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Jin Yong Park is the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 Central Northern-East Asia finalist. The South-Korean chef de partie at Seoul’s Zero Complex restaurant will cook his signature dish of ‘samgyetang’ at the Grand Final in Milan, in June. He spoke to us ahead of the big event.
Tell us about your signature dish: what is its strongest point?
It is ‘Samgyetang’, a traditional Korean health food and also my favourite food. I want to showcase the taste of Korea in S.Pellegrino Young chef 2015. I’ll try to use western techniques with Korean traditional and seasonal ingredients, and twist the dish according to my philosophy. I think its strongest point is its Korean identity.
What made you decide to become a chef?
I don't know exactly. When I was a young boy, I liked to eat and cook. So, when it was time to go to university, I just chose my major and now keep going on.
Which chef or chefs inspire you daily and why?
All of the chefs inspire me. Recently, I’ve been really interested in ‘bistronomy’ or neo bistro. Most of all, I’ll always be inspired by Chef Choong.
What’s the best dish you’ve ever tasted - where did you eat it, who cooked it?
I have so many best dishes in my life, so this question is very difficult. Recently, I ate dumpling soup in my home cooked by mom. That’s my most recent best dish.
What’s the most challenging aspect of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 for you?
I love cooking, food, eating and working. I just enjoy whole my life as a chef. When I read about S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 I applied, and now I’m a finalist - sometimes I think it’s a dream. It’s a really big chance for me and a wonderful experience as a chef. So I decided just to enjoy it.
What kind of help/guidance would you like from your mentor?
He always tells me about the importance of superior ingredients and cuisine.
What will you do if you win this competition?
I’ll just enjoy life as I always do.