The Korean Cultural Centre (KCC) held its third Korean food festival, Taste of Korea, on 26 November at the Nile Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the presence of a group of chefs, Korean culture and food lovers, in addition to the ambassadors of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Italy, Singapore, Chile, Thailand, Cambodia, Denmark, Australia, and Canada.
The Korean chefs presenting a demonstration on how to prepare kimchi (Photo courtesy of the KCC Media Office)
In his welcoming speech, Korean Ambassador to Egypt Yoon Yeocheol said, "let me thank all the guests who have come to have a taste of Korea tonight, particularly Ambassador Hany Selim, assistant foreign minister and Egypt's former ambassador to Korea, representatives of the ministries of tourism and culture, my fellow members of the diplomatic corps, and all my Egyptian friends who love Korean culture and those bloggers and influencers who will share their experience with a larger crowd. The theme of our event tonight is Kimchi which, we can say, is the most representative Korean food. It is an old, traditional dish but no Korean can live a single day without it. Kimchi is made with turnips spiced with a variety of ingredients. As fermented food with live microbes, Kimchi is known to contribute to your internal balance and now so many people around the world love to eat Kimchi for its unique taste and its healthy effect.
"Tonight, our Korean chefs will show you how to make Kimchi and how to make a variation of dishes made with Kimchi, which is a pancake or pizza with Kimchi flavour. Fortunately, in Egypt you can buy all the ingredients that go into Kimchi. So I would like you to concentrate on the presentation and try this at home with your family. So relax and enjoy the food, thinking what kind of people Koreans are who can endure these spicy foods and work so hard day and night," he concluded.
Then he introduced the four Korean chefs: Chef Lee Seung Eun, Chef Oh Jeong Wha, who came all the way from Korea, Chef Chu Ji Soo, who has been giving culinary courses at the KCC in Cairo, as well as Chef Baek Seung Ho, who is working for official functions that the ambassador hosts at his residence.They presented a demonstration on how to prepare kimchi.
Interestingly, Director of the KCC Yang Sang Keun points, "This year's festival celebrates "Kimchi", one of the most popular side dishes in Korea since hundreds of years ago".
Yang added that KimJang, the kimchi-making culture, was on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage in 2013, noting that an annual festival is held in Korea during autumn for preparing Kimchi.
He also noted that the KimJang collective ritual is not just a practice, but in fact an experience that promotes the spirit of sharing through bringing the community together, where family members, relatives and neighbours come together to prepare and share the kimchi.
Korea has many types of kimchi that can be prepared from various vegetables such as cucumber, cabbage and radish. It can be added to many main dishes such as kimchi pies.
The KCC hosted this year a three-month Korean cooking course where 120 participants got a hands-on experience making Korean foods.