Tuesday, June 15, 2010

About me - continued...

I was born into a very simple family in rural Korea. Rural Korea 31 years ago was very different from the world I know today. Many of today’s conveniences were simply not available. Subsequently, I have watched my mom prepare any kind of food from very simple ingredients, from a young age. I would watch her boil and grind soy beans that somehow would miraculously turn into tofu only a few hours later. I would watch her mend to her vegetable gardens and see the zucchinis, eggplants etc. grow from a seed into a vegetable and end up as delicious, flavorful and fragrant stew in front of me. I would accompany my family on long walks into the woods were they would collect herbs and wild vegetables, while listening to my aunts talk about the latest gossip. I would watch them harvest pungent red chili peppers, dry them, and make them into an appetizing paste that would flavor so many of the wonderful signature dishes that I would grow accustomed to eating.

My mother being a single mother, out of necessity and her passion of food, opened a tiny, “whole in the wall” restaurant. She needed money and all she knew how to do was cook. I remember spending many days and nights of my early childhood in the restaurant watching my mother work over the stove. Food to us was not only for nutrition, it was a way of life.

These types of experiences from an early age awakened my curiosity and love for food. Perhaps because I witnessed how ingredients become to be and how different combinations of them become magical creations. It simply was fascinating.

This fascination did not stop when we moved to Germany. I reveled in the myriad of different foods that were available to me in Europe. I continued to watch my mother cook, asked questions about this or that ingredient. Asked her why she would cut an onion this or that way, why she used butter here but oil there. I would inquire about why she sometimes put sugar in savory dishes and salt in desserts. And as I grew older she would let me sauté the onions, cut the vegetables, stir the pots. Some of my fondest memories with my mother are making dumplings or noodles together from scratch. Little by little she would teach me different techniques and the art of cooking with the kind of passion that was inherently in our blood. This is how my culinary training became to be, in the culinary school of mom’s kitchen.


  1. Beautiful!! :)
    ...and so fun to read!
    Can't wait for more!! <3

    oh... and what an honor.. I'm your official first fan!
    ...Where is Sean? He is a little behind schedule, isn't he? ;)

  2. I LOVE IT!!! I am sorry I was not the first to comment , but I was busy reading your fascinating story. It was as intriguing as are your tasty dishes. Cant wait for more. Congrats!!

  3. Jules this is awesome!!! KEEP IT COMING!! xxoo


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