Global Hansik Off to Strong Start
By Kim Hyun-cheol
A new package of measures, including building a 50 billion won fund and opening Korean cooking classes at world renowned cooking schools, will be pushed to foster the globalization of Korean food, or hansik, to make it one of the five most popular ethnic foods in the world.
The Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Monday it confirmed detailed plans for the national campaign to promote Korean food, which was first launched October last year.
Six months ago, the government launched a master plan for the promotion, which included measures such as increasing the number of Korean restaurants overseas to 40,000 by 2017 and promoting the uniqueness and healthy nature of the food.
Under its master plan, consisting of nine sub-tasks for hansik industrialization and its expansion overseas, a new set of legislative support for fostering the Korean food service industry will be established this year.
The new fund, which will be raised by 2013, is aimed at expanding investment in the industry, the ministry said. It also expects to open new Korean cooking classes in globally acclaimed schools like France's Le Cordon Bleu and the Culinary Institute of America.
Along with the launch of a project to cultivate celebrity Korean chefs, an unprecedented campaign will also be started to build up a global word of mouth network to better promote hansik, it added. A new kimchi institute will also be opened to develop various kinds of the pickled vegetable and other fermented Korean food items to attract more foreign tastes.
"Ultimately, the plan aims to offer more and better opportunities for people across the world to relish hansik and understand Korean culture," Vice Food Minister Min Seung-kyu said.
Details of the plan will be discussed at a symposium to be held Tuesday under the theme of the globalization of Korean cuisine before being confirmed in March, the ministry said.
Around 300 participants, including food and farming minister Chang Tae-pyong, will discuss the current global food trend and strategy to make hansik more appealing overseas. Minister Chang Chang will deliver a keynote speech.
The symposium will be composed of three sessions. Charles Cointreau, Vice President of Le Cordon Bleu Asia, an Asian unit of the globally acclaimed French-based culinary school, will make a presentation on current trends in the global food industry and Korean cuisine's positioning in the first part.
Successful cases of food globalization will be the main topic of the second session, while the third session will be about the strategy for the globalization of Korean food. Edward Kwon, head chef of Dubai-based Burj Al Arab hotel, will also deliver a brief speech at a Korean-style luncheon reception.