On Wednesday, South Korea’s First Lady, Kim Yoon-Ok, met with Korean and Korean American chefs, bloggers, and important figures leading the way for hansik (Korean cuisine) in the NYC food scene. Kim, who plays an active role in the Korean government’s effort to globalize Korean food, visited chef Hooni Kim‘s Danji, a restaurant serving modern Korean cuisine, and Social Eatz, a restaurant famous for its glorious Bibimbap Burger, to give tips on how Korean and Korean fusion restaurants can further promote Korean cuisine, reports The Korea Times.
Some of the people in attendance were Maangchi‘s Emily Kim (who blogged about her meeting with the First Lady), Social Eatz‘ owner Bobby Kwak and chef Angelo Sosa, Kimchi Chronicles‘ Jean-Georges and Marja Vongerichten, and Peter Kang, founder of Korean Food Gallery. During the meeting, Kim commended them for their efforts in promoting Korean cuisine and culture in the U.S. and pointed out how Korean restaurants serving traditional Korean dishes were key in successfully introducing hansik to a wide range of people and palates.
Kim’s trip to NYC’s Korean food scene is another step in the Korean government’s billion-dollar-plus campaign to promote Korean cuisine and ultimately be ranked in the world’s top 5 cuisines by 2017. Though it takes time and persistence, we hope bibimbap and kimchi jjigae will become well known as dishes from other Asian countries like sushi and Pad Thai.