South Korea’s top chefs gathered to develop Korean fine dining menus using Korean ingredients as part of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Korean Food Promotion Institution’s efforts to spread the word on Korea's high-quality ingredients, which can be used to prepare a variety of dishes.
At "Shape, Share, Start: For Korea Ingredients," an event held at Mingles in Gangnam, Seoul on Nov. 3, a group of chefs, professors, culinary connoisseurs and industry insiders gathered to learn more about Korean ingredients and how they can be rediscovered through creative menus.
Chefs of acclaimed Korean fine-dining restaurants, including Onjium head chef Park Sung-bae, Onjium food studio head artisan Cho Eun-hee, Mingles head chef Kang Min-goo and Joo Ok head chef Shin Chang-ho, came up with 15 new dishes using rice, pear, abalone, gochujang and more. Each restaurant was charged with creating five dishes.
“Amid the popularity of Korean pop culture, the popularity of Korean food has been increasing at a rapid pace. The purpose of this event is to unveil new, creative Korean dishes in collaboration with fine-dining chefs and to offer a new direction for Korean cuisine, as well as give insights into the boundless potential of Korean menus to an international audience,” said Korean Food Promotion Institute President Yim Kyeong-sook.
“By doing so, we also hope to see a rise in the export of related Korean ingredients,” Yim added.
During the event, a total of eight dishes were unveiled, including a Korean traditional fruit punch and sorbet using pear, a pickled Chinese pepper (sancho) dish using Korean soy sauce with strawberry and caviar, an oyster and scallop dish using gochujang salsa, a steamed chicken with shiitake mushroom dish, abalone and grilled beef patties (tteokgalbi) with a shiitake mushroom glaze sauce and more.
“(In preparing food), 50 percent of the taste comes from the ingredients you use. It was a great opportunity for me as a person who studies and researches food to look deeper into the ingredients and think about ways to promote the export of such ingredients,” said Onjium food studio head artisan, Cho Eun-hee.
“Coming up with creative recipes using Korean ingredients doesn’t stop at just inventing them, but is an important starting point to share and spread Korean culture,” said Onjium head chef Park Sung-bae.
Chef Kang Min-goo of Mingles Seoul said that he wishes to continue to interpret Korean dishes with creativity, using a variety of local ingredients.
“I think the passing down of Korean traditional dishes needs a creative touch, something that requires a modern interpretation of Korean ingredients and Korean food. I hope to promote Korean menus and ingredients at the global level and I wish to see lasting attention and love for Korean food,” Kang said.
According to the Korean Food Promotion Institution, the recipes of all 15 Korean dishes created by the four chefs will be available as an e-book. The recipes will be also used as part of the curriculum at overseas institutions where they have Korean food education programs.