By Jasmin Justo
K-Food Fair is an annual event hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of South Korea, Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation and the Korean Cultural Service of New York City. The purpose of the K-Food Fair is to educate the public about Korea’s food culture and to spread the love of Korean food. The organization has been known to embrace diversity in both the chefs and the cooking style of Korean food. Last year, the K-Food Fair featured Chef David Lee at the Chef’s Club, for his fusion of Korean ingredients with French cooking techniques. This year, the organization is recognizing the Michelin Star Chef Hooni Kim and Top Chef Angelo Sosa as the Ambassadors of Korean Food. Chef Angelo Sosa is a half Dominican- half Italian chef who not only grew up with two cultures, but has embraced both Spanish cooking and Korean ingredients to create a unique fusion of flavors and ingredients.
At the opening presentation, Chief Director Paul Hyungon Shin of Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation, gave a few remarks introducing the mission of the K-Food Fair 2016 to spread the Korean food culture around the world and gave thanks to the talented chefs that help create awareness for Korea’s food culture. Chef Hooni Kim and Chef Angelo Sosa spoke about their cooking experiences and on their vision for the future of fusion cuisine. Both chefs have worked together for over seven years at Chef Hooni Kim’s restaurants’ Hanja and Danja. Chef Hooni Kim himself had a difficult time fusing the bold flavors of Korean ingredients such as the spicy chili peppers with other cuisines such as French cuisine. However, with meeting Chef Angelo Sosa, he was surprised to see his way of cooking and mixing and thus started the conversation of fusion cuisine. Chef Angelo Sosa has traveled to various countries in Asia such as Thailand and Japan, to learn about Asian cuisine and flavors. During his travels, he fell in love with Korea’s culture and food and wanted to fuse it together with his family’s recipes. Therefore, he took key ingredients from Korea’s food cuisine such as black garlic and gochujang and included them in traditional American and Spanish dishes such as tomato soup and beef sirloin. According to Chef Sosa, he thinks that fusion cuisine can connect different cultures as food is a universal language. Chef Hooni Kim also hopes that through fusion cuisine, people can gain more exposure to Korean ingredients and use them with different cooking methods.
After the presentation, there was a variety of dishes served.
Savory Doenjang-glazed Atlantic salmon with spinach leaves and slices of Asian pear: The fish is fresh to the taste and has a firm texture. The spinach and pear make an excellent complimentary for digestion.
Tomato soup with gochujang- The soup begins with a sweet taste of the tomato that gradually becomes warmer and spicy. I would definitely recommend the recipe for the upcoming cold winter days.
Tacos with strips of bulgogi, bean sprouts, carrot strips, and cilantro- This dish is a fusion of the typical Spanish ingredient, tortilla, as a wrap with bulgogi, a Korean barbequed meat. The combination is great and adding sauce would générique viagra belgique make a great compliment.
Grilled kimchi sandwich with melted parmesan and ricotta cheese- The sandwich’s texture is soft and creamy and the kimchi adds warmth to this interesting combo of the American classic grilled cheese sandwich.
Fried chicken with sweet chili paste- the chicken is tender and the sweet spicy combo defiantly tingles the taste buds.
Noodles with bean sprout, shiitake mushrooms, sweet diced tomatoes, cilantro and mint leaves- It is a refreshing appetizer with a mix of crunchy and soft textures. The herbs are also good for digestion.
Chicken and pork mandu with soy sauce – Mandu is the Korean equivalent of a dumpling. The dumplings were soft and delicious.
Bulgogi with sesame seeds and sweet chili paste- Very chewy texture with a taste of the grill.
For a drink accompaniment, soju was served. Soju is Korea’s most famous alcoholic drink. Like other alcohols, the soju taste can vary depending on how it is distilled and where. The cocktails were made with Jinro Soju. Made up of 10% barley, 19% tapioca, and 5% sweet potato, it has a strong and bitter aftertaste, but it served as a nice base for the cocktails. There was soju crisp with orange liqueur, fresh lime juice and apple cider and soju with sweet vermouth, fresh lime juice, and angostura bitters. The cocktail with the citrus made an excellent complimentary with the tomatoes soup and the soju with sweet vermouth made an great accompaniment with the bulgogi.
Overall the K-Food Fair is an exciting event for food lovers everywhere. Guests not only get to enjoy Korea fusion cuisine, but are also able to meet with the talented chefs. Do check out their website chefd.com where you can learn how to prepare the recipes or you can order the delicious dish and have it delivered.