FOOD (14)

Sunday, 30 October 2016 14:28

Chef Ryu's Hybrid Cuisine in Seoul

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A Ryunique Dining Experience Fusing Japanese and French Cuisine With Korean Ingredients

Since its opening in 2011, the Seoul restaurant Ryunique has attracted wide attention and admiration in the Seoul dining scene.Through its modern hybrid cuisine, Ryunique has respectively won 27th and 79th place in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and the World’s 100 Best Restaurants. The mastermind behind the restaurant is Chef Ryu, a native Busan and son of a marine biologist.Having started his culinary career at the age of 22, Chef Ryu spent eight years traveling around the world, during which he trained in top-notch restaurants in Japan, Australia and the UK. His international experience is reflected in Ryunique’s hybrid fusion cuisine,which features elements from different culinary cultures with an emphasis on French and Japanese.The aptly named restaurant combines his name –“Ryu”– and “unique.”True to its title, his dazzling dishes enchant customers with something new, original and of course, delicious.Besides Ryunique, Chef Ryu also runs a bistro called Normal by Ryunique. Seoul Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Chef Ryu about his restaurant, Korean food culture, and future ambitions.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 00:00

Samngyetang

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Samgyetang is a chicken soup made with a small, whole chicken and ginseng. It is an iconic summer dish in Korea. People eat this boiling hot soup to beat the heat and stay energized during the summer. It is especially popular during sambok, the three hottest days of summer; these days are based on the lunar calendar — chobok (beginning), jungbok (middle) and malbok (end). As the Korean saying goes, eating the hot soup is “fighting the heat with heat.”

Sunday, 24 July 2016 00:00

Royal Cuisine Chef Bok-Ryeo Han

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Harmonizing different cultures through Korean royal court cuisine


Bok-Ryeo Han promotes popular interest in Chosun dynastic royal cuisine and has been appointed by UNESCO as a National Designated Intangible Cultural Treasure. She is the director of the Institute of Korean Royal Cuisine and has won the official commendation of the Minister of Culture. She studied at the University of Seoul,as well as Korea University for Food Engineering, and earned her doctorate in Food and Nutrition at Myongji University. Following after Hwang Hye Sung, who is also a researcher in royal court cuisine, a National Intangible Cultural Asset of Importance, and most important of all, her mother, Bok-Ryeo Han continues to contribute to the cuisine’s reproduction and modernization. At the 2000 Inter-Korean Summit, 2006 APEC regular conference in Busan, and 2010 G-20 Summit in Seoul, she helped develop menus and provided support as a consultant. She also acted as a consultant for the Korean drama, Dae Jang Geum (Jewel in the Palace), which is about Korean royal cuisine. She stresses the importance of food in understanding other cultures, especially when the royal court cuisine has become a global phenomenon. She runs two restaurants, ‘Jihwaja’ and ‘Gungyeon,’ and currently offers cooking classes at the Institute for foreigners to participate in and promote Korean cuisine.

Monday, 04 July 2016 00:00

Chef Akira Back

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From Mountain Terrain to the Culinary Domain


Chef Akira Back comes from a background that spans South Korea, Japan and the U.S. and crosses the domains of baseball, snowboarding and cooking. Back was born in 1974 as Sung Ook Back in Seoul, Korea. He pursued his love for baseball at a young age by moving to Japan, where a family friend gave him the nickname “Akira,” as the Japanese name shares the same Chinese characters as “Ook.” In 1989, his father’s business took their family to the U.S., where his snowboarding career began at the age of 15 in Aspen, Colorado. He then spent seven years as a professional snowboarder, where he appeared in extreme sports movies and was featured in the top snowboarding publications. His career then took a new path after studying at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Colorado as a sushi prep cook at Kenichi in Aspen, followed by Austin, Texas and then as an opening chef in Kona, Hawaii. He continued his culinary education by studying under top celebrity chefs and industry leaders including Masaharu Morimoto and Brian Nagao. In 2003, he returned to Aspen as Executive Chef of Nobu. In 2008, he opened his first restaurant — Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge, Chef Akira Back at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The restaurant’s Japanese cuisine has attracted various celebrity clientele including Taylor Swift, P!nk, Kelly Osbourne and Joe Jonas. He has appeared on television in the U.S. on Iron Chef America, The Today Show and The Best Thing I Ever Ate, as well as on South Korea onKBS’s Success Mentor. Chef Akira Back is now going international with Akira Back restaurants opening in New Delhi and Jakarta. Back took a few moments from his busy schedule to talk about his shift in careers and new projects with Seoul Journal.

