A young South Korean was declared the best neighborhood cooker in France on Thursday by the country’s hippest gastronomic guide.
Illustrator Saehan Park, 31, who lives in the city of Strasbourg, in eastern France, won a competition organized by guide Le Fooding to find the best cook at home during local confinement.
Unable to taste the Park brand of “French-Korean cuisine based on local ingredients” due to the lockdown, the judges made their choice from the photos, videos and recipes she shared.
Hundreds of thousands of French people spent much of the lockdown of the country nearly eight weeks in their kitchens, later sharing their creations in often very competitive gastronomic publications on social networks.
Le Fooding judges were impressed with the way Park and his French partner looked for local meat, vegetables and beer for their menus, which also included homemade Korean dishes banchan side dishes and Kimchi.
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The Alsace region of which Strasbourg is the capital is famous for its own vision of pickled cabbage – Sauerkraut in French or Sauerkraut in German.
Guide founder Alexandre Cammas told AFP that Park had mouth watering with his Korean mandu dumplings stuffed with octopus cooked with tomato, white wine and paprika, most often inside savory pies “tielle” from the French Mediterranean port of Sète.
Park said, “Our cuisine is like us. I am Korean and André is French and therefore naturally our influences mix every day to make new Franco-Korean dishes ”.
“Because we focus more on pleasure than on our figures, our cuisine is extremely generous and tasty,” she added.
Cammas said Park won because of his “spirit and sincerity. She is part of a generation that doesn’t want to have anything to do with microwaves or powdered foods “and rather eats seasonally when the ingredients are at their best.”
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