Culinary Cinema: «The Wandering Chef»
On November 14th, Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the international film festival “Film Fra Sør” (Films from the South) held a screening of the Korean movie “The Wandering Chef”. The event was recognized as a continuation of the celebration of the diplomatic relations between our two countries. The screening was held in the beautiful Jacob Church in Oslo. “The Wandering Chef” is a heartwarming movie about the famous chef Jiho Im, who enjoys a celebrity status in Korea as a chef, but shows us a closer, more intimate and vulnerable side of himself in this documentary.
The event was presented as a ‘culinary cinema’ where the Korean dish bibimbap was served, and the church’s atmosphere was warm and filled with the lovely smell of food. The Films from the South festival planners had promised an event for all our senses, including our hearts , and that promise was indeed held.
The movie had an emotional and melancholic vibe, but the humor of Ambassador Nam YoungSook was not missing. In her speech, before the screening, she talked among other things about the role of food in Korea, and some interesting facts about the origin of bibimbap , its harmony and balancing qualities. The Ambassador also joked about how we could spice up our Norwegian food with the red pepper paste that came along with the bibimbap.
Even though it was just a joke, I’m going to take the Ambassadors’ words very seriously and provide you with some tips on how you actually can spice up Norwegian food inspired by Korean food and spices:
1. Red pepper paste on your “brødskive” (bread). You can also try topping it off with Norwegian white cheese
2. Spicy Gochujang! If you want to make your stew spicier, try having some Gochujang in it – a sauce made from spicy chili pepper. It can also be used as a dip sauce or on top of your “fredagstaco” (Norwegian Tacos).
3. Kimchi, kimchi with every meal. Seriously, is there anything you can’t have kimchi with? Rice, soups, salads, meatballs I think kimchi would be a great combination with the typical Norwegian foods. This may be unconventional, but you can even try to sprinkle small kimchi bits on top of your pizza!
Only the imagination sets the limit for how you can create a fusion between Korean and Norwegian food, the east and the west. Just like Jiho Im wandered across the Korean peninsula to find unique herbs and spices, I think we all can try to take some more risks and try to spice up our food and try unconventional fusions. Maybe you have your own tips on how to incorporate Korean food into the Norwegian diet? Please share in the comments!