Fun With Fermentation
I always like to learn something new. Particularly if it’s something food related. I was delighted to be invited by Seolbin Park, and the Korean Food Foundation, to attend a fermentation themed, food and drink pairing event.
the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence, and the giving off of heat.
the process of fermentation involved in the making of beer, wine, and liquor, in which sugars are converted to ethyl alcohol.
Soju Haus Fifth Avenue
This lovely event (everything Seolbin does is lovely) was held at Soju Haus, a delightful hideaway, located at 315 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016 The secret of Soju Haus, is it’s UPSTAIRS location. Unless you know where you’re going, you’ll waste a good deal of time looking for the place. There isn’t any signage, and it’s pretty much in an office building, so spread the word!
(MAHK- GEE- OH- Lee )
Korean rice wine Makgeolli was the main ingredient used to prepare some unusual cocktails containing ginger and yuzu flavors. Makgeolli is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from rice or wheat, and is also known as Korean rice wine. The milky-colored liquor has been gaining increasing international recognition and popularity in recent years. Juno Moon’s Makgeolli cocktails showcase the tastes of Korean fermentation with an added modern twist.
Juno Moon is a mixologist, who owns and operates several Korean bars in Manhattan, including Soju Haus. Moon spent several months studying Korean fermentation, with a master artisan in Korea, learning techniques and recipes for fermenting drinks. Moon specializes in creations, based on traditional Korean drinks, and works to promote Korean dining and drinking culture, throughout New York City and beyond.
Chef Sungchul Shim, Executive Chef at Neta, was on hand to show off his culinary magic. Shim, an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America, has worked in the most prestigious kitchens in New York City. Chef Sungchul is a highly regarded master chef, who has lent his talents to Michelin-starred Per Se, Aureole, Le Bernardin, Peacock Alley in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in the London Hotel.
Bossam is a traditional Korean dish featuring braised pork belly, often enjoyed with alcoholic beverages. Chef Shim’s Bossam dish presented fermentation in his pork belly, which was braised in doenjang for 6 hours, then served with a special sauce, made from fermented Korean soy bean paste.
Best. Party. Ever.
The food was great, the setting was wonderful, but the highlight of the evening, was getting to meet meet Seolbin’s brother, Zinno Park. I’d only known Zinno through Seolbin’s Facebook page which had been packed with details about the photographer’s random attack in July. Park has miraculously recovered from the brutal crime, and then not one, but two surgeries on his brain.
I did not know Zinno before tonight, but as I followed his progress via his sister’s feed, I felt in my heart that I knew exactly how wonderful and brave he is! Tonight, I was thrilled to meet this amazing young man who is truly my idol!
Miracles do happen!