to the winners.