중앙데일리

Father-son chef team sizzles in the kitchen

Oct 01,2007
Park Seong-hun, left, and his father, Park Hui-jun. By Kim Han-byul
Park Seong-hun, the gold medalist in cooking at the 42nd National Vocational Training Competition last week, was both dignified and confident. In only his second year at Byeongcheon High School in Cheonan, South Chungcheong, Park beat out veteran chefs from all over the country.
If he wins a one-on-one competition with next year’s champion, he will become Korea’s representative at the 2009 International Vocational Training Competition, which takes place in Canada. So far, the best medal taken by a Korean at that event is the silver. Park is targeting gold.
“You’ll see,” sad Park said. “The gold will be mine.”
The proud boy started cooking when he was in his first year of middle school. He was lucky enough to have the right teacher nearby. His father, 44-year-old Park Hui-jun, is head of the Korea Cooking Academy. He won the same title his son did at the 21st competition in 1986. The two Parks are now the only father and son cooking champions in Korea.
Unfortunately, even though Park Hui-jun father was No.1 in Korea, back than he couldn’t compete in the international competition because at 24, he was too old. Only those under 22 qualify. Now the father expects to finally win the international competition through his son.
“In his early years of elementary school, Seong-hun wanted to be a scientist or an artist,” said the father Park. “He changed his goal while doing a homework assignment on his parent’s occupation while in the fifth grade.”
Seong-hun recalls this. “My father with his chef’s hat on couldn’t have been more awesome. At that moment, I decided to be the best cook ever.”
But when Seong-ho began taking lessons from his father, he at first regretted it. The person who had been the kindest in the world to him became the strictest teacher. He was never allowed mistakes.
“Don’t get too elaborate with the dish! If you just loosen up, everything will go smoothly!” his father said.
The austere training bore fruit. The younger Park qualified to cook Korean food at commercial facilities in only one year. His qualifications on Western, Japanese, confectionery and bakery cooking followed. At last year’s 41st competition, which was his public debut, he received the encouragement award and won the gold this year.
The father said his son is an outstanding dessert maker. “He also knows how to handle meat,” he said.
The son knows he still has a long way to go. “I won’t boast yet,” he said.



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