In my latest column for Zester Daily, I attended the second annual Korean BBQ Cook-Off in Los Angeles and interviewed contestants and judges on Korean food’s sudden rise in popularity. Chef Ludo Lefebvre (of LudoBites fame), Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold, and award-winning actress Sandra Oh were on hand to offer their thoughts on the trend and answer this burning question: Is kimchi the new sushi?
Here’s an excerpt:
Diners aren’t the only ones embracing Korean cuisine. Chefs are also hopping on the bandwagon, with Korean ingredients and flavors showing up more and more at high-profile restaurants around L.A., including LudoBites, where Lefebvre frequently uses kimchi in his dishes. “Korean food is a big influence in America,” Lefebvre said. “I am French, and I cook a lot with kimchi at my restaurant. I’ve made kimchi foie gras, kimchi with cheese, and now I’m working on a kimchi dessert.”
Korean chefs are incorporating American influences into their native cuisine as well, perhaps playing off the success of Roy Choi’s Kogi tacos. At the Korean BBQ Cook-Off, visitors waited in line for half an hour to try Kalbi Burger and Seoul Sausage Company, which sold Korean-inspired burgers and hot dogs. But it was Choonchun Dakgalbi’s signature dish of chicken, rice cakes, yams and cheese in a spicy red sauce that won the attention of the judges. Cook-off judge Oh presented the restaurant with the award for best fusion dish. “I love the fact that Korean food, especially in LA, is moving forward,” she said. “I’m totally there with you guys to expand Korean flavors.”
Read the full article at Zester Daily. And please Tweet, Like, and forward to your friends!
Posted in Media Pass, Necessary Reading
Tagged Jonathan Gold, Kalbi Burger, kimchi, Korean BBQ Cook-Off, Koreatown, LA Weekly, Los Angeles, Ludo Lefebvre, LudoBites, Sandra Oh, Seoul Sausage Company, Zester Daily
The second installment in this glorious series is an article I wrote for Zester Daily, a recently launched food news site that provides fresh and lively stories from around the globe. I signed on to be a regular contributor and published my first story, “Changing Baltimore’s Diet,” on veteran food educator Dr. Antonia Demas and her battle to reform students’ eating habits in Baltimore public schools. Here’s a quick excerpt:
Nearly 40 years ago, before “organic” and “farm-to-table” became buzzwords in the food community, Antonia Demas realized the importance of promoting nutritional education in schools. Her philosophy was simple: If students are taught about healthy food in a positive and engaging way, they will be more willing to eat those healthy foods, both in the classroom and at home.
That philosophy eventually developed into a comprehensive curriculum called “Food Is Elementary” — widely regarded by nutrition educators as one of the most effective approaches to encouraging students to eat healthier. T. Colin Campbell, a professor of nutrition and biochemistry at Cornell University, endorsed the program, saying Demas’ “curriculum ought to be in every school in the country.” To date, “Food Is Elementary” has been taught in more than 2,000 schools across the country.
Click here to read the full article. And please Tweet, Digg, Facebook “Like” or link! Thanks, readers!
Photo: Catherine Dixon, a food educator at the Stadium School in Baltimore, teaches Antonia Demas’ program “Food Is Elementary”