Korean Food Blogging
Last year I took a freelance position as a Contributing Editor through a US Agency working for the Korean Department of Agriculture and Trade. They wanted to create a new website to promote the history, cultire and simple awesomeness of Korean Food.
To land this job I was able to use my culinary degree, which gives me an advagtage as a professional food writer. Food writing for me includes writing about modern eating trends, as well as developing curriculums, consulting on recipe and menu development, and general restaurant business consulting; developing training materials, controlling costs & improving profits.
For me this was a fun job, as it allowed me to learn more about Korean food, culture and history; through reading, research and eating. This was definitely one of those win-win jobs that rarely happen. I was involved in writing the content for the page as well as recipes/articles and a few interviews. The interviews were by the far the best part of the job, becasue if there is anything I love more than writing about food, it's talking to passionate people about food. I interviewed Marja Vongeritchen of Kimchi Chronicles and Chef Hooni Kim of Hanjan in NYC. These two accomplished restauranters had thoughts on everything from how to use garlic, to the too expensive cost of culinary schools and everything in between.
One of the biggest trends in food for 2015/2016 is 'authentic ethnic food.' and this was the point made by Marja Vongeritchen, as she talked about using garlic liberally in her food along with other traditional Korean flavors and not being afraid to use them. As global cuisines become more mainstream we can get a taste of many different flavors at all levels: from the supermarket, to fast and quick serve restaurants, specialty restaurants and high-end restaurants. All of these options offer us different flavor profiles at different price points, which basically means you can eat crappy food for a ridiculous price or eat delicious food for a good price or so-so food for any price or any combination you can think of.
Depending on the kitchen and the audience they are catering to, is what determines the flavor profile and cost of the food you eat. A neighbourhood ethnic restaurant catering to folks who have an authentic 'homeland' palate will serve drastically different food than fast or quick serve places that are serving food to the mainstream folks and therefore the food tends to have milder flavor profiles. I'll say it's anyone's guess what food experience high end fine dining is trying to accomplish based on the vision of the Chef.
Using authentic flavors can be hard, as Chef Hooni Kim pointed out in my interview with him, and in an interview in the NY Times, that it is becoming harder and harder to find line cooks who actually know how to cook and season food properly. He cited many reasons behind what he said is a shortage of cooks in NYC; really hard work, long hours, low pay and the perception many people have about the wroklife of a chef. He also mentioned the high cost of culinary school tuition for a career that may not net a person more than $30- 40K a year, and usually much less than that.