Chefs explore local tastes with Edward Kwon
By Noh Hyun-gi
Six star chefs from around the globe are in Korea to show off their skills using Korean ingredients for charity gala dinner events, “Taste of Star Chefs,” starting today and organized by Edward Kwon, a Korean celebrity chef.
The participating masters boast jaw dropping awards including owning restaurants with stars from the Michelin Red Guide, the best known guide for restaurants that awards up to three stars for exceptional quality.
Peter Rodoulph, one-star Michelin chef and the executive chef of Madera, Calif., offers a salmon dish with “songno” or better known as “daikon”mushroom and ginger.
Luigi Gerosa, a two-star Michelin chef and the head chef of The Mira, Hong Kong, combines Cantonese cuisine with “Jin Gan Jang,” aged soy sauce. Richard Ekkebus, a two-star Michelin chef and a the culinary director at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, uses Korean soy sauce in an ox tail dish.
Tam Kwok Fung, one-star Michelin chef from Macau, combined barley and “doenjang,” soybean paste. Shinichiro Takag, head chef at Zeniya, Japan, takes a stab at cooking oyster with “gochujang,” chili paste. Xavier Salomon, one of the three French master chefs and a three-star Michelin chef, creates a pumpkin veloute with ricotta.
Kwon launched this event to promote Korean ingredients rather than specific Korean dishes.
Working overseas for 11 years, Kwon had trouble promoting Korean dishes because of the difficulties in acquiring the ingredients.
He thinks doenjang has the most potential to become a global ingredient.
Kwon also hopes to challenge the prevalent idea that only Western cuisines are suited for fine dining.
“I think even ‘tteokbokki’ (rice cake in hot sauce, a popular street food) can become a 100,000 won or 1 million won dish,” he said.
The gala dinners will be held in two locations. At The Mixed One in Hannam-dong, northern Seoul, eight-course dinners from all visiting chefs are available for 98,000 won from Nov. 17 to 21.
At Lab XXIV in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul, seven-course French meals with wine pairing prepared by three chefs, Ekkebus, Salomon, and Rudolph, are 180,000 won from Nov. 17 to Dec. 16. All proceeds will be donated to Unicef.