Monday, 04 July 2016 00:00

Chef Judy Joo

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Making Korean Food Simple

As the only participant to serve as chef, judge and challenger throughout the Iron Chef series, Judy Joo has made a name for herself in the culinary world. Having worked as Executive Chef at the Playboy Club, and host of the Cooking Channel’s new series, Korean Food Made Simple, Joo’s success has ranged from being the first woman to win Iron Chef UK, a judge on the Next Iron Chef, Iron Chef America, and a competitor in the Battle Iron Chef UK vs. Iron Chef America. She also regularly appears on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate, The Best Thing I Ever Made, and Guy’s Grocery Games. In her interview with Seoul Journal, Joo discusses how she got her start as a chef, her favorite cuisines, and her upcoming projects.

Saturday, 21 May 2016 11:19

LA: The Birthplace of the Nuevo Taco

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TRADITIONAL taco trucks and roadside pop-ups have a long history in Los Angeles. But the idea of what a taco is has changed dramatically. Korean influences are the most recent,but the notion of what a taco is was up for grabs decades prior to its acceptance in the United States. Similar to the United States,Mexico is a melting pot with influences ranging from Asian to Middle Eastern. Al Pastor is a great example of this; it’s actually a Lebanese dish that over a couple generations morphed from lamb cooked on a vertical rotisserie and served on a pita-like bread into a pork dish made with pineapple. So the fact that we are seeing the concept of a taco being pushed even further here in Los Angeles, where we have a rich and diverse population, is only to be expected. Roy Choi is a chef of the people and knows Los Angeles extremely well. He understands the streets—having literally built this empire off of Kogi food trucks. It therefore makes perfect sense that he would be the one to blend the cultural influences that we both grew up with into an innovative brand and a food concept that would change the face of cuisine not just in Los Angeles, but the whole country. When Korean and Mexican cultures collided in Los Angeles, Roy was there to develop the Korean Taco; and the world was made forever a better place.Today in Los Angeles, even the most traditional of Mexican taco trucks are enjoying their customers’ expanding and adventurous palates. And it’s not just food trucks that are serving them up; the twist on the taco has even caught the eye of fine dining chefs such as José Andrés, who is also taking liberties with the concept and creating tacos at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. One of his offerings is the Japanese taco: thin-shaved cucumber cradles BBQ freshwater eel fillets sprinkled with black sesame seeds, shiso, wasabi and crunchy chicharron. The taco is definitely a fixture in the Los Angeles society and is here to stay for good, but only time will tell what it will taste and look like.

Thursday, 11 February 2016 00:00

Ajumama’s Laura Lee

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East Meets Midwest: Gourmet Food Truck is a Driving Force in Columbus, Ohio’s Food Scene

Laura Lee’s gourmet food truck, called “Ajumama,” has gained popularity for serving authentic Korean fare with a creative American-twist. While Korean tacos have become popular dishes at food trucks around the U.S., Laura focuses on combining familiar Midwestern dishes with traditional Korean dishes that are probably unknown to most non-Koreans. Seoul Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Laura Lee, who is a classically trained chef, about her unique approach to Korean cuisine and the pros and cons of running a food truck.

Monday, 12 October 2015 00:00

Guide to Korean Street Food - Part I

Complete Guide to Korean Street Food

Korean street food is part of the adventure when traveling in Korea. However, some people are like two-year-old children — they’ll just put anything in their mouths! If you’re a little more concerned about what it is you’re actually eating, check out this complete guide to Korean street food!

Wednesday, 07 October 2015 00:00

Chef Corey Lee

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Wise Man From the East Becomes Wise Chef of the West

Chef Corey Lee, whose Korean name is Dong Min (meaning “Wise Man from the East”), is a Korean-born, American-trained chef. In 2010, Lee opened the award-winning restaurant, Benu, in San Francisco, which received the highest possible Michelin Guide rating of three stars in 2014. Lee moved to the U.S. from Korea when he was five and settled in New Jersey. Although his home at the time kept two refrigerators, one for Korean food and one for American, he says that the food at Benu is about how those two can coexist. Corey Lee shared his views on food with Seoul Journal's Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie.

Monday, 31 August 2015 00:00

Let's Eat Feet

 

Two Popular Korean Dishes that I Personally Enjoy Commonly are Made Up Entirely of Feet.

They may not be the first dishes people are drawn to, but eventually your taste buds adapt. Eating in Korea is a bit like a game. Level one is for the newbies and encompasses meals like galbi 갈비 (grilled meat), bibimbap 비빔밥 (a mix of rice, vegetables and a spicy pepper paste) and mandu-guk 만두국 (dumpling soup). These are the meals you take visiting friends and family out for because they may not be as adventurous as you [are] if you have lived in Korea for a year or more. As foreigners develop a taste for these meals, they gradually start tasting the side dishes, which tend to be fermented and spicier thereby developing taste buds for some of the other Korean main dishes. Level five might encompass such dishes as sannakji 산낙지 (live octopus) or kimchi jjiggae 김지찌개 (kimchi stew) and jok-bal 족발 (pig’s feet). As you go higher, you get into the foods that you may have thought to be inedible, like chicken feet  닭발.  

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