South Korean Woman Named As France's Best "Lockdown Cook"
Illustrator Saehan Park, 31, who lives in the eastern French city of Strasbourg, won a competition set up by Le Fooding guide to find the best home cook during the local confinement.
Unable to actually taste Park's brand of "Franco-Korean cuisine using locally sourced ingredients" because of the lockdown, the judges made their choice from the photos, videos and recipes she shared.
Hundreds of thousands of French people have spent a large slice of the country's near-eight week lockdown in their kitchens, later sharing their creations in often highly competitive gastronomic posts on social media.
Le Fooding's judges were impressed by how Park and her French partner sought out local meat, vegetables and beer for their menus, which also included homemade Korean banchan side dishes and kimchi.
The Alsace region of which Strasbourg is the capital is famous for its own take on pickled cabbage -- choucroute in French or sauerkraut in German.
The guide's founder Alexandre Cammas told AFP that Park made mouths water with her Korean mandu dumplings stuffed with octopus cooked with tomato, white wine and paprika, all usually found inside "tielle" savoury tarts from the French Mediterranean port of Sete.
Park said that "our cooking is like us. I am Korean and Andre is French and so naturally our influences mix every day to make new Franco-Korean dishes."
"Because we concentrate more on treating ourselves than our figures, our cooking is extremely generous and tasty," she added.
Cammas said Park won because of her "spirit and sincerity. She is part of a generation who wants nothing to do with microwaves or powdered food" and instead eat seasonally when ingredients are at their best."