Parisians are to be introduced to Jeonju Bibimbap, a restaurant chain specializing in the bowl of rice mixed with vegetables, sliced meat and other ingredients. The city of Jeonju and Jeonju Bibimbap said the chain will open a branch in the rue Ste. Anne near the Louvre on Friday.
The city has given the chain the exclusive right to use the "Jeonju bibimbap" logo in return for royalties. "Jeonju bibimbap" is registered as a branded geographical indication.
The restaurant in Paris, the chain's first in Europe, will serve four kinds of bibimbap, using about 10 basic ingredients, such as namul (sauteed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste), which will be exported from Jeonju.
The chain has sent a chef to Paris to train local staff.
Jeonju Bibimbap president Hong Seong-yun said rue Ste. Anne is clustered with multinational businesses, meaning people from many countries work and eat there. "While keeping tradition alive, we're going to focus on ingredients such as fresh vegetables and sauces that will suit local customers' taste," a press release quoted him as saying. "We'll use our branch restaurant there as a beachhead for our advance into other European cities."
Korean restaurants in Jeonju have opened bibimbap branches in about a dozen foreign cities including New York, Beijing and Shanghai, with the first opening in Kanazawa, Japan in 2005. Some have closed down because they only appealed to Korean nationals.