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Park seeks ideas for globalization of Korean food

President Park Geun-hye invited star chefs to Cheong Wa Dae on Thursday afternoon to seek ways to globalize Korean food and promote its history and delicacies overseas, officials said.

Internationally renowned chefs including Pierre Gagnaire, Joan Roca and Rene Redzepi attended the luncheon at the presidential office and shared their views on Korean food, particularly on ways to combine fermented Korean ingredients with Western dishes. The European chefs are known for experimenting with Korean food, such as jang, traditional sauces or pastes made from fermented soybeans.

The luncheon also featured Korean chef Ahn Jeong-hyeon who served as an adviser to the organizing committee for the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit Seoul, and Yim Jung-sik, owner and head chef of Michelin-starred Korean restaurant Jungsik in New York.

At the luncheon, Park thanked them for developing creative and artistic recipes with Korean ingredients such as soybean paste, sauce and red pepper paste, and asked them to continue making efforts in promoting Korean food.

“In this era of globalization, we need to share (each other’s) food culture and promote them to become a new cultural industry,” Park told chefs at the luncheon.

“I hope to share stories about food and the related cultural industry, and ways to bring happiness to human kind through food,” she said.

The luncheon was organized to exchange stories about Korean jang and other fermented food with internationally renowned chefs interested in Korean dishes, said presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook. Gagnaire presented a special French course prepared with Korean ingredients for the president, he added.

The three-star Michelin chef has his own restaurant in Seoul. He is well known for introducing ice cream with gochujang, Korean red pepper sauce, and using ginseng or omija to add new flavor to his dish.

By Cho Chung-un (