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Hallyu expert co-produces kimchi documentary

2011/06/02 | 447 views | Permalink | Source

Park Jung-sook

By Kim Rahn

Television journalist-turned-Korean wave expert Park Jung-sook attended a preview party of a U.S. television series that is featuring one of Korea's favored foods ㅡ kimchi.

She participated in the event for "Kimchi Chronicles" held at Spice Market, an Asian fusion restaurant run by world-renowned chef Jean-Georges in the Meatpacking District in New York on Wednesday night.

Park, a professor at Kyung Hee University's Institute of International Education and also goodwill ambassador for The Korea Times, was a co-executive producer for the series.

The 13-episode program, produced by Frappe Productions, is currently airing on PBS in limited regions and will be broadcast nationwide in the U.S. in July.

The series was made as part of a project to globalize Korean food, or hansik. The Visit Korea Year Committee and the Korea Food Foundation co-supported the production, while documentary producer Frappe made the series with Park, an honorary KOICA ambassador, taking charge of production in Korea.

The documentary introduces kimchi as well as Korean tourist destinations and culture to Americans. Hollywood celebrities such as actor Hugh Jackman and actress Heather Graham eat and make Korean food in the episodes. This is the most exposure for Korean food and culture by a major overseas broadcaster.

The program is popular, and after a similar series featuring Spain was aired in 2008 starring star chef Mario Batali and actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Spain saw 30 percent more visitors.

"I introduced fusion Korean food to Jean-Georges when the documentary was filmed in Korea, but he said Korean food can be globalized when it is genuinely Korean", Park said.

During the event for the television documentary, chef Jean-Georges presented some 20 Korean dishes to about 800 celebrities and media people.

Participants in the preview party included Jackman, Graham, Jean-Georges, his wife and Korean-born model Marja Vongerichten, and the Korean Consul General in New York Kim Young-mok.

People from the media such as New York Times, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, People, Vogue, Martha Stewart Television, The Associated Press and Zagat also attended.

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