By Patrick Avenell in Seoul
SEOUL, KOREAN REP.: It's often hard to prise the mayor of the second biggest city in the world away from bureaucracy, but LG did just that last night, with Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon joining LG vice chairman Yang Nam to officially open the 2010 LG Life Tastes Good Championships 2010.
This annual amateur cooking competition, with contestants from 22 countries around the world, is being held in LG's home country this year as part of a wider effort from the Korean tourism industry. With the G20 Summit set to start pushing papers here on 20 November 2010, Korea is awake to its need to push itself onto traveler's itineraries. This event has been designed to showcase the country's unique cuisine, with media from six contitents all present to review the competition.
In addition to helping out its homeland, LG is also using this event to showcase its new range of Lightwave cooking appliances. All the contestants will prepare their signature dishes using LG products, with coverage then beamed around the world, either in print, online or on TV. Even CNN, the doyen of the serious news business, is covering the championships.
Australia's representitive, the level-headed and modest Jake Bujeya from MasterChef Australia 2, will be preparing an interesting concoction of his own device: an abalone and lobster soup in the Chinese congee tradition. When he takes his place amongst the contestants later tonight, he will literally be flying the flag for Australia, as the venue has been adorned with the banners of all nations competing. In that respect, this event genuinely is the Cooking World Cup: appropriate considering this is both a World Cup year and South Korea is a former World Cup host.
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon opening the championships.
Australia's pod at the championships. This is where former MasterChef contestant Jake Bujayer will be cooking up his dish.
A mock-up of an LG Lightwave kitchen.