Geongujeol, japchae and bulgogi for Tiger’s crowd

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Geongujeol, japchae and bulgogi for Tiger’s crowd

Thanks to Korean golfer Yang Yong-eun’s stunning victory at last year's U.S. PGA Championship, Korean food is going to take center stage at this year’s PGA Championship Champion Dinner, set for Aug. 10.

And, Yang’s plan couldn't make one person in particular more pleased. That would be Korea’s first lady, Kim Yoon-ok, who has been trying to promote Korean cuisine overseas.

For more than 50 years, the previous year’s PGA Championship winner has been given the honor of selecting the menu for the next year’s dinner.

Yang’s decision to serve a full-course Korean meal has its precedent: Last year, he selected marinated galbi, which is grilled beef, for the President's Cup dinner in San Francisco, California, and he received rave reviews from fellow players. Kim and popular Korean singer Lee Seung-cheol helped in the preparation for that banquet.

This past May, Lee participated in the Charity Bazaar for the Unfortunate Children hosted by the Blue House, and he had the opportunity to meet Kim.

Lee and Kim met up again at a formal dinner in June, and Lee, a close friend of Yang, told Kim about Yang’s intention to serve Korean food at the PGA dinner. He asked for her help.

As this culinary story continued, Kim recommended Park Hyo-nam, the head chef at Hilton Hotel in Seoul. Park, who has held cooking classes for ambassadors’ wives in Korea, had prepared Korean food at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January.

Kim and Park collaborated on selecting the menu for the Champions Dinner.

And, here it is:

During the reception, while guests will be sipping cocktails, the following hors’ de oeuvres will be served: geongujeol, a set of traditional snacks, including dried walnuts and oil-and-honey pastry; osaekmilssam, an assortment of vegetables and beef wrapped in five different colors; beef skewers; and shrimp and pine nut salad.

Next, the appetizer: japchae, glass noodles mixed with vegetables, which is also known as Koreans’ all-time favorite party food; and modeumjeon, a pan-fried vegetable and seafood pancake.

For the main course: bulgogi, marinated barbecued beef; doenjang jjigae, soybean paste soup; vegetable wraps; rice and various side dishes.

And, to top it off, desert - jujube and fresh ginseng rice cake, ginseng candies and assorted fruit.

For the more timid diners, there will be Western food alternatives.

“The first lady was very supportive in preparing for the banquet,” said someone close to Yang. “Through this opportunity, I hope more people will get to learn about and experience Korean food.”

But, don't expect an invitation, unless you're one of the best golfers in the world, like, say, Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. The venue will be in Kohler, Wisconsin, two days before the tournament begins.

By Seo Seung-wook, Sung Ho-jun []

Yang Yong-eun

Kim Yoon-ok
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