To provide some more insights into Korean dining and Korean foods, two weeks ago, we had a special talk with Chef Moses Yoon.
Chef Moses Yoon was born and raised in Korea. He started learning cooking from his high school in Seoul and came to Berlin in 2014.
Currently he is working at Restaurant Facil, a 2-Michelin-star restaurant in Berlin.
1. How would you describe Korean food?
The taste of Korean food can be said to be “taste through time”. Basically, you can cook most of Korean foods by using Doenjang (Soy bean paste), Ganjang (soy sauce), and Gochujang (red pepper paste).
These sauces are not made by chemical seasoning, but by natural fermentation processes. They are fermented by being put in a pot, with certain amount of sunshine coming in and the degree of wind. They are matured according to the seasonal changes in temperature, and the taste and depth of the fermentation change over time. Therefore, the flavor varies from region to region, and the taste and recipe are also diverse. I would say that it is Korean food and taste of Korea, which is to follow nature’s principles, to harmonize human beings with nature and to cook through time. Temple food is a typical example.
2. Is Korean food popular in Europe?
There is a growing interest in Korean food as you can see a lot of Korean restaurants in Berlin recently. People seem to like it a lot. I know that it is especially popular in Britain and America. Although Korean food is not as well-known as Japanese or other Asian food in Germany, it seems that people are now starting to get interested in Korean food.
When people eat Korean food, it seems like they know Bibimbap and Kimchi well, but they do not know what Korean food is. I want people to know a lot of essential parts of Korea’s taste. If so, I think many people will enjoy Korean food better and naturally Korean food would become popular.
3. What is your plan?
Berlin has many changes and developments in food and culture in recent years.
As a Korean chef cooking Western food, I would like to create new food and culture by combining Korean elements in Western cuisine. Without altering the essence of Korean food, changing the texture, color and shape of the food will create new foods. Moreover, if you change the atmosphere and the way to eat, you will create a new culture.
I also want to let more German people know about the taste of Korea. I will share in-depth information on food and ingredients rather than simply introducing Korean food or recipe. Korean food is basically seasonal food. People have used ingredients that are easy to get from the nature and these ingredients were fermented to be kept longer. During the process, the taste is deepened. If any opportunities given, I would like to let people know how to make organic fermented Korean sauces. Even if people do not go to Korea, if they understand the principle of Korean food, they will enjoy Korea. I want to share the taste of Korea and the philosophy of Korean food.
I am proud, because #ICookAsianFood.