Food and theater come together at events across Seoul
Food and theater have always gone hand in hand, whether it is going out to a dinner before a show, munching on some popcorn during a movie or ordering in a meal while watching Netflix.
Immersive dining dives deeper into this relationship by combining live performances and movies with food of similar themes to create a multisensory experience.
“Grand Expedition” at Blue Square in Yongan District, central Seoul, offers an immersive dining experience by combining live performance and fine dining.
It is a licensed performance that premiered in the UK in 2018. Michelin-star chef Joseph Lidgerwood designed the five-course menu for the Korean production.
The cozy, round theater inside Blue Square is decorated with hot air balloon replicas that serve as dinner tables. The show’s atmosphere is inspired from works by French author Jules Verne, best known for his science fiction books.
As the show begins, the hot air balloons take off from Greenwich, London, then travel to Hokkaido in Japan, Siberia in Russia, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and lastly, outer space.
A dish is served at each location. The meal has different menu options to accommodate vegetarians and those with allergies.
The audience is encouraged to dance and interact with the performers throughout the show.
“We were worried at first if local audiences could be as outgoing and engaging as the audiences in the UK,” said Jeong In-seok, CEO of Imculture, during the show’s press conference on Friday. “But, to our surprise, many so far seem to participate well and enjoy the show to its fullest.”
“For some of the more shy audiences, we don’t force them to open up, but rather try to match their feelings and flow and let them open up to the show step by step,” said lead performer Lee Kyeong-min.
“Grand Expedition” runs through March 1, 2023. Tickets are 170,000 won each ($119) and can be purchased through Interpark.
Seoul International Food Film Festival combines food and cinema with star chefs and iconic films from around the world.
“Eating While Watching Cinema” is a five-day event running as part of the festival. It is an annual part of the Seoul International Food Film Festival, but had been on a three-year hiatus due to Covid-19.
On the first day of the event at 12 p.m. on Oct. 21, the British rom-com “Love Sarah” will be screened and bread and various desserts by chef Jung Hong-yeon will be served. Jung is best known as an éclair expert. He is behind the desserts at the cafe at Hotel Douce, which has locations in Jung District, central Seoul and Seocho District, southern Seoul .
At 6 p.m. on the same day, there will a screening of Hong Kong romance film “A Father’s Malatang.” Chef Choi Hyeong-jin will be serving the film’s Sichuanese hot pot during the screening. Choi is a chef at popular Chinese restaurant Jinjia in Songpa District, southern Seoul.
More information on the films and food that will be served throughout the festival can be found on sifff.kr.
The event runs from Oct. 21 to 25 at KB Rockstar Youth Lounge in Mapo District, western Seoul.
BY LEE JIAN [firstname.lastname@example.org]