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PICTURES: KCCN gears up for cooking contest with preparatory classes

The Korean Cultural Centre in Nigeria (KCCN) has taken a proactive step towards promoting Korean cuisine in the country by organising a five-day preparatory cooking class for enthusiastic Nigerian cooks.

The classes, which were held at the Red Dish Culinary School in Abuja, came to a close on Thursday, July 5.

According to Kim Suyeong, Culture Officer at the Korean Cultural Centre in Nigeria, “We have been organizing cooking classes for years, and this is our fourth event. This class is special because it’s a preparatory class for participants who want to register for the 2024 Korean cooking contest in Nigeria.”

The contest, which is open to Nigerians and foreigners (excluding Korean nationals), aims to promote Korean cuisine and encourage the use of traditional fermented sauce, “Jang.”

Already, the organisers have revealed that the winner will receive a prize of N1 million, with second and third places receiving N700,000 and N400,000 naira, respectively.

Habiba Sharon Yakubu, the instructor for the Han shik Korean cooking class, stated, “We’ve been cooking new sets of Korean dishes, and we’ve had different sets of Nigerians come to participate in our cooking class. The aim is to expose more Nigerians to Korean dishes and encourage them to participate in the competition.”

Participants in the class included Doshima Anyam Bridget, an accountancy student at Benue State University, who said, “I’ve never tried any Korean food before, but I thought let me just give it a try. I learned how to cook various Korean dishes, and it’s interesting.”

Amarachi Nwuntu, a Korean culture enthusiast, expressed her excitement about the class, saying, “I’ve been involved in everything Korean, from the Han shi food festival to the dance competition. I like Korean culture, and I enjoy making different foods from different cultures.”

Mujtaba Bello, another participant, said, “My friends wanted to come, and I had nothing better to do with my time. I always wanted to try Korean food, and now I can cook some of their food. The experience was fun, and the food was sweet too.”

The online preliminary round for the contest has already started, and the second round and final will take place on August 26 to 31.

Kim Suyeong emphasised that the contest is designed to promote cultural exchange and encourage the adoption of Korean cuisine in Nigeria.

“We want to expose more Nigerians to Korean cuisine and encourage them to try new things,” she said.

“We believe that food is a universal language that can bring people together, and we hope that this contest will help to promote cultural understanding between Korea and Nigeria.”