Kwon visited the Yu Inja, chef at the Goong restaurant where he delved into the different ingredients used in Korean cooking.
After soaking up as much as possible in the first part of the episode the chef sets about recreating Bibimbap with a twist.
You can watch the full episode in three parts below and also read our interview with Kwon in which he talks about his exciting journey and his goal to create a scene where chefs are looked at as artists and not technicians.
Tell us about the episode - what were your personal highlights?
I’m honored to be featured on CNN Culinary Journeys. For many foreign people Korean food is just barbecues and grilled meats with soy based flavor when it actually has more diversity than what you can imagine. Our food has more than five hundred years of history and I’d like to share this amazing cultural experience with everyone around the world.
I’m sure that this show will change your mind about Korean cuisine.
Some people may think that BiBimBap is an easy meal. It might look like rice with some vegetables but it takes so much time and effort to make a single dish. It takes so much effort and time to preserve culinary history and pass it down through generations. I am so proud that I am living in the same country as people who put their soul into preserving our traditions.
What did you take home from your culinary journey?
Things that you learnt that you will use in your own restaurant.
Recently I created a new version of bibimbap with things I learned from my journey. I can’t say too much though – you will have to watch the episode.
What’s the culinary journey you look forward to most?
For me it’s a trip back home to England for fish and chips. Tell us about that one culinary journey you always enjoy taking.
I always like to go to Hong Kong and Singapore. I have many friends working there. I love to visit Sky on 57 in Singapore and Bo Innovation in Hong Kong. Both Justin and Alvin are good friends of mine. Every time I go there, I come back with a handful of new ideas.
But my favourite place to eat is always my mother’s house. Nothing beats her homemade cooking.
If we gave you a blank cheque for a culinary journey anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I'd like to go to Mumbai in India. I went there to film a TV program and thought it was incredible. There are so many people with great potential hiding under the dust of Mumbai.
What would you say is a highlight of your own career journey?
Cooking makes me feel alive. I’m always thinking about new things I can create. That’s why I’ve been doing this job for more than 20 years. But despite doing it for two decades I feel like I have only just begun. I am working on many projects nowadays. Working at my restaurant is only the tip of the iceberg. I am currently shooting two TV shows, working as a food advisor for the Korean
Government, organizing Hotel F&B projects for the next year and some restaurant opening projects as well. I am doing all of this to contribute something meaningful to our society. My final goal is to establish a Culinary University where you can enrol free of charge. I want to pass all of my experiences and knowledge to young cooks so they can become a master chef in the future.
I want to create a scene where chefs can be treated as an artist not a technician. Artists create our culture with their work of extraordinary devotion and I think those actions are worth trying for.
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