A Pioneer in Cooking Classes for Foreigners

      February 15, 2018 08:33

      Kim Min-seon has embraced an Asia-wide trend offering cooking classes and market tours for foreigners who want more from their stay than merely sightseeing and shopping.

      At OME Cooking Lab, she explains each ingredient's characteristics and cooking processes in English and helps participants with cooking. She provides detailed explanations so that they can make Korean dishes once they go home.

      "Our cooking classes include a market tour. Participants love it as they can talk with vendors there and learn about seasonal ingredients," she said.

      Kim Min-seon

      Before opening her business in spring 2015, Kim attended a language course in China for nine months while in college, so she can teach in both English and Chinese.

      "People come from all over," she said, "The U.S., Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, South America and the Middle East. Mostly they’re groups of families or friends, but we also get chefs and other people involved in the food business who want to learn about Korean cuisine."

      She exchanges e-mails with applicants to decide what dishes to make and sometimes needs to meet specific requests from vegetarians or Muslims.

      After just about two years offering cooking classes, she has attracted many foreigners already. "I think that's because I show them how to make Korean food easily using widely available ingredients," she said.

      Now she is preparing a book. "I plan to write a cookbook that includes the stories of the participants who are still making Korean food after they returned home. I'm also planning to expand the cooking class nationwide as I want to give students an opportunity to learn about the diversity of Korean cuisines and taste local specialties," she said.

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