“Korean Cultural Center in the UK Collaborates with Westminster Kingsway College for Fine Dining with Korean Cuisine”

The Korean Cultural Center, led by Director Sun Seung-hye, conducted the “Korean Fine Dining Week” in collaboration with Westminster Kingsway College from January 29th (Monday) to February 2nd (Friday).

Director Sun Seung-hye emphasized the aesthetic value of Korean cuisine, stating, “We savor the elegant future of Korean cuisine in the UK. From popular street food to exquisite fine dining, Korean cuisine is captivating taste buds worldwide. Future chefs are challenging their creativity to showcase the sophistication of Korean cuisine, regardless of nationality.”

The inaugural Korean Fine Dining Week, initiated in 2024, involved collaboration between the Korean Cultural Center and the faculty and students of Westminster Kingsway College. Together, they participated in the development of Korean recipes that combine local British ingredients with traditional Korean elements, creating a new opportunity for cultivating Korean culinary expertise in the UK.

Westminster Kingsway College, with a history spanning over 110 years, is a prestigious public culinary school in the UK that has produced star chefs like Jamie Oliver. Through collaboration with the Korean Cultural Center since 2021, the college has hosted various Korean culinary events, including Korean menu weeks and Korean cooking classes.

The Korean Fine Dining Week featured a 6-course menu, offering both standard and vegetarian options. Highlighting dishes included Gochujang Shrimp Grilled with Kimchi Pineapple Relish, drawing attention for its unique combination. Students referred to Judy Joo’s kimchi recipe, combining homemade kimchi with grilled pineapple to create the relish, complementing the Gochujang shrimp and presenting an exquisite plating.

A British visitor commented, “I never thought kimchi and pineapple would go well together, but after trying it, I was pleasantly surprised.”

Additionally, Korean students from Yeongsan University participating in a short-term exchange program with Westminster Kingsway College during the Korean Fine Dining Week were involved. These bakery majors successfully combined local British flavors with traditional Korean snacks, contributing to the fusion of local and Korean dessert options.

Students Jang Hyeon-joo and Ahn Yoo-jung, who participated in the event, expressed, “It was a meaningful time to directly contribute to the development of recipes for dishes sold in restaurants. Some people even visited the restaurant alone to try Korean fine dining. It’s rewarding to see people show a keen interest in Korean cuisine.”

The Korean Fine Dining Week included a diverse group of students aspiring to become future chefs with various cultural backgrounds. Xavier, a student who developed Korean cocktail recipes to complement Korean fine dining, combined makgeolli and yuja to create a cocktail with a spring-like hue. Xavier stated, “Preparing for this event allowed me to taste a variety of Korean beverages, and the successful development of Korean-style cocktails combining soju, makgeolli, yuja, and more received a warm response from attendees.”

The Korean Fine Dining Week generated significant local interest, with reservations fully booked two weeks before the event. Over 240 attendees, including Angela Joyce, CEO of Capital City College Group (CCCG), and Managing Director Jackie Chapman, participated in the event.

Looking ahead, the Korean Cultural Center plans to collaborate with Westminster Kingsway College in May to conduct Korean menu weeks and Korean cooking classes, further promoting Korean cuisine in the UK.