Korean Adoption

Hello Seoul Eaters. Lately I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to photograph the moment adopting parents meet and pick up their new children here in Seoul. As you know our site founder Daniel is an adoptee so he’s asked me to share my work. It’s been very interesting, rewarding, and emotionally charged work. The process takes around two years and I just get the apex of a two year build up of emotion, expectation, excitement, and nervousness. All that spills out in a one hour meeting where the new parents finally meet a child they’ve only read about and seen pictures of, and the foster parents give up a child they’ve spent years caring for and getting to know. Needless to say there are tears on all sides, and thankfully I’m not in any of the pictures because I’d be embarrassing. The pictures in the small room with big windows are the initial meeting, and the outdoor shots are post-adoption family shoots. Enjoy. For more photos check out my site.

Update: Dustin has since moved back to the United States to be the best San Diego wedding photographer. He thanks everyone for the amazing time he had in Korea.

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Central Seoul, Non-Korean Eats

Review: Agio: Italian Food in Insadong

Agio Italian Food in Insadong by Daniel Gray

Agio Italian Food in Insadong by Daniel Gray

Italian food in Korea is not like the Italian food that I had while growing up. Then again, the Italian food in America is nothing like the food in Italy. 

The pizzas are brick oven baked on thin crust and the sauces are chunky. Sure there are some notable differences such as the preposterous amount of sauce and the side of pickles, but that’s a cultural thing. Koreans need something salty and crunchy with their food- I think this is a good thing; it’s a way to balance out the meal.

The food at Agio is not bad. It’s nothing special, but I would go there again. If I had a date (incredible as that might sound), I might take her here. There are some great things about this place. They make their pasta fresh and they have a brick pizza oven with wood fire. For me, it’s old news but my Korean friends that I went there with really enjoyed it.

The pizza was on a crisp thin crust with just the right amount of cheese and sauce and topped with basil – not the freshest, mind you, but it was basil. The tomato sauce on the pasta was chunky and fresh tasting and it complemented the al-dente, fresh noodles. The cream sauce spaghetti was a tad sweet for my taste, but the others at the table liked it. For me the mushroom pasta dish was just right- it had the right amount of savory mushrooms in an olive oil sautee with garlic. Yum.

It’s not overpriced; it’s reasonable. Pastas start at 12,000- which is cheap in Korea. And pizzas start at 16,000. The setting at Agio is homey and it would be great for a quiet Italian dinner with friends or a loved one.

South Korea Seoul Jongno-gu Gyeonji-dong 68-1

+82 2-722-0211 

Agio Italian Food in Insadong by Daniel Gray

Agio Italian Food in Insadong by Daniel Gray

Agio Italian Food in Insadong by Daniel Gray

Agio Italian Food in Insadong by Daniel Gray

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Food News

Press Release: Korean Culinary Tourism Association First Conference

Korea Culinary Tourism Association KOTCA 1st Conference
I am happy to announce that the first Culinary Tourism Association in Asia, KOCTA: The Korean Culinary Tourism Association will be having their first conference on Tuesday, August 30th at 4pm at the KTO Building near Myeongdong.

At the conference we’ll announce how Culinary Tourism can be used to promote Korean food overseas and how it can revitalize the tourism industry in Korea. Food is the attraction for many tourists to Korea and they need the proper direction and education in order to discover it.

The KOCTA president, Jia Choi PhD, will announce our chapter to Korean press and the government ministry. She’ll talk about the scope of culinary tourism and how it can benefit Korea. The keynote speaker will be Jang Tae-pyeong: a former Minister of Nongnimbu: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Erik Wolf, President of the ICTA: The International Culinary Tourism Association will speak via web conference. Eungumju An of Big Farm and Professor Tae-hee Kim of Kyunghee University will be giving speeches as well.

The conference will be on Tuesday, August 30th from 4pm-6pm at the KTO Building it will be 1st basement floor in the theatre. This event is by invitation only.


Come take a cooking class or take a Culinary Tour in Seoul! http://www.ongofood.com

Pictures are taken either with my Panasonic DMC-G2 Camera with 20mm Lens or with my iPhone 4G
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Non-Korean Eats

CLOSED Teaser: Fajita Plate, Tacos and Corn Pudding at Mamacitas

This Restaurant has Closed

Here is a taste of an upcoming review: Fajita Hotplate with beans, Hard Shelled Tacos and Corn Pudding at Mamacita’s Mexican Grill and Tequila Lounge in Apgujeong. Ok, now back to work.

Mamacita’s Mexican Grill and Tequila Lounge in Apgujeong
Mamacita’s Mexican Grill and Tequila Lounge in Apgujeong
Mamacita’s Mexican Grill and Tequila Lounge in Apgujeong

135-189 서울특별시 강남구 논현2동 94-17 1층
It is down the alley behind the Bennigans across from Cinecity.