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New Plan Seeks to Globalize Korean Cuisine

Posted October. 10, 2008 03:16,   


The Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry will promote the establishment of Korean culinary academies worldwide that can compete with the world’s best cooking schools, such as Le Cordon Bleu of France.

The ministry yesterday said it will hold a symposium on globalizing Korean food at the Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corp. headquarters in Seoul Oct. 16 on the sidelines of the 2008 Korean Food Expo.

“Our goal is not merely increasing the number of Korean restaurants overseas, but also making locals run Korean restaurants to attract non-Koreans rather than simply Korean tourists or ethnic Koreans abroad,” said corporation CEO Yoon Jang-bae.

To globalize Korean food, the ministry will introduce a certification system for outstanding Korean restaurants overseas; create a database and network among Korean restaurants worldwide; and develop and promote standard recipes and representative Korean dishes.

To heighten the image of Korean food, the ministry will seek to arouse interest in Korean cuisine, including the integration of tableware and cooking utensils with Korean culture, and develop culinary costumes.

Government-accredited Korean food certification will help foster Korean culinary academies and open Korean culinary education in colleges and famous cooking schools abroad.

Though Korean cuisine in Korea is taught at more than 80 private institutes and several traditional food think tanks and colleges, the majority of the courses are small, not specialized, and focus on helping students achieve certification.

To better market Korean food, the government is also reviewing deploying chefs specializing in Korean cuisine to foreign missions.

The ministry and the corporation will spend on the globalization project 20 billion won (14.6 million dollars) next year and 35 billion won in 2010. Loans of up to one billion won will be extended to each Korean restaurant opening abroad at an annual interest of four percent.

“Through just sushi, Japanese dishes have become a leading global food. We will select Korea’s representative items and systematically standardize their cooking methods and ingredients as part of our effort to globalize Korean food,” the corporation said.

“In fancy Japanese restaurants in New York, a person can pay up to 400 dollars for a meal but no Korean restaurant so far can say the same,” Yoon said. “I will make Korean food, which has great taste, style, meaning and culture, a favorite of people around the world.”