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Korean Consulate Brings the ‘Korean Wave’ to Chicago

By Caitlin Klein in Food on Dec 13, 2010 5:20PM

We knew it. Korean food is on the rise in Chicago. Despite a substantial fan base, Chicago is not exactly a mecca for Korean food. The Korean Government and its tourism organizations are out to change that. We were invited to a dinner sponsored by the Korean Consulate General held at Rolling Meadow’s Woo Lae Oak. A representative from the Consulate lamented the “lack of ‘fancy’ Korean restaurants in Chicago.” We’re pretty happy with any Korean food we can get our hands on in the city, but a more refined, upscale Korean restaurant? Yes please.

Woo Lae Oak’s new executive chef, Tae Jin Park, prepared eight delicious courses designed to highlight the seasonality of Korean food, while literature and speakers emphasized the health benefits of each dish. Sweet pumpkin porridge that protects against heart disease and diabetes. Spicy mushroom soup that relieves high blood pressure. Cinnamon tea that helps with digestion. While we doubt that these claims have been evaluated by the FDA, we don’t care. Bring on the bulgogi and gujeolpan - we feel better already.

The Consulate is working with a marketing firm to mobilize Chicagoans who love Korean food. You can join the Hansik Chicago group on Facebook or follow HansikChicago on Twitter. The group promises to provide updates on Korean food events throughout the city, announce openings, and even provide discounts in exchange for supporting the ‘Korean Wave’ making its way through Chicago.