Review: TKFF May Screening – Kimchi Chronicles

I have a secret to tell you… I’d already seen the first episode of the Kimchi Chronicles. But that didn’t stop me from attending the Toronto Korean Film Festival’s (TKFF) May screening of it. Beyond the fact that I wanted to write about the event, I was also attending the press conference beforehand (more on that in my next article). But those weren’t the real reason – or rather the whole reason – I went (and brought friends). You see, Kimchi Chronicles is just so much fun to watch!

For those of you who are familiar with Kimchi Chronicles, it’s a PBS show that’s part cooking show, part travelogue, part Korean culture show and all fun. It’s also an interesting look inside the life, family and friends of the host – Marja Vongerichten – and her husband, world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I highly recommend it if you have any interest in Korean food or culture. Plus because everything in the show is introduced from an American’s perspective, it’s a different and interesting introduction to Korea for those whom aren’t familiar with the country of its wonderful culture. Even if you are familiar with Korea, it’s fun to watch.

At the screening we watched the first and sixth episodes which are a wonderful introduction to Korean food for the beginner or a fun reminder for those like me who love Korean food. Watching the show made me so hungry and I had just eaten! Not to worry though because the wonderful people at TKFF had it covered. When the screening was over, we exited the theatre to yummy bibimbap (비빔밥, mixed rice and veggies) and bulgogi (불고기, marinated barbecued beef) – perfect as we had just watched episodes featured both Korean foods. I really want to try Marja’s recipe for bulgogi! Hmm… maybe I will this weekend. ^^

But beyond how much fun it was to watch Kimchi Chronicles again – and eat yummy food – I was extremely impressed by the event. As something that’s entirely put on by volunteers, it was frankly an amazing event. I really loved how they engaged the audience on Twitter on the big screen at Innis Town Hall. It was super cool. And I’m not just saying that because I saw my tweets up there. ^^

There were also some lovely ladies dressed in hanbok (한복, traditional Korean clothes). Hanbok are always so pretty with such vibrant colours and this was no different. My apologies for not taking any pictures, I really need to invest in a new camera.

I’ve now had the opportunity to meet several of the organizers of TKFF and they are all lovely people – very friendly, warm and professional. Each event I’ve been to impresses me more so I can’t wait for the actual film festival. Speaking of the actual film festival, check back at 3:00pm today for more information on the films that will be screening at it!

Did you attend TKFF’s May screening of Kimchi Chronicles? What did you think?

Oh, and don’t forget to come out to the outdoor screening of The Host (괴물) at the 20th Annual Korean Dano Spring Festival on Friday! It’s free!

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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