Gastro Tour Seoul @ The K-Style Hub
This past week, I was invited by the founder of Gastro Tour Seoul, Veronica Tae-Ahn Kang, to attend a tour at the new K-Style Hub. I’ve of course heard about Gastro for a few years but just hadn’t had the chance to go on a tour so I jumped at the invitation.
The K-Style Hub is the new tourist information center downtown and is really modern and chic inside, a great step up from the previous location. The three floors that make up the hub are split into a floor for all the info a tourist could possibly need from culture and history to medical tourism as well. Not only that, but there is also a Hallyu experience facility with graphics and screens so that you can stand “with” some of your fav K-pop stars. There’s also an area to experience some virtual reality if you want to step behind the headsets. The next floor houses a Korean Food Exhibition Hall to educate wanderers in the area about Korean food from particular dishes to ingredients. This floor is a good introduction to what may happen upstairs in the state of the art kitchen if you sign up for a Gastro Tour.
The next floor houses a cafe and numerous places to sit in a modern yet rustic area just next to the Learning Place with rows of sinks and stoves for those needing some cooking education.
Veronica was on the advisory panel for the hub, brought on by the Hansik Foundation to advise and organize. Our tour was the first to take place in the kitchens. The cooking class was a trial run and while there were a few things that could be adjusted, it’s a great space that will surely bring delight to many who visit Korea or long time residents that hope to receive a cooking class from some of Korea’s elite chefs.
Our chefs for the tour were Chef Lee Jong Im, a popular television chef in Korea and director of the Korea Food and Culture Research Center, along with her daughter Chef Park Bo Kyeong. Chef Park went through a bit of relevant information for those that aren’t acquainted with Korean cooking and then dove into making the dishes completely through from start to finish so that we could do it ourselves once she’d finished. We made Bulgogi and a bulgogi kimchi salad to go along with it. I had never realized how easy bulgogi was and of course made it this week for my family to show off the education I’d received. I adapted it slightly with some hints from my mother-in-law but it was nice to have a completely English, aka no confusion style, explanation for a Korean recipe.
My partner and I did a bang up job as it seemed everyone did. By the time we all sat down, there was little talking around the table as each pair devoured the food they’d whipped up.
While this wasn’t the normal Gastro Tour, it was great to see Veronica in action and to learn more about why I’d heard so much about Gastro in the past. Check out her site for more information on the tours she provides if you’re interested in the culinary delights of Korea.
40, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 청계천로 40 (다동)
Direction: Jonggak Subway Station, exit 5 OR Euljiro 1-ga Subway Station, exit 2
Tourist Information Center: 2nd floor, 9:00am ~ 8:00pm
- Language assistance in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese
Korean Food Exhibition Hall (3rd floor), Experience Hall (4th floor), Art Market (5th floor)
Open every day except for Tuesdays; 10:00am ~ 6:00pm