Commemorating 60 years of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and Switzerland, the Korean Embassy hosted a Kimchi workshop for hospitality and culinary students on our Lakeside campus.
According to the Korean Lunar calendar, a lunar cycle lasts twelve years, with each year represented by a different animal. The completion of five of these cycles, or 60 years, symbolises the completion of one page of life and is a cause for great celebration in Korean culture.
Switzerland established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea on February 11, 1963, laying the foundation for a strong friendship and many rich partnerships in a variety of fields. With 2023 marking the 60th anniversary of this relationship, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Switzerland has organised a series of cultural events throughout the year. These events celebrate the end of a first page of life written together and mark the continuation of the countries’ shared story as the next chapter begins.
Food is one of the most powerful ways to solidify a friendship and the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Switzerland decided to share one of Korea’s most emblematic dishes, Kimchi, with students from some of the world’s most prestigious hospitality and culinary schools. Who better to teach the preparation of this dish than Mrs Cho Huichan, an accomplished chef and the Ambassador’s own wife?
Spending the afternoon of 12 June with a group of hospitality and culinary students from B.H.M.S. and representing nine different countries, Mrs Cho Huichan demonstrated how this traditional fermented cabbage dish is prepared and gave them the opportunity to prepare their own.
“Though there are countless recipes for Kimchi available online, I wanted students who will one day work in hotels and restaurants around the world to get a taste of authentic Kimchi and know how to make it,” Mrs Cho Huichan shared.
The students were surprised at the differences between this recipe and those found online. Indeed, even Shaun Leonard, Executive Chef of B.H.M.S. Culinary Academy, noted how different this version tasted from those he had made in the past; “I have made Kimchi many times but this was the first time I used glutinous rice flour and plum juice, which really made the flavour explode.”
In a twist of culinary fusion, the ambassador’s wife revealed how Kimchi and raclette make a delicious pairing - the complex spicy-sour-sweetness of Kimchi complementing the saltiness of the cheese, each flavour elevating the other. This delightful combination serves as a tasty symbol of the friendship between Korea and Switzerland.
As well as divulging some of their culinary traditions to other hospitality schools across Switzerland, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Switzerland has organised a number of events taking place across the country throughout the rest of the year. A Korean traditional dance performance by Gyeonggido Dance Company will be held at KKL in Lucerne on 19 September. Founded in 1993, the Gyeonggido Dance Company seeks to encourage the study of Korean dance and enhance the calibre of culture and arts in Gyeonggi-do. Holding over 100 outstanding dance performances each year, the Gyeonggido Dance Company performs traditional Korean dance and royal court dance as well as original choreography.
The dance company has also performed abroad in the Middle East, Asia, North America (USA, Canada, Mexico), and Europe (UK, Spain, Italy), enhancing the prestige and image of Gyeonggi-do worldwide.