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Korean Buddhists promote temple food, Templestay program in N.Y.

June 11, 2012 - 19:41 By Korea Herald
A Korean Buddhist group has launched a week-long promotion event for temple food and temple stay programs in New York, as part of efforts to introduce its 1,700-year-old culture abroad.

The event kicked off with a culinary showcase of temple food by Ven. Daean at the Culinary Institute of America on June 7. Various other programs will be held at different venues in the city throughout the week, Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism, an affiliate of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, said in a press release. The event runs through June 15.
This file photo shows a temple food showcase held in New York in 2010. (Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)

In cooperation with the Korean Cultural Service New York and the Korean Embassy in New York, the cultural arm of the Jogye Order will invite local journalists, chefs, restaurateurs, power bloggers and travel agents to gala dinners from June 12 to 14, to offer a better understanding of temple food.

Temple food, the food that Buddhist monks eat, is comprised mostly of wild vegetables, roots and husks of trees foraged in mountainous regions. Seasonings are used sparingly to enhance the original taste and flavor of the main ingredients.

The event also features lectures on temple food as well as an art exhibition of dolls made of dak paper or Korean traditional paper, depicting the self-disciplinary life of Buddhist monks.

On June 15, the Buddhist group will hit the road with the Kimchi Taco Truck, a popular Korean fusion food chain, to promote its temple food and Templestay program on the streets of midtown Manhattan.

The group also plans to hold a press conference to increase media exposure of its cultural offerings.

The New York event is a follow up to a similar showcase held in Paris last year.

The group plans to open its first temple food restaurant on the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette in Paris next year.

By Cho Chung-un (