[LETTERS to the editor]Promote Korean food systematically
I agree with the editorial “Conquering the food world” [Oct. 21] that the Korean government should promote Korean food abroad. Food is a profitable industry; we can develop and make our food famous like other Asian countries have. I’d like to add some suggestions to make Korean food popular.
First, we have to broaden the choices. There are only a few Korean dishes, like bulgogi or bibimbap, known among foreigners. More dishes should be launched. This can be possible if we have more schools and institutions that produce Korean cooks. There should be systematic education in both theory and practice to match their needs and interests to help them apply their knowledge to better develop Korean food. The government should support the food education system so we can have more trained cooks.
Second, we should make Korean food high-end. As in Japan’s case, if people think Korean food is high-end, it will attract more attention. To make it high-end, food presentation is important and the interiors of restaurants give a great impression. There’s a saying, “Names and natures often agree.” The taste of food matters most, but people care about appearance too.
Third, promotion is most important. When celebrities from other countries visit Korea, serving them fancy Korean food will be a good promotion. A few years ago, the Korean soap opera “Daejanggum,” about a Korean royal court chef, was a big success in other Asian countries and attracted interest about Korean food. If we make soap operas, films and TV commercials about Korean food, it will help greatly. Brochures that inform tourists about Korea should include an introduction to Korean food.
The government should support all these not just through slogans. They have to make specific plans and support the food industry. As we see in Japan’s and Thailand’s case, if the government makes tremendous efforts, Korean food will be promoted and gain a reputation around the world.
Nam Yoon-mi, elementary school teacher