The Korea Herald


Culinary wizards to experiment with Korean food

By Korea Herald

Published : Oct. 25, 2011 - 19:26

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Seoul Gourmet 2011 also offers master classes, gala dinners by Korean chefs

Six international star chefs ― four of them running Michelin star restaurants ― will visit Korea next week to discover the essence of Korean ingredients and use them in their creative dishes.

Seoul Gourmet 2011, a premier culinary festival coming into its third year, will be held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 at four luxury hotels in Seoul, inviting both international and local star chefs to share flavors of international and Korean cuisine and help Korean food get more exposure to the international food industry.

The annual event was established in 2009 under the title, “Amzing Korean Table” and the name was changed to “Seoul Gourmet” the following year.

This year, the festival will allow young Korean star chefs to learn cooking techniques from international masters, the organizer said.

The highlight will be the “Star Chef Dinner,” full-course dining experiences offered by the six internationally-renowned chefs who will use Korean ingredients and recipes at four hotels ― Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, Lotte Hotel Seoul, The Shilla Seoul and The Plaza ― from Nov. 1-4.

The six chefs attending the Seoul Gourmet include Joan Roca, the eldest of the three brothers who founded El Celler de Can Roca, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant which ranked No. 2 on San Pellegrino’s 50 World’s Best Restaurants. Roca will offer his dinner on Nov. 3 at Grand InterCon. His younger brother Jordi Roca, famous for his “perfume dessert,” participated in Seoul Gourmet 2010.

Pascal Barbo, a three-Michelin-starred French chef known for using seasonal fruits and vegetables, will present his cuisine at The Shilla Seoul on Nov. 1-2. The organizer said Barbo’s participation at the festival is quite exceptional because he is known as a chef who largely avoids the media. His restaurant L’Astrance in Paris does not take reservations. It does not have a website either. It is also the first time for him to use Korean ingredients.

Sang-hoon Degeimbre, known for Belgian molecular gastronomy, is returning to Seoul, after his participation last year. He is to make fusion cuisine using Belgian and Korean foods at the Lotte Hotel Seoul on Nov. 3-4.

Swedish chef Bjorn Frantzen, and Judy Joo, famous as one of the four U.K. Iron Chefs, will present their Scandinavian and British dishes on Nov. 4 and Nov. 3-4 at The Plaza and the Lotte Hotel Seoul, respectively.

Prior to the dining extravaganza, the six chefs will visit Joeonju Hanok Village in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, on Oct. 31 to learn the fundamentals of Korean traditional cooking and well-known dishes such as kimchi, traditional liquor, red ginseng and seasonal vegetables. In the evening, they will return to Seoul to visit Hanaro Mart where they will select ingredients and get inspiration for the Star Chef Dinner.

On the early morning of Nov.1, the chefs will take a tour of the Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market, the largest fish market in Seoul, and see how Korean dealers auction seafood to local restaurant owners and other dealers.

During the festival, a series of master classes will be offered by the six star chefs and other chefs for the general public on Nov. 2-3 at the Shinsegae Department Store’s Culture Hall in central Seoul. Advanced master class will be available on Nov. 4 at the Sejong Convention Center for professional cooks.

The Seoul Gourmet Gala dinner will be presented by five Korean chefs including Kang Kyung-jin, owner of restaurant Swell and the youngest chef among international gastronomic society Confrerie De La Chaine Des Rotisseurs.

Star Chef Dinner is priced between 330,000 won and 500,000 won per person, excluding tax and service change. Master classes are priced between 70,000 won and 150,000 won. Tickets can be purchased at or For more information, visit

By Kim Yoon-mi (