Hansik, It’s a Global Brand Now

interview with Dr. Sook-ja Yoon, Chairwoman of Korean Food Foundation

“We will promote the Hansik, pride of the Hallyu, at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018”

Korean Food Foundation (KFF) announced ’10 Global Hansik Dishes’ to attract foreign visitors at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018.

The menu reflects the image of global modern Hansik:

Grilled Dried Pollack on the Rice
Buckwheat-Potato Bibimbab
Mushroom-Corn Porridge
Simple Japchae
Morden Bulgogi
Dangun Shinhwa Pancake
Roll Samgye-tang
Tteok Galbi-tang
Triple White Kimchi
Marble Tteok

“We slightly adjusted the formula to make it easier to cook, for the sake of the global trend, while keeping the traditional core recipe,” said Dr. Yoon.


In April 2016, Dr. Yoon become a Chairwoman of the KTT. Her aim is to advance Korean Brand through globalising Korean food. According to various reports, during the 6 days of the ‘Korea – Ireland Food Festival (March 2017)’, Dr. Yoon’s cooking seminar – themed with Spring vegetables and flowers – fascinated most visitors.

Dr. Yoon emphasised that “Hansik is now a globally recognised Korean brand. It’s been ranked as the most popular branch of the Hallyu based on a survey conducted on 6,500 people in 2016 by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (KMCST).”

An Interview with Dr. Yoon is as following:

Q. Introduce us to the Koran Food Foundation

Since its establishment in 2010 (when it became a governmental branch of the Korean Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 2015) the Korean Food Foundation has engaged in various activities, including the development and distribution of Korean traditional food culinary, the invigoration of food and travel, and the fostering of expertise. We have also held various international Food Expos including the World Hansik Festival at the Korean Cuisine Cultural Center, where the average visitors count was 14,000 a month (the location was the CEL Venture Complex, 40, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul).

Q. Tell us more about the ’10 Global Hansik Dishes’ for foreign visitors at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018

The menu consists of Grilled Dried Pollack on Rice, Buckwheat-Potato Bibimbab, Mushroom-Corn Porridge, Simple Japchae, Morden Bulgogi, Dangun Shinhwa Pancake , Roll Samgye-tang, Tteok Galbi-tang, Triple White Kimchi, and Marble Tteok.

We selected 10 dishes from the ‘100 Most Favoured Korean Dishes by ‘Foreigners’, proposed by MFAFF, KMCST, KFF, and aTKAFFTC Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation). These demonstrated Korean culture, ingredients, combination, season, recipe. The culinary background of the countries participating in the 2018 Olympics were considered as the main criteria for the dishes selected.

Q. How do you handle all the different names (and spelling) of the Korean dishes?

We have campaigned for standardising the dish names (in Chinese, English , and Japanese) with the National Institute of the Korean Language since 2009; 100 names have been standardised for this year; 300 names will be standardised soon. We have also published many E-books and mobile applications as well.

Q. Let us know about the ‘Hansik Promotion Law’ you are proposing with the MFAFF.

We have been preparing a Bill to boost Hansik Promotion Policy by separating it from the main Act. We are required to come up with the best way to promote Korean food.

Q. What are your qualifications to run such organisation as a culinary specialist

I was born in GAESUNG (now in North Korea). My family was well known due to their involvement in social gatherings and ancestral ceremonies. My mother was responsible for preparing and presenting the food on all of these occasions. Therefore, I had the benefit of developing the skills and knowledge necessary for the preparation of traditional Korean food by emulating my mother.

From 1998 I was:

Until 2007 a member of the Advisory Committee for the provision of meals for the 1988 Seoul Olympiad (as an advisor for Food for the Dinner at the North and South Korean Summit Talks), I had had vast experiences in the resource management. All those nurtured my abilities to organise international events as both educator and administrator.

Q. What is your future plan?

Our food and culinary culture is our new growth driver. It benefits other industries such as agriculture, food ingredients, tourism, and cultural contents. It helps create jobs in addition to the values it creates in the global market. With our expertise and creativity, we will further promote our cuisine and culinary culture in a more sustainable way in the Global market, especially consulting overseas Korean restaurants this year, particularly with the wave of rising popularity of Korean around the world.

Article by courtesy of Young-joo Kong
Photo courtesy of Won-ho Jung

Paraphrased by Romeo Lee

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