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Korea chef heads to Bali to share his expertise

Apr 12,2018
Visitors at the Ubud Food Festival, an annual food event in Bali, Indonesia, try out new dishes. [SOIGNE]
Popular pop-up restaurant Youn’s Kitchen, which served Korean food to locals and visitors in Indonesia, on the tvN reality show named after the eatery, isn’t there anymore, but another Korean chef will fill up the space where it once stood.

Chef Lee Jun of Michelin-starred Soigne in Seocho District, southern Seoul, is flying out to Bali to cook at the Ubud Food Festival, which starts Friday. Soigne, which opened in Seoul in 2015, changes its menu every three months, and its dishes range from royal traditional Korean food to more modern and Western style cuisine.

While the TV program focused on introducing very basic Korean dishes to visitors of the global beach destination, chef Lee will delve into how to infuse a dish made with local ingredients with Korean flavors for the festival that lasts until Sunday.

“The Ubud Festival seems to have gotten popular with travelers and locals, and this can be a good chance for me to also expand my point of view,” said chef Lee to the Korea JoongAng Daily.

The festival began in 2015 and has been a popular spot to visit for both locals and visitors looking for something different to experience other than the island’s water or mountain activities.

On Friday, chef Lee will be at Indus restaurant to demonstrate how to cook lamb according to an ancient Korean recipe. To balance it out with a more familiar taste, he will also showcase how to make tajarin pasta with local vegetables. On Sunday, he will prepare a private dinner using local seafood, such as shrimp and sea urchin. Vanilla ice cream with wild sesame leaves and sesame oil will be served as a dessert.

Besides interacting with visitors through his cooking, the chef will share his insights while participating in a panel discussion titled “Food for Thought.” The participants talk about the role that the Michelin Guide has played in the culinary scene in Asia, as more Asian cities start to have the restaurant guidebook. Seoul published its first guide in 2016, and a total of seven cities in Asia have the guide, including Shanghai, Singapore and Bangkok.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]